Interview by Jack Chuter on ATTN:MAGAZINE UK

02186-02193 b 100light


Tell me about your philosophy/event series, immersound. It’s fantastic to see that sound is being presented in an environment where every aspect of the experience is taken into consideration (lighting, sound reproduction, physical comfort etc). How and why did the series begin? How is the space itself optimised for the listener experience?

The series began following a lengthy reflection on the listening process of audio art within the framework of public presentations. Experiences I encountered, both as a sound artist and member of the public during various audio art performances, led me to realize that a proper context of presentation for minimal sound art was clearly needed. I set out to create an event in which I would like to perform in, one dedicated to the listening environment by focusing on the physical comfort of the audience through a specifically designed space. My premise for immersound-immerson was simple:  if people are physically uncomfortable, they are not in a state “to receive” challenging, minimal sound art; if they are comfortable, they will be more receptive.

I consulted with Stéphane Claude, Head of Research of the media lab’s audio sector at the artist centre Oboro, where immersound-immerson has been held annually since 2011. I shared my thoughts about having the audience lying down and we decided to use a 6.1 surround sound system and 26 zafutons (Japanese style cushions) specifically made for the event, in order to transform the space into an intimate listening room.

The zafutons are placed on the floor inside a perimeter defined by the speakers which are set up around the room low to the floor, using special stands that enable their positioning at an angle toward ear level. A “shower” of small speakers hangs from the ceiling in order to create a continuous multidirectional movement in constant flux. Only the speakers are lit by low intensity blue ceiling lighting, dimmed at the beginning of the performance.

I find it very important to set the right mood for the evening. I have people waiting outside of the concert space when they arrive, as a playlist created for the event unfolds in the background. The atmosphere is quite relaxed and gives people a chance to wind down from their day as well as creates anticipation for the event. When all is ready, I bring 2 – 3 people at the time through this dimly blue lit anti chamber where, for a moment, they are literally in between 2 worlds,  this enables me to draw them in so that, at the moment they enter the space, their mood is already set.


Such an emphasis on listening environment brings me back to thoughts on your most recent record, The Illusion Of Infinitesimal. The nature of your sounds – delicate, low in volume – evoke an awareness of my own listening space and the noise within it. Is there any particular reason behind your preference for quieter constructions?

The decision to move towards quieter dynamics and constructions happened gradually as I began questioning myself musically and I felt no longer challenged. One moment in particular stands out, while listening to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, it occurred to me that I may have been looking at this all wrong. I thought of a staff and notes and wondered: “what if it’s not the notes that create music, but the spaces between the notes, the rests and silences?” I applied this concept to my approach in programming sounds, it subsequently led me to minimal sound art, which, in turn, led to a new-found interest in science, quantum physics, the elegant universe, and the tiny world of particle science.

I discovered that presenting quieter works engages the listener in a different manner regarding their listening habits. Quieter dynamics does confront one to one’s act of listening, perhaps there is a need to re-educate ourselves. We often listen now while being busy doing many different things. I am hoping to make people stop and listen, simply listen.

Do you have a personal favourite space in which to listen to The Illusion Of Infinitesimal (that is, if you listen back to your own work at all)? For me, the record struck its most potent connection when I listened on headphones in one of empty meeting rooms at work, long after everyone else had gone home.

I am more inclined to listen to the work I am currently involved in rather than past works.  However, I did spend a lot of time listening to The Illusion Of Infinitesimal during the mastering phase. These were very “concentrated listening” sessions taking place in my studio.

Is there a particular set of circumstances (time, location, disposition) that you find optimum for composing your music?

Part of the liner notes I wrote for Valence on LINE convey my state of mind best: “my compositions start with a feeling or emotional state. There is a likelihood of finding a certain emotion in a piece, but it is not guaranteed, nor do I know exactly when or where I will find it. The act of looking for that emotion in of itself will distort it.” This still holds true today.

My studio is my place of choice for programming sounds and composing. All that is important to me relating to music and art is in this room. I have my equipment, gear, monitors, my father’s old 35m camera, projector and editing table. The walls are painted neutral grey in order to minimize distractions. Only one print on the wall facing me, Mono.Poly.Chr Print by Richard Chartier, based on his designs for the 2 double cd releases on LINE by Bernhard Günter. This print is a solid grounding force.

