Michel Chion brings his cinema for the ear to GOMA


This month, QAGOMA welcomes French composer, filmmaker and theorist Michel Chion to Brisbane for two special live events on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August. Chion is the world’s foremost thinker on sound in cinema.

Michel Chion’s first visit to Australia is an historic and unlikely-to-be repeated occasion.

In the 1970s Chion was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, the influential collective dedicated to furthering the art of musique concrète through experiments in audio-visual communication, audible phenomena and music in general. During this time he composed his most famous work, Requiem, a noisy and surreal deconstruction of the funeral mass.

Michel Chion’s Requiem 1973 cover art
Michel Chion’s Requiem 1973 cover art
Composer and filmmaker Michel Chion, 1975
Composer and filmmaker Michel Chion, 1975

Since the 1980’s, Chion has written extensively on the relationship of sound and image in the cinema, publishing in 1990 what many consider the definitive guide to the subject, L’audio-vision: Son et image au cinema (1990). In this momentous book, Chion advances a whole new lexicon for describing audio-visual concepts, via the works of directors Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch and others.

Chion will present two events at the Gallery: a free performance lecture ‘The Voice in Cinema, or The Acousmêtre and Me’ and a ticketed concert ‘The Audio Spectator’ that will see the Australian Cinémathèque transformed into a performance in the round.

Michel Chion
Michel Chion

The Voice in Cinema, or the Acousmêtre and Me

6.00pm Friday 25 August 2017 | Free

Join us for the free performance lecture tracing a history of the ‘acousmêtre’ – Chion’s term for the mysterious off-screen voice in cinema, through his own oeuvre and the works of Robert Bresson, Fritz Lang, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Spike Jonze and more. Chion’s notes are available for the lecture.

Michel Chion: The Audio-Spectator

2.00pm Saturday 26 August 2017 | Ticketed

This epic two-and-a-half-hour concert in two parts for ten surround-speakers features Chion’s classic composition Requiem 1973 alongside new audio-visual composition Third Symphony 2016 and the world premiere of musique concrète piece The Scream 2017. Chion’s notes are available for the concert.


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Presented in partnership with Liquid Architecture and with the generous support of Institut français.