Binaural experiment: Radigue

We have had the pleasure of performing and experiencing Eliane Radigue’s Occam Delta XV since 2018. From listening to recordings of our performances, discussions with the public, and experimentations with Emanuelle Majeau-Bettez, (previous blogpost) we learned that our individual experience of the piece as performers was different from the experience of audience members who were seated further away from us. As a result of the rich acoustic atmosphere of Radigue, we hypothesized that the aural experience of each listener is distinctly different.

Running this experiment at l’Espace Aline-Letendre in the Gésù church, in partnership with Le Vivier, provided the optimum acoustic reverb. We also collaborated with Philippe-Aubert Gauthier, professor at Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and researcher in spatialized acoustic phenomenon. Together with students of his Art of Sound class at UQAM and Emanuelle Majeau-Bettez, participants were placed throughout the performance space and wore binaural microphones.

Roland binaural microphones
A student captures the performance wearing binaural microphones. Photo credit: Caroline Perron Photographies

These are worn like earbuds and serve the function of microphone and listening device at the same time. The theory was that the audio captured by each individual set of binaural microphones would differ as a result of the difference in geographical location.

Binaural microphone placement (x) around the quartet (o) in the Gésù

All these takes will be uploaded to the MaerzMusik Festival website so that visitors can choose which set of microphones they want to listen to, like a ‘choose your own adventure’ listening of the work.  

We are proud to be part of MaerzMusik’s feature of Eliane’s work. Be sure to also check out « Trilogie de la Mort » and an exclusive interview here.

Alissa Cheung

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