A conversation between a partially educated parrot and a machine


A performance for augmented gramophone and computer,
2023










Through the use of both original and digitalized birds recordings archives from the 1930’s, this performance explores the historical and sonic relationships between birds, humans and sound reproduction technologies.


In the late 19th century, Eldridge Johnson, head of Victor Records, said about the phonograph that it « sounded much like a partially educated parrot with a sore throat and a cold in the head” (Johnson, quoted in par Kenney, Recorded Music, 47). This is the same phonograph that Ludwig Koch used in 1889 to make the first recording of a bird in a zoo in Frankfurt. My aim was to unfold this comparison between an ill-behaved bird and a sound reproduction technology to tell a story where music is made together by historical and recent audio technologies, birds, and the humans that listen to them.


In A conversation between a partially educated parrot and a machine, I take turns interacting with ipads and a gramophone equipped with sensors. On the one hand, this emblematic historical audio technology reads the original shellac disks by Ludwig Koch in the 1930’s, on the other hand it becomes a physical interface sending data to live algorithmic processes.
The performance emphasizes on a dynamic back and forth between several kind of discourses (documentary, fictional, musical), technologies (computer and gramophone), and sounds (sounds of birds’ songs and sound reproduction artefacts).




Credits :
Research, Conception, Composition, Programming and Performance : Estelle Schorpp
Production support : La Biennale di Venezia - CIMM, Centro Informatico Musicale Multimedia
Main mentor : Miller Puckette
Mentors : Kyoka, Brigitta Munterdorf, Thiery Coduys, Oscar Pizzo, Gerfired Stocker, Ali Nikrang, Yoko Shimizu
Sound engeneering and diffusion : Thierry Coduys and Adrien Zanni
Light Design: Tommaso Zappon
Sound archives : BBC
All pictures Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia




 





© Lucio Fiorentino, Luca Gianfrancesco, Pasquale Sbarra. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

ANÉMOCHORIES

A series of wind-generated compositions
2021


Anémochories are a series of generative and/or interactive compositions controlled by the wind. Algorithmically conceived, the compositions unfold and adapt to different situations, places, devices, temporalities and formats of diffusion such as installation, acousmatic concert, or performance.

Wind is a meteorological phenomenon that plays several important roles in ecosystems. The one that interests me in particular is the phenomenon of anemochory, which is the dispersion of diaspores. This is the main mode of dispersal for about 90% of plant species. The wind disperses life.

Anémochories#1, the first iteration of the series was specifically conceived for the outdoor multichannel sound system of Art Center Sporobole, Sherbrooke, Canada. The generative composition uses wind force data to subtly vary sounds, structures and space. The overall aesthetic of this piece is an aesthetic of the "near-inaudible", thought for the transient place that is the street. The sound materials are subtly and plausibly integrated into the sound environment of the street and the structure slowly unfolds in time and space, playing with the threshold of perception. Like the wind that spreads the living without our knowledge, I propose a work that unfolds with or without us. Anémochories#1 was inspired by soundwalks around the city, and was meant to be a point of listening to an elusive landscape in its entirety.

Credits :
Research, Conception, Composition, Programming : Estelle Schorpp
Production : Sporobole, Hexagram




Exhibited :
2021 : Anémochories#1 was specifically created in June 2021 for the multiphonic sound system of La Vitrine of Art Center Sporobole in Sherbrooke, Canada.

It was also adapted to be streamed on the sound immersion platform “Déjà-vu”.

2022 :
It was also played in April 2022  for PULS III: Ljudbänken @ Skeppsholmen, Audiorama, Stokholm, SE.





ÉCOSYSTÈME(S)

self-interactive sound installation
2019



Écosystème(s) is a self-interactive sound installation inspired by the communication techniques of orthopteran insects. Placed on a listening desk, about twenty speakers of different models broadcast sound samples whose spectra and behaviours are inspired by bug songs. This device allows a global listening point of a sound microcosm. Thanks to two listening microphones and a trigger and threshold algorithmic system, each sample enters or disappears, depending on the « sonic space » it can occupy. The audience is thus taken into consideration and its sound presence modifies the behaviour of the environment that tries to find a balance. The form is vivid and unpredictable, in a hesitation between naturalist and artificial landscape, between chaotic sound swarms and formed patterns. It invites attentive listening and silence.

Credits :
Research, Conception, Composition, Programming : Estelle Schorpp
Device’s conception and realisation : Estelle Schorpp, Alexandre Mantha



Exhibited :
2021 :
FIMAV Edition 38, Sound Installations, Victoriaville, CA. 
MUTEK Forum Edition 7. Forum on current practices in digital creation, Hexagram Network, CA, MX, JP, AR.
Festival Ars Electronica Garden 2021, EMERGENC/Y Les Rencontres Interdisciplinaires d’Hexagram édition 21-22, AT.
2020 : “Formes d’ondes”, Gallery of the University of Montreal, CA.
2019 : Ultrasons Festival, Faculty of Music of Université de Montréal.

 






AJUSTEMENT(S)

Dance and sound performance
in collaboration with Juliette Francine Frenay
2019



This performance explores the possibilities of communication between two languages: movement and sound. Starting from the psychoacoustic phenomenon of beating, both performers initiate an intimate dialogue, an attempt to understand each other, to join, to adjust. Juliette’s curvature is accentuated, the beat is still audible. The body twists slowly while a descending melodic profile is heard in a slow panning from left to right Silence. Balance. Tension. Breaking point. The sound granulates and scatters. Juliette has fallen to the ground.

Ajustement(s) was specificaly created in 2019 for the group show “Finale”, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, FR.

Credits :
Research, Conception, Composition, Performance : Estelle Schorpp
Research, Conception, Movement : Juliette Francine Frenay


MANEKI-NEKO

electroacoustic composition
2018



The Maneki Neko (the inviting cat) is a spirit of fortune and happiness in the Japanese tradition.
In Maneki-Neko, I play with different patterns of bounces, suspensions, tumbles and rythms. These patterns follow one another quickly and linearly at the beginning, to evolve towards a more fragmented writing at the end. In an artificial and dreamlike universe, this music tries to be as agile, joyful and mocking as a jumping cat.


2019 :
Puls Concert #7, Sentralen, Oslo, NO.
Akousma@Mutek , Gesù, Montréal, CA.
2020:
Puls Concert #9, Finlandsinstitutet, Stokholm, SE.

2024:
Electrochoc#4, Akousma, Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, CA.