Christophe Havard
Saint-Nazaire — France
Saxophone player since I'm 16 years old, I played in jazz bands for years before moving towards practices of sonic experimentation and listening of the environment. I've been taking part in sound organizations like apo33 and Volume/collectif. I'm used to working with improvisation, field recording, instrumental and electroacoustic composition, hybrid instruments, installation, radio, theatre, dance,... I also teach in two music schools near Nantes.
Description of work with field recording
In my experience, field recording is a pretext to escape from the everyday life to meet the world that surrounds me, composed of sound spaces, animals, objects, people, different kinds of phenomenons, ... Then, each encounter must become an intense and exhilarating experience, in which I must feel an emphatic relationship with these components through the touch of the sound. Since I'm 5 or 6 years old, I need this intimate relationship with things that are around me in order to make with them a kind of comfortable and imaginary world full of drones, voices, different high frequency sounds, intellectual and corporeal sensations. Sometimes, from this dreamlike and melancholic world, I share with my artist-friends and the public, some sounds that I have collected. I could say that we can find in my musical work some hidden senses which are somewhat ambiguous, strange, that I can't properly explain. I often use the narration and the juxtaposition of different sound spaces. The personal or collective memory is often important for me, maybe that is why I can even take kitsch or romantic ways! About my practice, I don't really have any rules or recipes. Sometimes I collect and compose or improvise with sounds in specific contexts and specific purposes ("Immensity of the territory", "Poyepolomi", "Porteur d'écoute",...). Most of the time I bring my recording system with me, it is a heavy stuff and I know that it is somewhat ridiculous to take it wherever I go (even to the supermarket!), while I don't use it very often. For few months, I can be more interested in this or this other type of sound, for example, for one year I have been recording sounds in empty spaces, like deserted houses or factories. After that, I can spend a lot of time to listen, to equal and to spatialize them on four speakers. I write down on paper many things: the microphones position, the atmosphere, my feeling, the location with gps information, graphics and photos... and in case there are voices, I can write down the whole text. These sound objects can wait a long time to be used into improvisation contexts or sometimes into compositions or installations. And, for a big part of them, they would probably never go off my hard disks. They are alive memories stuck in a stopped time, they haunt into a different dimension, like ghosts who occasionally come back. That is why I give them a big attention and a lot of respect.
Listen to oil_well_and_frog