Audio Art / Real-Time Audio Processing for the Performing Arts 01

© D. Bardoux

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© D. Bardoux

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Audio Art / Real-Time Audio Processing for the Performing Arts 01

Pedagogical Assistant : Stéphane Claude

June 5 to 9, 2010 from 10 am to 5 pm

Through his many collaborations with performing artists, Alexander MacSween has developed an original approach to real-time audio processing. He creates elaborate soundscapes and rich musical textures that draw from the voices of actors, the feet of dancers, and other elements of performance. His tools vary, from basic devices such as guitar effects pedals, to more complex systems such as digital processors and computer software.

This workshop has been created for professionals in various disciplines wishing to explore working with sound in real-time electronic or digital processing of sounds created within performance environments. This workshop is for artists who want to better their technical expertise, and for technicians who are interested in exploring creative approaches to sound processing.

Please note that the content of the workshop may be revised to suit the needs of the participants. Workshops will be given in French (although instructors are bilingual).


  • An overview of the evolution of sound processing in various art forms and the simultaneous technological advancements;
  • A presentation of Alexander MacSween’s creative process and his approach to technology;
  • An introduction to sound processing with Ableton Live;
  • A brief introduction to a few basic peripheral audio processing devices, including mixing boards;
  • The creation of a short project or of a sound performance based on a chosen text;
  • A closing presentation of the projects created in the context of the workshop followed by an informal discussion on the difficulties and happy surprises gleaned from the experience.

software used on mac os x: Ableton Live

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Alexander MacSween

Musician, composer and sound artist, Alexander MacSween, has collaborated on many dance, theatre and film projects. He has worked with Marie Brassard (Quebec), André Gingras (Netherlands), Brigitte Haentjens / Sybillines (Quebec), Interlude T/O (France), Robert Lepage (Quebec), Montréal Danse (Quebec), José Navas / Compagnie Flak (Quebec), and T.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e (Belgium). As a drummer, Alexander is active in the worlds of rock, improvisation and electronic music. He has played with Paolo Angeli, Tim Berne, Michel F. Côté, Bionic, Frank Gratkowski, The Nils, and Sam Shalabi. He is a member of Martin Tétreault’s Quatuor de tourne-disques and of the group Foodsoon, with Bernard Falaise and Fabrizio Gilardino. Alexander has also created solo pieces and sound installations. His work has been presented in several festivals, including CitySonics (Belgium), Sonorama (France) and Mutek (Quebec). He also gives workshops on real-time sound processing for the performing arts presented by the CECN (Belgium) at various European centres, including Le Fresnoy (France), ArtZoyd (France) et TechnoCité (Belgium).

Stéphane Claude

Stéphane Claude is an electronic_acoustic composer and sound engineer. His research is based on integrating a conceptual and physiological framework of audio recording and sound installation for different diffusion contexts in the electronic arts. His interests gravitate around the communication of a formal aesthetics, as transductive experiences of the electronic medium, the exploration of digital signal processing, the parameters of acoustics and sound in spaces. His work has been published by ATAK(JP), LINE, DRAGON’S EYE RECORDINGS (US), ORAL (CA), among others. He is the co-founder of the art research unit Ælab with artist and professor Gisèle Trudel. The work of Ælab has been shown internationally.  As an audio consultant, he participates in the conception, production and integration of presentation spaces, of specialized analog and digital creation and production studios for artist run centers, institutions and independant sites.