Décor Sonore

Manifesto for Sound Art in Open Space

Open space, despite and thanks to its sound pollution, seems to be the place that is most conducive to the invention of a new sound art. Taking space into account as the work's parameter and giving importance to the listening context open a field of innovation which has barely been explored.

For several years, Décor Sonore has been holding a reflection on this subject that gathers people from various backgrounds. To date, various actions have already been led:

  1. First meeting at the Cité de la Musique (Paris-Villette) in December 1997
  2. Organization of a seminar organized with HorsLesMurs, IRMA and SACEM in May '99
  3. Creation of a permanent work group with 3 organizations piloting a mutual application to the Ministry of Culture (DMDTS) for the recognition and support of this field of exploration
  4. Project definition by Décor Sonore for organizing "Le Bruit Qui Court" (Running Sound) , an annual event dedicated to these experiences
  5. Publication in November 2000 of a thematic edition of the review by Hors Les Murs "Rue de la Folie"
  6. Publication of a MANIFESTO for SOUND ART IN OPEN SPACE co-signed by a dozen artists (see below) 

Please don't hesitate to send us your sound documents, texts, and contact information, in order to enrich this collaborative project. Several projects exist: 

  • The birth of "Bruit Qui Court"
  • Establishment of an online database available for consultation
  • The creation of a distribution list
  • Reflection workshops.

Please join us!


"Sound Art in Open Space doesn't belong to musical genres and other sub-categories. It is not only “music”, but a “listening” of the world that the artist proposes to the public, and which leaves its impression on our perception of the world.

It allows inventors from different horizons – composers, improvisers, stringed-instrument makers, visual artists, “performers”, stage directors, sound decorators, sound engineers, computer scientists...to compare very different and complementary approaches and to take on a transdisciplinary art.

In addition to to traditional music tools (pitch, length, tone, intensity), it integrates, into the text of the work itself, a completely open series of parameters : spectrum, image, acoustical space, dynamic, spatial movement, social implication, subject, source, support...without any sort of hierarchy.  

The context of the execution is given at least as much attention as the text, and can even become an essential element of the work.

A “living” art at its core, it's continually modified according to the presentation or  perception conditions.

It calls into question the notion of the author, which can be multiple, collective, and variable; and can not be simply reduced to the driving element behind a keynote or a sight-read musical text. 

Outside the supposedly neutral listening contexts (“concert” times and places,domestic stereophony, a frontal relation, the radio's “musical faucet”...), it can arise in all spaces -renamed “open” spaces -, used for their inherent qualities. 

Sound Art in Open Space encounters new demanding, uninitiated audiences; it reinvents the relationships between music- sounds listened to in themselves- and our sound environment. 

By making the City the object, the subject and the invention space, by feeding on the tones of natural elements, natural or industrial noises, listening or non-listening situations, it puts musical creation back at the heart of the political and artistic debates of today."

Pascal Dores, Rémi Dury, Serge de Laubier, Christophe Rappoport, Riké (Métalovoice), Gilles Rhode, Michel Risse, Pierre Sauvageot