Michel Chion: The Voice in Cinema, or The Acousmêtre and Me


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Pioneering composer, filmmaker, historian and writer Michel Chion is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on sound in cinema. Join Chion for a lecture-performance at Auckland Art Gallery followed by an epic multi-channel concert at the Auckland Unitarian Church the following evening.

In this specially commissioned lecture-performance, Chion traces a history of the ‘acousmêtre’ – his term for the mysterious off-screen voice in cinema – through his own oeuvre, and the works of Robert Bresson, Fritz Lang, Hans-Jugen Syberberg, Spike Jonze and more.

A Liquid Architecture project in partnership with Audio Foundation, AUT and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

More about Chion:

In the 1970s Chion 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 concrete’ through experiments in audiovisual communication, audible phenomena and music in general.

Since the 1980s, 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, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. 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’.

Auditorium, lower ground level