Sonic Arts


70th anniversary of Musique Concrète

  • Date: 10 July 2018
  • Time: 20:00
  • Location: Corfu, Greece
  • Venue: Ionian Academy

Curation: Theodoros Lotis


Pierre Schaeffer: Étude aux chemins de fer (1948)

Nikos Stavropoulos: Ballistichory (2015) 7:19’

Pierre Schaeffer: Étude aux tourniquets (1948)

Francesco Giomi: Alla Carta (2011) 4:50’

Pierre Schaeffer: Étude violette (piano recordings: P. Boulez) (1948).

Manuella Blackburn: Switched On (2011) 8’

Pierre Schaeffer: Étude noire (piano recordings: P. Boulez) (1948).

Mike Vernusky (music) / Daniel Maldonado (film): Episode 21: The Hidden. (2012) 11’

Pierre Schaeffer: Étude pathétique (1948)

Pierre Schaeffer: Études de bruits

Cinq études de bruits (Five Studies of Noises) is a collection of musical compositions by Pierre Schaeffer. The five études were composed in 1948 and are the earliest pieces of musique concrète, a form of electroacoustic music that utilises recorded sounds as a compositional resource. The five études were composed at the studio Schaeffer established at RTF. The works were premiered via a broadcast on 5 October 1948, titled Concert de bruits. (

Amongst the vast range of works and projects he undertook, Schaeffer is most widely and currently recognized for his accomplishments in electronic and experimental music, at the core of which stands his role as the chief developer of a unique and early form of avant-garde music known as musique concrète. The genre emerged in Europe from the utilization of new music technology developed in the post-Nazi Germany era, following the advance of electroacoustic and acousmatic music.

N. Stavropoulos: Ballistichory

1st prize at the Open Circuit 2016 International Electroacoustic Competition / Mention at Foundation Destellos – VIII° Competition in Electroacoustic music. The title of the work refers to a mode of seed dispersal. Fracturing of the seed pod releases stored elastic energy into kinetic energy launching its contents. The term reflects musical processes as well as timbral qualities of the work . .The events portrayed in this piece are fictitious, and any resemblance to real events, past, present, or future, is entirely coincidental but highly probable.

Nikos Stavropoulos was born in Athens in 1975. He is a composer of primarily acousmatic music and his work has been awarded mentions and prizes at international competitions (Bourges, 2000,2002, Metamorphose, Brussels 2002, SCRIME, Bordeaux 2003, Musica Miso, Potrugal, 2004, Metamorphose, Brussels 2008, Punto de Encuentro Canarias International Electroacoustic Composition Competition 2009). Other interests include the performance practice of electroacoustic music, diffusion systems and teaching music and music technology. He is a member of the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association and in 2006 he joined the Music, Sound & Performance Group at Leeds Metropolitan University.

F. Giomi: Alla Carta (Recorded voice: Loredana Terminio).

“Alla carta” is an Italian kitchen-based soundscape composition. Its contents start both from some sounds of “cooking” taken from an important restaurant near Florence and from the sonic appeal of the reading of one of its real menus. The piece is therefore a small portrait of Tuscany from the view of one of its main and famous activity.

F. Giomi is a Composer and sound projectionist. He is interested in live electronic music and acousmatic music. In the last year he has collaborated with several musicians as David Moss, Uri Caine, Jim Black, Sonia Bergamasco, Jonathan Faralli, Elio Martusciello, Giovanni Nardi and Francesco Canavese, also by founding the SDENG duo and the ZUM trio projects for electroacoustic music improvisation.

From 2001 to 2011 he regularly collaborated with the Italian choreographer Virgilio Sieni; from 2013 he works together with the Italian dancers/coreographer Simona Bertozzi. In 2003 and 2009 he obtained commissions for new musical works from GRM of Paris. In 2007 he won the International Rostrum of Electroacoustic Music held in Lisbon while in 2011 he has been one of the winners of the Europe Sound Panorama Workshop at ZKM in Karlsruhe . His works are regularly performed in festivals and concerts all over the world.

He is professor of Electronic Music at the Music Conservatory in Bologna; he is also director of Tempo Reale, the centre for music research based in Florence, where he has strictly collaborated with Luciano Berio and other relevant composers, musicians, choreographers and directors besides orchestras and ensembles in Italy and abroad.

In 2016 he has been appointed as director of the music section of the Estate Fiesolana festival.

