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Presented by Liquid Architecture, Melbourne International Film Festival and ACMI

Michel Chion: The Audio-Spectator

Born in 1947, Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, historian and writer – and arguably the world's foremost thinker on sound in cinema.

In the 1970s he was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), the influential collective led by composer and theoretician Pierre Schaeffer dedicated to furthering the art of ‘musique concrète’ through experiments in audiovisual communication, audible phenomena and music in general. It was at the GRM that Chion composed arguably his most famous work, Requiem, a noisy and surreal deconstruction of the Funeral Mass made whilst pondering the “troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead.”

Since the 1980s, Chion has written extensively on the relationship of sound and image in the cinema, publishing in 1990 what many consider the definitive theoretical guide to the subject, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. In this momentous book, Chion advances a whole new lexicon for describing audio-visual concepts, via the works of Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard and others. On reading, film scholar Claudia Gorbman was moved to name him "a poet in theoretician's clothing."

Michel Chion’s visit to Australia for the first time is an historic and unlikely-to-be repeated occasion. Michel will present two events:

The Voice in Cinema Lecture

A performative lecture entitled The Voice in Cinema, tracing a history of the ‘acousmêtre’ – Chion’s term for the mysterious off-screen voice in cinema, through his own oeuvre and the works of Bresson, Lang, Syberberg, Spike Jonze and more.

Wednesday 16 August, 6pm at ACMI

The performance lecture is currently on Standby, and no tickets are available. 

The Audio-Spectator Concert

An epic two-and-a-half-hour concert for ten surround-speakers featuring the classic composition Requiem (1973) alongside two new audiovisual compositions, The Scream (2017), and Third Symphony (2016). For more contextual information on the concert, visit the MIFF blog, where Chion writes in depth about the three works he will be performing, including the world premiere of the musique concrète piece for two-track video-audio, Le Cri (The Scream).

Thursday 17 August, 6.30pm at ACMI