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Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. Music by Chance

Author: Luisa Bernal

Section: LAB

Date: 05.2011

 

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (1961) trained as a musician at National Conservatory of Nice, but didn’t take long to distance himself from the academic formalism instilled by the institution and set up his own home studio, beginning to experiment and discovering that he liked the elements from the surrounding environment that crept into his recordings by chance.

Perhaps this was the starting point of a collection of works in which, thanks to the use of amplifiers, these sounds sparked by the coincidence of daily life go from being the support act to taking centre stage and stealing the show.

In line with this this approach, Céleste pursues various objectives ranging from ‘making a new kind of music using classical instruments’, or contemplating the potential hidden behind the routine activity of the objects around us, or extending the number of existing instruments: microphones act as musical devices, hoovers play the harmonica, and birds become first-class performers creating atmospheres that the audience has never experienced before.

 

Harmonichaos

 

With these ingredients in mind, it’s not surprising that the artist isn’t bothered about dominating the final result: ‘You don’t have to control the process to make music, you can leave many variables open and in this way, a far more interesting and complex experience arises than one you’ve tried to create voluntarily. This experience most certainly holds a three-dimensional nature where the space becomes a filter’.

 

Scanner

 

But how do you go from composition and musical experimentation and to the exhibition of the pieces in Art galleries? Céleste tells us that this evolution was preceded by a reflection triggered when he observed that many of his visual artist friends enjoyed a privilege that musicians usually lack: they could finish a sculpture and take a step back and observe it from another perspective. ‘My music has no beginning or end, so it lets people come and go as they please, and stay however long they want to listen. It’s closer to real life’.

 

Les Pianos Pleyel

 

If you didn’t get the chance to enjoy From here to ear last 2010 within the collective exhibition On&On at La Casa Encendida, maybe you’ll feel like visiting the exhibition he has just opened at the EMPAC in New York.

 

From here to ear

 

From here to ear (v. 13)

 

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