A concert about bells


Presented by Iris Kaufmann, Alban de Tournadre and the Aubépine company.
As part of the "Battre la campagne" series

Every year in Aubrac, around Saint Urbain's Day (25 May), cattle are driven through the valleys on foot, ringing bells made of sheet metal and bronze. These bells, which belong to the idiophone family, are chosen and placed around the necks of the cattle by their breeders, implying a personal search for sound that could be likened to the process of musical composition. Composers and performers then travel the length and breadth of the country, dressing it up with their movements and inhabiting it with their tinkling. In this way, they forge a shared culture of listening and reveal a sensitive experience of the landscape.

Vacada is an electroacoustic piece for four loudspeakers, based on recordings of cows grazing in Aubrac in 2022. The sound material for the piece is the cowbells and bells that the animals wear, marking the land with their tinkling sounds. The piece is divided into three parts: the animals grazing, a farmer and his bell, and the herd marching. This work is the product of a residency hosted by the PNR Aubrac, and is part of the FAISEURS DE PAYSAGES series.

Iris Kaufmann is a sound artist and ethnologist. Founder of the FeM company and co-director of the ciné-concert DRALHAS, ciné-sonnailles et transhumance audiovisuelle, she has been working since 2018 on the use of these sound pendants in agro-pastoralism in the Massif Central and their diversions in sound and musical composition. Her current research focuses on the notions of soundscapes and imprints, the construction of communities of ears and the role of sensory functions in the making of cultural practices.

Alban de Tournadre is a multidisciplinary artist trained in the visual arts, performing arts, sound arts and technology, and a graduate of the FAIAR (2015). His work takes place in non-dedicated venues, mainly in the street arts and public space sectors. Currently, his work focuses on sound creation in electronic and electroacoustic music, notably through the use of the modular synthesiser, but also through acoustic devices. He explores reality and its poetic potential, perceptions and the fragility of looking and listening.