Manuella Blackburn: Switched On

This piece began by exploring the sounds of switches, dials and buttons collected from my home and place of work. A particularly interesting sound was sourced from turning on an old TV, which ignited a series of high frequency pitches and crackling static flutters before eventually powering on. Lower transpositions of this sound revealed a usually inaudible collection of electronic-like frequencies that feature throughout the work. Together with this the switch sounds, being very short in duration, are clustered into intricate groupings, cascades and explosive flourishes. In addition to these aspects, I was particularly drawn to the concepts of inanimate object powering up from moments of inactivity, and surging electricity running and humming through circuitry. Switched on was realized in 2011 at Liverpool Hope University (England, UK) and completed at the EMS (Stockholm, Sweden) and premiered on June 10, 2011 during the MANTIS “Sonic Meta-Ontology 2” Festival at The University of Manchester (England, UK). Thanks to Lynn Holland and David Lewis for their help and extensive switch hunting in the Art Department of Liverpool Hope University (England, UK), and Andrew Hall for his valued sound contribution. Switched on was finalist for the Gaudeamus Prize 2012 and was awarded First prize in the annual Metamorphosis competition, Brussels, 2012.

Manuella Blackburn is an electroacoustic music composer who specializes in acousmatic music creation. She has also composed for instruments and electronics, laptop ensemble improvisations, and music for dance. She studied Music at The University of Manchester (England, UK), followed by a Masters in Electroacoustic Composition. She became a member of Manchester Theatre in Sound (MANTIS) in 2006 and completed a PhD at The University of Manchester with Ricardo Climent in 2010. Manuella Blackburn has worked in residence in the studios of EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Art Centre, New York) Miso Music (Lisbon, Portugal), EMS (Stockholm, Sweden), Atlantic Centre for the Arts (Florida, USA), and Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo, Japan). Her music has been performed at concerts, festivals, conferences and gallery exhibitions in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the USA. Manuella Blackburn has received a number of international awards and prizes for her acousmatic music including: First Prize in the 7th Métamorphoses Acousmatic Composition Competition, (Musiques et Recherches, Brussels 2012), First Prize in Musica Nova, (Czech Republic 2014), Grand Prize in the Digital Art Awards (Fujisawa, Japan, 2007), First Prize in the 7th and 10th Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Lisbon, Portugal, 2006, ’09), 3rd Prize in the Diffusion Competition (Ireland, 2008), Public Prize in the Concurso Internacional de Composição Eletroacústica (CEMJKO, Brazil, 2007) and Honorary Mentions in the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) competition (Morelia, Mexico, 2008) and in the Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’07, Brazil). She is currently Senior Lecturer in Music at Liverpool Hope University.

Mike Vernusky (music) / Daniel Maldonado (film): Episode 21: The Hidden.

The Hidden is an ascent to a veiled landscape that continuously shifts between light and shadow, emergence and deformation, repose and departure. Obscured shapes of sound morph across ambient environments while astronauts emerge with amputees in abandoned religious theme parks.

Commissioned for the occasion of the MATA Festival in NYC, Episode 21: The Hidden oscillates in the space between texture and perception and seeks to push the boundaries of dimensional phenomena through disparate worlds and hyperreal contexts. The music was created using manipulated field recordings, orchestral instruments, vintage analog synths, voice, and the treatment of noise as a dynamic instrument. Performative materials were derived from six performers recorded across a variety of spaces, and environmental material was captured during my travels across the US and Mexico.

I invited hand-filmmaker Daniel Maldonado into this process to continue asking questions of perception and its relationship to analog and digital environments. Film footage was captured on super8 and 16mm celluloid, and altered by the filmmaker using paints, chemicals and hand processing techniques. A brief section also includes the use of digital video and green screening.

Mike Vernusky creates music for live performance, radiophonic sound, theatre and film. His works have been described as ‘brash’… New York Times, ‘isolationist’ … The Wire, ‘especially otherworldly’ … New Music USA, ‘strange & intriguing’ … by Exclaim, and ‘étonnante’ by EtherReal France. He has received awards from MATA, ASCAP, Atlantic Center for the Arts,The Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts, and Meet the Composer.

Vernusky holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and Mercyhurst University. He is an alum of the WordBridge Playwrights Laboratory in Baltimore, where he worked in an interdisciplinary environment of directors, actors, dramaturgs, playwrights, mathematicians, behavioral scientists, storytellers, and improvisation artists. His past teachers & mentors have included William Duckworth, Denis Smalley, and Francisco López.