Ircam Talk: Fragments of Extinction

"An interdisciplinary project that joins science, technology, and art to foster public awareness of ‘the most silent catastrophe of our times’ : what has been defined as the Sixth Mass Extinction".

At the core of the project Fragments of Extinction lays an initial assessment: with the extinction of species and the destruction of natural habitats, the sound structures produced by evolution over millions of years of interspecific acoustic adaptation are rapidly declining; in the near future it may no longer be possible to hear them in their original state.

Using advanced 3D recording technologies, the eco-composer David Monacchi and his team have been conducting since 1998 field recording campaigns in the major tropical regions where large areas of intact virgin forests are still present, including World Heritage sites and strictly protected areas.

David Monacchi endeavors to gather, study, and play soundscapes of this still-intact biodiversity in the goal of conservation and render for the public.

His artistic research residency, organized by the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team at IRCAM and ZKM between 2017 and 2018, examines the data collected during recordings in situ, in the virgin forests of the Amazon and Borneo. It explores the sonic complexity of these ecosystems.

The aim is to demonstrate how, using a recording of places that are still preserved, we can extract data used for bioacoustics and ecological explorations while building an alphabet for a new “musical” language based on the analysis and re-composition of a veritable ecosystem.

This seminar presents the composer’s long-time project.

David Monacchi (Italy) is a music fellow at the Cité internationale des arts, in partnership with IRCAM and Centre d’art et de technologie des médias de Karlsruhe (ZKM).

Ircam Talk: Fragments of Extinction