Emmanuel Holterbach
Lyon — France
The sound work of Emmanuel Holterbach aims to reveal the richness of acoustic patterns that emerge spontaneously from the vast ocean of sounds in which we live. Captured frequencies and field recordings, unorthodox ways of playing musical instruments, methods attempting to stop the clock by a careful use of sound and space: what Emmanuel Holterbach does with sound could be likened to the music, yet it is primarily a tool to induce people into a reverie or immerse them into an active contemplation. This leads to the revelation of the poetic forces naturally at work in our everyday soundscape. Emmanuel Holterbach invented some of the instruments, microphones and loudspeakers he uses. Since 1992, his in-situ sound installation work has been presented in Europe, Québec and China; he is now represented by the Roger Tator gallery in Lyon (France). He plays in a number of ensembles: Orbs, eHœCo, Tonton Macoute, or alone in La Chambre Bas-Parlante. Holterbach composes electroacoustic works using sound captures from natural and industrial environments, the rustling of creatures, vibrations of materials and buildings; in addition, he creates works for traditional and exotic acoustic instruments. Since 2004, Holterbach has been organizing the publication of Eliane Radigue's archives; he introduces her electronic music in concerts and is writing her biography. He also contributes to the magazines Mettray, Tausend Augen, and Revue & Corrigée and he is the founder of the Productions Fluorescentes, a label for the production of sound objects.
Description of work with field recording
In my sound recording work, the anecdotal or documentary aspect is not really what interests me most. I'm not a documentary filmmaker; my work is mostly musical. What interests me is the intense spontaneous musicality of some natural phenomena, whether in animal noises or in the secret sounds made by machines. This musicality features outstanding vanishing lines in the History of Music, migrations of influences that I also like to capture. Incidentally, I should clarify that, basically, my sound recording work reveals as much of the outside environment as of my inner world. Essentially, my compositional work stems from the experience of intently listening to the environment.