Bernard Parmegiani is an acousmatic composer and monument in the experimental music scene. With his abstract electronic soundscapes he inspires countless contemporary musicians and composers. Christian Fennesz, Aphex Twin and Jim O'Rourke among others are big fans of his impressive oeuvre. Pieces like 'De Natura Sonorum' and 'La Création du Monde' from the 70s and 80s still sound incredible relevant for our times and outclass a very large part of the contemporary music scene in terms of inventiveness and range.
The term acousmatic dates back to Pythagoras; the philosopher is believed to have tutored his students from behind a screen so as not to let his presence distract them from the content of his lectures. Acousmatic art is a logical extension of musique concrete, a form of music which is presented through loudspeakers to an audience from an analog or digital tape-recording. This music may contain sounds that have recognisably musical sources, but may equally present recognisable sources that are beyond the bounds of traditional vocal and instrumental technology. We are as likely to hear the sounds of a bird, or of a factory as we are the sounds of a violin. The technology involved transcends the mere reproduction of sounds. Techniques of synthesis and sound processing are employed which may present us with sounds that are unfamiliar and that may defy clear source attribution. This form of music may present us with familiar musical events: chords, melodies and rhythms which are easily reconcilable with other forms of music, but may equally present us with events which cannot be classified within such a traditional taxonomy.