La vie mécanique

Åke Parmerud

La vie mécanique has been performed in Bourges, Brussels, Cagliari, Cologne, Corfu, Lugano, Manchester, Montréal, São Paulo, Seia, Sheffield and Utrecht…

La vie mécanique is an acousmatic composition dedicated to the world of sounds emanating from mechanical machines and tools. Living in a modern Western society today means that you are more or less constantly exposed to sounds that are the result of human inventions. It seems that for every little thing meant to make our lives more comfortable there is yet another noise added to the acoustic environment in which we live. In a sense, composing this work was a way of exorcising the madness of the sound pollution surrounding us everyday.

La vie mécanique is also a sonic comment on the idea of living matter as an “organic machine.” The body (so far unsuccessfully) viewed as a structure that may be deconstructed into increasingly smaller units and finally explained as a very sophisticated robot. The piece is built, using only sounds from various kinds of machinery (mechanical, electrical, etc.), as a kind of storyline describing the birth, death and rebirth of a mechanical life structure. The piece also, in a sense, alludes to the birth and death of aesthetic values connected to the use of machines as tools for making music.

Starting off in a style of electroacoustics, building through the increasing use of repetition and rhythm, ending in a style reminiscent of electronica or techno, this piece marks a kind of “rite of passage,” at least for me personally as a composer raised in the modernistic tradition.

[iv-15]


La vie mécanique [The Mechanical Life] was realized in 2004 at the Charybde studio of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and premiered on June 10, 2005 during the Synthèse festival (Bourges, France). The piece was commissioned by the IMEB. La vie mécanique was awarded one of the Special Prizes at the Giga-Hertz-Preis 2008 (Karlsruhe, Germany).

Premiere

  • June 10, 2005, Synthèse 2005: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)

Awards

Details

5.1-channel fixed medium

Calendar

Broadcasts

Date Work Program
July 1, 2015 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) Radio Horizon 93.9 (South Africa)
August 31, 2015 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) O Domínio dos Deuses / Rádio Universitária do Minho (Portugal)
September 25, 2015 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) The Sound Projector Radio Show: Growlers / Resonance 104.4 FM (UK)
October 2, 2015 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) Daniel Blumin: Hexagonal Weatherman / WFMU 91.1 FM (USA)
October 19, 2015 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) O Domínio dos Deuses / Rádio Universitária do Minho (Portugal)
June 9, 2016 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) Martian Gardens / TaintRadio (USA)
June 10, 2016 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) Martian Gardens / WXOJ-LP 103.3 (USA)
June 16, 2016 Åke Parmerud, La vie mécanique (2004) Martian Gardens / TaintRadio (USA)

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