￼WALKING WITH YOUR EARS...
Pierre Redon makes art situated somewhere between the music of the spheres and ethno-social reality, between memory of past events and awareness of the immediate here and now. This intermediate state has become a distinctive style of expression, based on borrowing or reformatting impressions, recording the voices of people he meets on his journeys. Images, sound, music, topography, ethnography, walking, listening, observing, ecology, economics, politics and poetry, cultural traditions and utilitarian rationalism are all grist to his mill, all part of an examination of local customs, nature, rural and contemporary environments. The ground rock of this acoustic approach founded on sound and music, comes from practical experience devoid of formal preconceptions. Pierre Redon has known the Millevaches Plateau since boyhood and if today he sometimes plays at being a man of the hills, he does so in reaction to taking on the clichéd role of an artist. Refusing to be hemmed in by predetermined modes of production or ways of thinking he prefers to let personal experience nourish his art. Although his recent soundscape works are concerned with local communities and their environment, this should not be seen as a narrow vision, or rejection of the outside world but rather as an espousal of the dense and complex minutiae of our common experience of the world. At the very moment I write this article, Pierre Redon is far from his native Limousin, engaged in a project with communities in the Yemen and in Turkey. For the moment he has no pre-determined programme, just an urge to engage with other human lives and communities, perpetually sensitive to their surrounding landscapes and sounds, part of his specific aural approach to the environment that goes beyond mere political or ecological concerns.
Coming from a background in rock, electronic and improvised music, Pierre Redon has regularly collaborated with dancers and visual artists under the banner of the Oreille Électronique collective which he helped found and run between 1999 and 2004. This cross-disciplinary approach can be felt in much of his work today, involving not only sound but also drawing, film-making and since 2007, the creation of Sound Walks (or 'Marches Sonores' in French). The latter are both a significant development and natural consequence of previous work. Recorded voices and stories combine with ambient sound and music to create an atmosphere where documentary and sound composition mix and meld. The process implies considerable fieldwork, finding sites, interviewing local people, collecting sounds and then editing them before composing pieces and finally establishing a mechanism for the delivery of the finished recording. There is also the practical dimension of providing a physical trail for listeners/walkers to follow, complete with stopping points, way markers plus the participation and complicity of local inhabitants and municipal authorities. Any form of public art such as this requires social involvement of some sort. Here the raw material itself as well as the means used to express it are intimately linked with their human and topographical environment. As if to emphasise this, whether in the Vosges mountains, on the Millevache plateau or at Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, the walks all start at local tourist information or art centres.
Together with other hybrid forms, walking has now fully acquired the status of an art form, encompassing corporeal movement, purposeful journeying across urban or rural landscapes, or used as a measure of time or a suspended moment. Pierre Redon's Sound Walks provide the listener with a route map marked with a dozen or more interactive or symbolic stops, each an invitation to stand still or carry-on walking whilst listening to recordings on a portable player that accompanies the map.
Listening to the player while still immersed in the sounds around you immediately creates a double world familiar to all adepts of personal stereo systems ever since the advent of the Walkman. Muffled sounds outside the headphones mingle with voices or noises coming from within, adding another layer to the physical sensations of keeping your feet moving, following signposted paths, searching for external indicators, all the while aware of the rhythm of your breathing, muscles moving, pushing your body onward (none of the walks are too tiring, I hasten to add). Invisible voices and waves of atmospheric electro-acoustic sounds sharpen your senses, present reality telescoping into subjective distance as you listen to interviews with local inhabitants as they recount stories - nostalgic memories - concerning the things around you. These may be about local customs, farming practises, scavenging for plants, local oddities or souvenirs of urban, industrial or social life. For about a third of the circuit, listeners/walkers find themselves bathed in Pierre Redon's sound-world, which like augmented reality systems, induces a heightened state of consciousness though in this case without resorting to the sledgehammer of sophisticated technology.
Each Sound alk provides a genuine experience of the notion of soundscape as imagined by Raymond Murray Schafer and a host of writers, philosophers and artists (or as Pierre Redon would claim, as well as by many contemporary citizens). Aesthetic, didactic and critical issues conjoin here with local history and traditions, brought to life by a web of voices, memories and music in an open-ended form of artistic expression. Judging by Pierre Redon's next work, one that tackles the River Loire, this type of work can lead in many rich and surprising directions.
