Thesis Defense

Baptiste Bacot's PhD Defense

Mon 18 December 2017,
9:30 a.m.
salle Stravinsky

Free entry

Free entry

Baptiste Bacot will defend his doctoral thesis carried out at IRCAM in the Analysis of Musical Practices team (STMS - CNRS/IRCAM/UPMC):


Technological means of electronic music reconfigure musical practices. Because of the machines’ computation and automation capacities that mediate the sonic phenomenon, the causal relationship between instrumental gesture and sound is altered. Therefore, what does it mean to play electronic music? The concepts of gesture and musical instrument are traditionally employed for the analysis of musical practices, but how should they be understood in this context?

To address these issues, we conducted an extensive fieldwork between 2010 and 2016 with professional musicians in various contexts: art music with real-time electronics, audiovisual performance, and popular electronic music. Our instrument-focused approach allows us to consider the materiality of electronic music itself, beyond aesthetics. Thus, this work is an “organological inquiry” on the following musicians or bands: Robert Henke, Alex Augier, Brain Damage, High Tone, Pierre Jodlowski, Jesper Nordin, John MacCallum and Teoma Naccarato, Nicolas Mondon, Greg Beller, and the Unmapped collective. The ethnographic method sheds a light on the use of music technologies at different stages of the creative process: conceptualization of the work, technical collaboration, the making of the music and its performance. From this analysis of musical activity captured through instrumental configurations, we offer a typology of electronic music instruments, based on a gestural criterion, which is the only residual aspect of the acoustic instrumental interaction model. The corporeal activity leads to organise the material diversity of music technologies, as well as it constitutes a strategic way to express instrumental interaction


Blandine Bril, Directeure d'études à l'EHESS (GRAC) - examiner
Yves Citton, Professeur, Université Paris 8 - examiner
Christophe Pirenne, Professeur, Université de Liège - reporter
Victor A. Stoichiță,Chargé de recherche au CNRS (LESC-CREM) - examiner
Caroline Traube, Professeure agrégée, Université de Montréal - reporter
Marc Chemillier, Directeur d'études à l'EHESS (CAMS) - director of thesis
Nicolas Donin, Chercheur à l'Ircam (APM) STMS - CNRS/IRCAM/UPMC - co-director of thesis