℗ Nous les Vagues

Contemporary Theater

  • Title: Nous les Vagues
  • Director: Matthieu Roy
  • Collaboration: Computer Music Design, Education, Sound Design, Research and Development
  • Text: Mariette Navarro
  • Sound Board: Baptiste Poulain
  • With: Philippe Canales and Johanna Silberstein
  • Duration : 20 minutes
  • World Premier: Manifeste2012, Centquatre, Paris, 27-29 Juin 2012
  • more info
  • You can see the whole piece by following this link

Nous les vagues is an experimental theater piece where many voice processing effect have been designed. The piece can be divided into three parts, each part corresponding to a different meanings of the subject “we” (“nous” in French).

The first part corresponds to the constitution of a group: room to the black, both comedians are behind the curtain and their voices are transformed in real time into multiple characters and placed differently in the audience area (eight loudspeakers around the public). In every sentence/words of the comedians corresponds a different place with a different speaker identity. These changes were written in studio in a well settled score. From the point of view of the sound engineer, this part, over a duration of 6 min, counts 136 “go” which must be synchronous in the phoneme – a real nightmare for the sound engineer. Furthermore, as the process accelerates to pass of the sentence in the word, an increasing number of voices (previously produced) provides the feeling that a crowd is growing up. At the end, we (audience and sound engineer) can’t anymore distinguish what is said in real time from what has been previously recorded. So the only solution for the sound engineer to follow the comedians was to use a very young technology called: the SpeechFollower.

In the second part, curtain is up, and the “we” relies on two people making a political meeting. The crowd remains but is interactively controlled by the voice of the comedians, using a special side-chain compressor that I developed to metaphorically show how politicians make “waves” (“vagues” in French), by their talks.

In the third and last part, “we” becomes universal and we wanted to produce an anonymous and seducing voice. As many research paper claims that the most seducing voice of face arise from an average of all humanity, I develop a special effect that make a cross synthesis on the two comedian’s voices (man and woman). They had to speak aloud the same text together in a perfect synchronicity, which was a good actor’s exercise as they said. The result is a strange, weird voice that can metaphorically be related to anonymity.

You can see the whole piece by following this link.