- 12/05 talk around Marches Sonores (Sound Walks) in Paris
symposium "for an anthropology of sound environments" organised by the collective group Milson at Beaux-Arts de Paris and Quai Branly museum. + more
- 1&2/05 screening of Miage at Trento Film Festival (it) - VF with italian subtitles + more
- Marche Sonore [EAU] #3 (third part of a Sound Walks series on water topic)
- Imaginaire du Caucase
in progess. It will be developpe in IZMiR (Tr) during 2011 in cross-residency program with K2 and la Pommerie)
23/09 à 14h30 at Bercy (Paris), sound creation and gardens #2 prensted by CDMC...
- Miage et sound creation workshop
selction for Doc'ouest film festival at Pléneuf-Val-André (22-Fr), screening : Miage and sound creation worshop.
- Worshop : territoiry, cartography & sound
in collaboration with the C.I.M. in Bar le Duc (55 - Fr)
- Worshop : territoiry, cartography & sound
for fine arts students from l'ENSA of Limoges/Aubusson (87)
- Talks / Au-délà du paysage. Marches Sonores : l’écologie humaine comme trame du sensible
ENSA Limoges/Aubusson fine arts school (87)
- Researche program « environnemental aesthetic »
Compared study between Paris and Montreal, in collaboration with researchers -Nathalie Blanc, Jacques Lolive, Suzanne Paquet- and art centres Béton Salon, Dare-Dare.
- Marches Sonores [EAU] #1 / #2 (fisrt and second part of a Sound Walks series on water topic)
in collaboration with Edmond Carrère - Faux-la-Montagne - Felletin (23 - FR)
produced by Quartier Rouge, Pays'Sage & Les Súurs Grées
documentairy Film co-directed with Edmond Carrère
produced by Pyramide Production & Les Soeurs Grées
- Marche Sonore Vestiges ou les fondements d'une cyberécologie
in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône (95-FR)
produced by abbaye de Maubuisson (95) & Musée de l'Education du Val-d’Oise
- Conférences / Au-délà du paysage. Marches Sonores : l’écologie humaine comme trame du sensible
Nanterre University (75 Paris - Fr) at L.A.D.Y.S.S. laboratory organised by Nathalie Blanc
National school of architecture in Clermont-Ferrand (63 - FR)
_Talks : Les Marches Sonores
abbaye de Maubuisson (95 - Fr), Le centre du son (38 - Fr), centre culturel de terrasson (24 - Fr)
_Music for film
La Petite Russie directed by Patrick Séraudie
produced by Pyramide Production (87 - FR)
sound and visual Installation in collaboration with François Martig
produced in residency at la Pommerie (19-FR)
_Marche Sonore au Markstein (Markstein sound walk)
produced by : PNR des Ballons des Vosges (68), Festival Plein les Sens, Syndicat mixte du Markstein
_Sound and documentary instalation
around Peter Handke's text
produced by : Traverses et les Maynats, à Bagnère de Bigorre (65-fr)
_Music for film
Une Histoire Galicienne directed by Patrick Séraudie
produced by Pyramide Production2006
scenario writing in collaboration with Edmond Carrère. A film based on social mutations and the identity crisis linked to the development of the tourism industry in one of the Alpine Valley (France).
produced by Pyramide Productio, TV8 mont Blanc, Image+, Les Soeurs Grées.
_Sound and documentary instalation
In Campam (65 - FR) with Edmond Carrère, Jean De Boysson et Alexandre Kittel
_Talks about landscape music
Festival Musique Inventive d’Annecy
(sound sculpture) for the festival Jazz à Luz (65)
_Workshop around soundscape
for Jazz à Luz Saint Sauveur (65)
_solo Concert & performance with Christine Quoiraud
Point Ephémère - Paris
concert with Jef Sicard, Fabien Bourdier et Miguel Arcos
Jardins des Voluptés – Paris
_Concert with Etsuko Chida (Koto, voice - Japan)
Festival Co-lab - Teatro Aberto in Porto (Pt)
_Residency with Etsuko Chida (Koto, voice - Japan)
La Pommerie (19-Fr)
_creation with the dutch bass player Luc Ex
C.C.M. Jean Gagnant in Limoges (Fr)
La Maroquinerie - Paris
_Interview in Tapage Nocturne de Bruno Letort
France Musique – Paris
Festival Plein les Sens / Jazz à Mulhouse (68-FR)
with the performer Marc Guillerot and the sculptor Jean-Pierre Valette Festival Urbaka Limoges (87)
Creation with Marc guillerot, Jllj’s reeds, Pierre Lasternas, MA-DSR et VJ Telmat around W.S. Burroughs's works / C.C.M. John Lennon Limoges (87-Fr)
_concert with Marc Guillerot and toy.bizarre
for Apo 33 at Pannonica in Nantes (FR)
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