Australian Sound Artist

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ENSA - Bourges School of Art

:: Work space in Bourges ::

I have been lucky enough to be offered a work space in the town of Bourges (closest 'Large' city near le abbaye Noirlac). The unexpected offer came after meeting with Stèphane Dorè, Director of ENSA: Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Art de Bourges, and discussing the studies and mediums that the school offers it's students - in particular - it's sound department. I was excited by their interest in sound. The school has a detailed history dating back to the first resident artisans in Bourges, (the buildings alone are from the 17th Century) and is continuing it's strength of education within the arts into the present and future with a focus on practices such as sound, radio and new media arts. I noted that the sound department alone is growing annually with the number of increasing student work studios providing an obvious indicator. 

One room that made me smile was the, 'Listening Room', A modest space with a few worn chairs scattered around on carpeted floor. Speakers were in stereo and the room seemed a little more acoustically isolated. Stèphane explained to me that this room was where once a week, a lecturer would play sounds, students would listen and then the sounds would be discussed. These sounds could be anything - from what we would call music - to musique concrete - to soundscape - to field recordings - to muzak. No student is required to attend, it is purely there for their own enjoyment. It reminded me of my own earlier study days where my tutors exercised the same teaching methods (but we had to attend). I remember that some of those discussion sessions became incredibly intimate. I would say a number of us bared our soul just a little in those sterile classrooms under the protective blanket of sounds. I am still in awe of how sound can affect us without us even consciously recognising. I miss talking about it. 

It is a welcome change to work from Bourges, away from le abbaye Noirlac. I was nervous about leaving the site so close to my day of departure - think I experienced a mild separation anxiety. I quickly realised that distance is helping me to detach from the space and commence the post recording work with fewer distractive thoughts nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting back tomorrow and fine tuning my rough drafts.

If only I had a few more days in Bourges.... 
and a few more in Noirlac.... 
then a few more to say goodbye....