You were recently involved in Quark: How Does The Invisible Sound?, which came out last month. Can you tell me about your own contribution? How did you find the experience of using the Cconfin software?

Quark’s approach was defined by its creators, Fabio Perletta (farmacia901) and Ennio Mazzon, Cconfin (custom software).

The project is based on the intent of exploring the possible inter-relationship between sound and the invisible, strictly related to science and physics.

I was thrilled to participate in this project, it enabled me to delve deeper into areas of science I have been interested in. Cconfin, the software, is inspired by elementary particles interactions and a physical phenomenon known as Colour Confinement, the software defined the guidelines for programming sounds.  I managed to explore melodic textures to create a work that holds a visibility that is not quite discernible.

You refer to your pieces as “sound sculpture” in your website biography. I’ve spoken to a number of other artists who perceive their work as “sculptural”, although the interpretation of the term has been different on each occasion. How is your approach to your work informed by your perception of it as “sculpture”?

If I may start with a small parallel, an architect creates works that occupies a space, I would say I create sculptures that fit in the flow of time and perception. The environment architecturally shapes the pieces and how they will be heard. In installation and concert works for instance, I may position speakers in specific ways to respond to the architecture therefore creating a sound sculpture without it being an object. It is about presenting a work that is much different that what one hears, dependent on one’s placement.

You also put together a wonderful sonic self-portrait for our livingvoid compilation. Can you tell me about your own interpretation of the term “self-portrait”, particularly in a sonic context?

For me, the term self-portrait elicits feelings of awkwardness and artistic nudity.  In finding that nudity, as painful as it may be, I began by peeling away superfluous layers of sounds in order to uncover their true essence. The time limit imposed by the project led me to apply this notion of “removal” to both sound and time simultaneously.

What’s next for you? 

Following The Illusion of Infinitesimal on Baskaru, the vinyl album sans repères is being released in Japan on the new popmuzik label in the spring- early summer.  In late May, I will present a concert at Manif d’Arts, part of Guérilla du bruit series in Quebec city, and the world premiere concert version of sans repères at EM15 (ELEKTRA MUTEK 15) in Montreal.

In June, I am presenting immerson 6, and after, I will be off to Italy for 2 concerts and residencies being held respectively by Portobeseno festival in Trentino, and Liminaria 2014 (Interferenze festival) in the Fortore region. I will return to Italy in August to play at Flussi Festival. Another tour in Japan as well is in the works later in 2014 or early 2015.

Finally, a new collaborative audio/visual project entitled “Mirror Neurons”:

Sound : France Jobin and Fabio Perletta,

video by xx+xy visuals.

You can view a short promo here :



Review – The Illusion of Infinitesimal – (Baskaru) 2014 – Déphasage – Objets Sonores Non Identifiés


The Illusion of infinitesimal on Baksaru 027 – 2014

Diffusion: Déphasage – Soundcloud

J’ai poursuivi dans l’infiniment petit avec France Jobin et justement « The Illusion of Infinitesimal », sortie récemment sur le label français Baskaru en compagnie de celles de Laurent Perrier et de Yoshio Machida, que je vous ai déjà diffusé. Cette musique donc microscopique, est presque à la taille de l’atome, et tout comme lui on sait qu’il est là mais on ne le perçoit presque pas, presque, oui, puisque tout ce que l’on voit est constitué d’atomes. C’est donc une présence suggérée qui le défini, tout comme la musique de France Jobin, qui est bien là dans nos oreilles sans que l’on s’en rende compte. Ce silence qui n’en est pas un, mais il n’existe pas de vrai silence, de véritable vide, l’atome est là, les sons sont là. Cette qualité est celle qui fait aussi la musique de France Jobin, qui après avoir été pianiste de blues dans les années 80 revient à la musique en partant de presque rien. Effectivement, elle a réussi à abstraire un nombre incalculable d’élements pour en arriver à ce dépouillement surprême. N’ayez pas peur à l’écoute si le volume vous paraît anormalement bas, c’est bien le volume auquel elle souhaite que vous entendiez sa musique. Un bel afront aux volumes archi-élévés encore, qui eux sont hors-normes pour le coup, des grosses productions qui souhaitent seulement s’extirper du bruit ambiant, mais jamais ne réclame votre attention si particulière et si fine, ce qu’elles ne sont pas par ailleurs, cela va de pair.

