Michel Chion (b.1947) is a composer, filmmaker, historian and writer – and arguably the world's foremost thinker on sound in cinema.
In the 1970s he was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), the influential collective led by composer and theoretician Pierre Schaeffer dedicated to furthering the art of 'musique concrète' through experiments in audiovisual communication, audible phenomena and music in general. It was at the GRM that Chion composed arguably his most famous work, 'Requiem', a noisy and surreal deconstruction of the Funeral Mass made whilst pondering the "troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead."
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 theoretical 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 Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard and others. On reading, film scholar Claudia Gorbman was moved to name him "a poet in theoretician's clothing."
Michel Chion's first visit to Australia is an historic and unlikely-to-be repeated occasion. Michel will present two events: a free performative lecture entitled 'The Voice in Cinema', tracing a history of the 'acousmêtre' – Chion's term for the mysterious offscreen voice in cinema, through his own films, and the works of Bresson, Lang, Syberberg, Spike Jonze and more. Chion will also present an epic two and a half hour ticketed concert for ten surround-speakers featuring the classic composition 'Requiem' (1973) alongside two new audiovisual compositions, 'The Scream' (2017) and 'Third Symphony' (2016).
Lecture Performance: The Voice in Cinema, or The Acousmêtre and Me 6.00pm Friday 25 August (90 minutes) | Free, no bookings required
Concert: The Audio-Spectator 2.00pm Saturday 26 August (150 minutes) | Ticketed