Monday, March 31, 2008

Flight music

Interesting (though limited) article on the French IRCAM in today's Guardian. Ircam, the international research centre for contemporary music, was set up essentially to keep Pierre Boulez at home in France. It offers composers opportunities for trying out different technologies - all sorts of sound sources etc, I assume there are performance spaces, there is the Ensemble Intercontemporain and so on. The article suggests that the centre is perhaps a bit outdated now, given that the manufacturing of different types of sounds and other music/video technology has become so much cheaper - anyone can do it at home, almost, and seeing as modern music has divided into many different strands (though those strands already existed in 1976 when the centre was founded). But still it is useful to have such a centre, I would have thought, considering the uphill struggle contemporary music has among the older concert-going population. Young people do not seem to have a problem with this music - more with the concept of 'concert' and the rules that seem to go along with 'going to a concert'.

This reminds me of my thoughts on Friday, whilst travelling to Tbilisi. Listening to all the sounds at the airport, on the buses connecting us from terminal to the plane and reverse, the sounds in the plane from announcements, to the serving of drinks, (including the effects of wearing/removing my noise-reducing earphones), the snatches of conversations in different languages.....it would be rather cool to combine that in a piece of music (though we might leave out the poor guy who was suddenly taken ill in the middle of the flight). Wonder if anyone has done something like this? It would not need to be done in 'real time'....