“Can you imagine a sound inside you head?” video of the perception-music-game “Experientia” Come along and play with your senses!

Music & text: Phivos-Angelos Kollias
Conducted by Maxime Pascal
Narrator-Communicator Damien Bigourdan

for 10 musicians, communicator and the active perception premièred by Le Balcon ensemble, Church of Saint-Merri, Paris

Experientia is as a chamber music theatre work, a musical game with the auditor’s awareness.

The voice is interacting with the audience’s perception, introducing every auditor individually inside his own uniquely personal experience. This is done by playing a game with the auditor, a game that suggests the main idea of the piece. As the voice sais: “The game is simple: I give you a sound and you create your meaning. Or I give you a word and you will create your sound.” Asking the auditor to close his eyes, providing him with a purely ‘acousmatic’ experience while leading the processes of the experience.

Playing with the idea that every auditor addresses his proper meanings, his own symbols, his personal representation of the work’s experience. We play with the idea of the work as a ‘self-referential experience’ – a labyrinth, which will include the content of the auditor’s mind. A construction in which the composer will guide the auditor towards the characteristics of his choice, while the auditor will choose the course of his journey.

program notes
The fields of experience are vast and their limits reach to infinity. You have already walked your own road inside these fields. You have curved this road with your own steps. You may have walked though prosperous valleys …crossed wild rivers …been lost in dark forests …or flourishing gardens. And now you arrive in front of this building. A building you are about to enter. You may open the front door and just stay at the entrance hall, leave everything untouched, just walk back. But you may dare to get deeper inside the building, look around, search below the old wooden furniture, go down at the basement, move up at the attic, explore through forgotten dusty boxes. And after looking and searching, you may find something exceptional for you, something hidden behind an ancient mirror. I have conceived this building for you. And you are about to experience it.

Considering the piece as a big construction of interacting ideas, the inspirations are many and this creation is the emerging result of their interactions. On the first corner there is the philosophical tendency of constructivism, advocating that everyone creates his own reality by interacting with the ‘common’ reality. On the second corner, there is the communicational element of Milton Erickson and neuro-linguistic programming, a model of human experience made by linguistic theories, systems theories and different psychological techniques. On a third corner there is Xenakis’ hypothesis of second order sonorities, that if we consider sound, as we consider light, made of numerous small chunks, then from a number of given sonorities we can create new emerging sonorities — like from the collection of small dots of simple colours a complex pointillist painting emerges. On a fourth corner there is magic artistry, and in particular Derren Brown; the direct connection a magician has with his audience, how he creates a whole unique experience although everyone knows that it is just a trick. And of course last but not list, in the final corner there is ‘playing’, the never-ending lust to play and acquire new experiences through a game.

Musicians: Julie Brunet-Jailly, flute Romy Bischoff, clarinet Julien Abbes, bassoon Benjamin Locher, French horn Pierre Maestra, Joseph Birnbaum, violins Aurélie Deschamps, viola Askar Ishangaliyev, cello Alain Muller, piano Benoît Bourlet, percussion

cameras: Victoria Donnet, Stefano Forlini
video editing: Stefano Forlini, Phivos-Angelos Kollias
technical direction: Florent Derex
electronic music realisation: Augustin Muller
sound technician: Baptiste Chouquet
musical script: Pedro Garcia-Velasquez, Aurélie Martin
general management: Baptiste Joxe
lights: Damien Valade
stage and light management: Angélique Baert
costumes: Pascale Lavandier