commando AntiBruit

february 27, 2005.

Make sure you read this right: not anti noise, but rather: antinoise ... being to noise what antimatter is to matter. See? ... But, as Emmanuel Ferrand, one of the initiators of the parisian Commando AntiBruit (the AntiNoise Brigade), points out: this is mere antitheory ... What really counts is putting it to work ...

CAB - Ircam
CAB - Ircam
CAB - Ircam

And work it does.
I joined the commando for one of its actions in the streets of Paris, just before leaving for Montréal, on friday evening february 11th. The 'actions' consist in improvisations in public spaces, using, exclusively, battery powered instruments and soundtoys, either with their built-in speakers, or through a small battery powered mixing console and a small battery powered amplifier. Thus making antinoise to, locally, counter-act the un-escapable, the not-asked-for, 'musics', 'muzaks' and other environmental noises that are filling up the metropole's acoustic space anywhere and at any time, and, eventually, in a process of mutual annihilation, produce unknown, and as for yet unforeseeable, outbursts of pure un-sonic energy ...

It was a great evening, transcending both theory and antitheory, that's for sure :-) ... besides really being as 'fringe' and 'obscure' as the pictures of the event, that Miguel Cabral sent me, suggest ...

Apart from Emmanuel, Eric Houzet, Miguel Cabral and me, some short announcements on bulletin boards and Aligre FM (a local radio station) had brought along a couple of boys and girls from micromusic paris with their souped-up-for-music GameBoys, and Marc, a sort of silent, but nice, chap, with a Casio K-1 keyboard.

First, shortly after 19h00, we set up near the FNAC, in the 'Forum des Halles' shopping mall, in the centre of Paris. The commando did a fine set there, probably the evening's best, which, though, after somewhat less than nineteen minutes (pretty long, come to think of it) was interrupted by two security guards, who summoned us to stop immediately, as the making of amplified music is not allowed within the confines of the Forum. "Are we making music?" Emmanuel asked the guards. But they could not be fooled ... "Sounds, noise, whatever," the man replied. "It's not allowed; you'll have to move on ..."

Move on we did. We walked to the Niki de Saint Phalle/Tinguely fountains, and set up before the doors of the IRCAM. Of course the symbolism of this did not escape us ... it was intentional ... Symbolism however did not prevent the parisian police from intervening after less than nine minutes, to summon us to "piss off" ... the worst of our many infringements being the presence of two relatively young (micromusic) girls, publicly consuming alcoholic beverages (they were zipping from a can of beer).

So chased away again, we went on to the place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, and installed ourselves in the wetness of the rain that had begun to drizzle in front of this ancient religious monument and tourist attraction, on the very same day that pope John Paul appointed André Vingt-Trois as the new Paris archbishop.

And there ... well, actually nobody bothered to put an end to the commando's 'public action'. Curiously looked upon by some of the occassional passers-by, most of whom did not really dare to come too close, but watched and listened from a safe distance, we could without any disturbance whatsoever, empty our equipment's batteries. And our beers ... yes, were it not for the limited span of both these resources, hell, we might be out there still .... :-)

I added two extracts from the recordings I made of the commando's actions in front of the FNAC and in front of the IRCAM (including the interventions by security guards and police) to the third edition of Raudio.

Other additions to this Raudio #3 update: a found sound, contributed by Nick Fox-Gieg, and "Outlet", a track sent to me by Kendal Zier. Other tracks by Kendal were part of earlier editions of Raudio, but he was one of the (two, I think) contributors that I had not been able to track down. I knew Kendal and his work from the 'old', and these tracks were part of my ' archive'. But I had lost his email address, and did not succeed in finding any trace of him on the web. But then Kendal found me ... He sent me an email with as its subject: "Note from Kendal Zier. Found alive in the urban jungle of east coast usa." ... :

"I ended up finding your web radio by typing in an odd search in Google: 'kendal dead'," he wrote. "This linked to your site in which the Grateful Dead was on the same program as some of my music. [...] I've been creating a lot more sounds on some faulty equipment here in the usa since this fall. [...] I sent along a file I recorded on a broken four track using, a broken yamaha synth, with a for kids style casio keyboard and a broken computer sequencer/sampler. It's all improvised [...]"

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Other antiNoise Brigades :

  1. april 27th, 2005 - Areva ANB ;
  2. february 18th, 2006 - Vicky's very own Présences ;
  3. june 21st, 2007 - The Ministry of Silly Crackles