Review – The Illusion of Infinitesimal – (Baskaru) 2014 – skug – AT

The Illusion of Infinitesimal on Baksaru 027 – 2014

Die Wüste von Sonora, das ist also auch die Frage: Wann hat das angefangen mit diesen Klangflächen, mit diesen ambientartigen Soundskulpturen, mit dieser Erstarrung in sphärischer Schönheit, mit diesem Zwischenreich zwischen Anspruch und Meditation? Ein absolutes Meisterinnenstück in dieser Hinsicht ist etwa die CD »The Illusion Of Infinitesimal« der Französin France Jobin, die sich vor vielen Jahren als Blues-Keyboarderin verdingte, dabei aber offenbar immer mehr in das Reich der minimalistischen Sphärik abgedriftet ist. In »The Illusion Of Infinitesimal« ist dieses Reich dahingehauchter denn je, schwebende Synthiesounds ziehen am Hörer bzw. der Hörerin vorbei wie Nebelhörner an einem esoterischen Massagesalon. Dass hier auch noch »recorded sounds« eine Rolle spielen sollen, vernimmt man mit erstarrtem Erstaunen. Oder erstaunter Erstarrung. Je nachdem. Ist das noch Kunst, fragt man sich, oder doch eher ein akustischer Meditationsausflug? In exakt dieselbe Kerbe schlagen der Texaner Will Long und der Deutsche Christoph Heemann.

Live May.29.2014 – EM15 Play 1 @ Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal salle BWR

EM15 – PLAY 1

The depths of Montréal’s sound-art spectrum submerge all who enter the exemplary PLAY 1, where radical experimenters astound with enchanted circuitry, found sounds and feedback, rendering music sensually physical in the bold strokes of live painting, contemporary dance and large-screen abstractions.

France Jobin will present the world premiere of  ”sans repères“. Created entirely with actual field recordings gathered while on tour in Japan, “sans repères” explores the possibilities brought forth in the absence of absolute points of reference.

Photo – Eri Makita  

May 29, 2014
22:00 – 02:00

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal – Salle BWR
185 Ste-Catherine St. Ouest
Montréal, Canada

Live May 28.2014 – Manif d’ART7 – Guérilla – Unis par le bruit – United by sound



Commissaire: Érick d’Orion

La série Guérilla : unis par le bruit consiste en une lecture sonore et cinématographique de la thématique de la septième édition de Manif d’art.

/// La série est présentée dans le cadre de la MANIF D’ART 7, du 28 au 31 mai au Le Cercle ///

/// 28 mai ///

19h: Projection / performances
Dominic Gagnon (Montréal)

19h30: Performances sonores
Martin Tétreault (Montréal) France Jobin (Montréal) Etienne Baillargeon (Lévis)

/// 29 mai ///

19h: Projection / performances
Dominic Gagnon

19h30: Performances sonores
Alexis Bellavance (Montréal) Nataliya Petkova (Québec) Nicolas Jobin (Québec)

/// 30 mai ///

19h: Projection / performances
Dominic Gagnon

19h30: Performances sonores
Erin Sexton (Montréal) Christof Migone (Toronto) K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O. (Alexandre Saint-Onge, Jonathan Parant, Alexander Wilson) (Montréal)

/// 31 mai* ///

19h30: Performances sonores
Steve Bates (Montréal) et Seijiro Murayama (Japon) / untitled (a resistance against capitalist improvised music)

* Avec la participation spéciale de la direction artistique du Cercle.

DATES : Les 28, 29, 30 et 31 mai
HEURE : 19h00 PILE!
Avec macaron : 10$ pour un soir ou 30$ pour les 4 soirs

Sans macaron : 12$ pour un soir ou 40$ pour les 4 soirs

Sortant de leur confort esthétique, les artistes invités explorent de nouvelles sphères de création. Ils livrent une interprétation toute personnelle des concepts de résistance et de collectivité au cours de performances audio complexes, inédites, sans compromis, où la recherche sonore, autant bruitiste que minimaliste, devient un vecteur de pensée.

Initié par le commissaire Érick d’Orion, le projet est le fruit d’une réflexion sur les différents types de résistance : historique, physique, politique, etc. Chaque performance nourrit un questionnement sur ces concepts et offre au public l’occasion de les approfondir en échangeant avec les créateurs. La série Guérilla : unis par le bruit est donc une invitation à la réflexion dans un contexte qui dépasse le cadre du simple spectacle.