M.A. World Heritage Studies (On-campus / Dual Degree)

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1 – Desert Lights

Some strange lights appear at night in the Mexican desert. The residents tell us what they’ve seen: fire, a fireball, lights flying, lightning falling from the sky and a flash. The singularity of each experience builds a complete story narrated by a choir of people. An encounter with this strange phenomena can be surprising, dangerous or even fatal. The night isn’t as dark as it seems. The desert is full of all kinds of living beings. This emptiness is the place for everyone. Desert Lights invites us to open our eyes wide in the twilight and to listen to the sounds hidden in the blackness. A horror movie, in the darkness of the desert. Desert Lights website

Sound Recording: Pierre Costard & Félix Blume Color Correction: Samanta Do Amaral VFX: Daniel Zepeda Editing, Sound Design, Camera, Mixing: Félix Blume

password: desert
subtitles: English
Date : January 2021

Duration: 29min58sec
Sound: Stereo and 5.1

2 – Ear’s meeting beyond horizon

Sound and visual installation (Ensatt/CNSMD) 16.0 multichannel broadcasting – SPAT Revolution spatialisation

This sound creation project, an integral part of the “Pulsation 2.1” festival, arose from a desire to associate and confront multiple sound worlds. It forms part of a partnership between ENSATT, CNSMD of Lyon, and the French Institute (IF) in Cotonou. The performance offers the audience an auditory immersion through three compositions presented by the students. A meeting set up via video conference will enable international audiences and partners to enjoy this experience simultaneously. This sound installation provides an opportunity to take time, time for the imagination, for listening, and for understanding our world. The installation is intended to be collectively immersive. At a time when listening is predominantly individual, providing the listener with a personal yet communal listening experience seems all the more important. This audiovisual installation aims to go further by presenting, through a video broadcast, a common international sonic immersion (Mali, Benin, Togo, South Africa, and France). The objective is to foster a different approach to listening, more humane and less individualised.

The sound composition began its journey in Benin in December 2020 with field recording. Armed with his microphones and recorder, Pierre Costard set out to capture all types of sound materials. From the songs of the fishermen of Cotonou to the night-time sellers on Lake Nokoué, from the hum of a Zém to the atmosphere of the Dantokpa market, from the percussionists of Adjarra to the calm of the seaside… From these recordings emerges an interweaving electroacoustic composition from the premises of CNSMD in France. Two main themes emerge from it. One, crafted by Anne Castex (electroacoustic composer), deals with movement and displacement through various means of transport. She plays on a recognition game, blurring the line between digitally created sounds and those from our reality, aiming to transcend geographical distances through an imaginary acoustic link. Alexandre Singier, on the other hand, writes his composition through the disruption of an acoustic space. The intrusion of sound elements like radios, music, and car horns punctuate his electroacoustic creation. Author’s note: “Listening to a paradise devoured by an increasing amplification of the soundtrack of our own destruction, a memory of the faint glimmers of a world soon to vanish.” In collaboration with Salif Berthé (storyteller, singer, and composer from Mali), the integration of studio recordings establishes an additional link in the construction of the work through his words, diction, and intent.

Sound recording by Pierre Costard; Editing, Mixing by Anne Castex (Part 3), Pierre Costard (Parts 1-2), Alexandre Singier (Part 4); Multichannel Spatialisation by Pierre Costard; Lighting Design by Laura Cottard; Scenographic Design by Salomé Bathany and Kinga Sagi; Storyteller Salif Berthé.

« It’s up to us to start listening as deeply as possible and, in a way, to begin recognizing that our perception of the world provides us with information and a future that we might not have if we maintained the single, fixed view that we have. » Lawrence English

Special thanks to the outstanding team from Benin (Ambroisine, Ségangan de Ganvier, Pierre, Désordre, Achille) without whom the audio recordings would not have had this quality. Thanks to ENSATT, CNSMD, the institutes, and all the individuals who helped bring this project to fruition.

3 – Under the cobblestones, the forest

Winner of the “Place au son 2068” competition during UNESCO’s Week of Sound (2nd place)


The sun set in the current stream. Night settled on the square, veiling the border of the sidewalk. It craves imagination, spatial deduction which with darkness illuminates each of us. The eyes of urbanized fauna gradually invade the square. The cries, the songs echo softly. The city now oscillates between human daytime activity and nocturnal animal wandering. Has harmony become sovereign? Shrill radars repel docile beasts from their habitats and guide the flow of the thirsty: control of this wild world is omnipresent. Dawn breaks. Wild beings no longer cross the square, nor any of the island neighborhoods. They divert them by taking forested strips. These same strips were the subject of large demolition operations for a large number of metropolises about a decade ago, increasing residents’ contact with nature. It had been scientifically proven that this proximity would reduce epidemics, neurodegenerative diseases, and capitalist madness. Rays reveal a maintained forested area, a vast pond, and the verdant hill. Rhythmic impacts, sluggish movements, the hum of voices then reveal to us the uses of the people of Lyon on this January day in 2068.

Description of the project

In 2068, forests have been introduced into the heart of cities, contributing to climate change control. The air and water are cleaner. Relationships between people are more peaceful. Pollution has significantly decreased. Public spaces are now the lungs of cities. Wildlife has diversified, and endemic species coexist with some individuals from African animal groups that have migrated northward. This transition has been accompanied by a musical movement as characteristic of its time as rock was in the 1960s, carrying the hopes and fervor of youth towards the realisation of “utopia”. Sound was initially used as a sound barrier, keeping animals away from human settlements, ensuring the necessary safety of individuals, the hygiene of spaces reserved for humans, serenity, and harmony. Sound emitters were integrated into the urban environment in a way that blends with it. Only the ear can detect their presence. Then the government began using sound to optimise people’s flows, make life more pleasant, and distribute groups. Gradually, to better guide people, prohibit certain accesses to certain places for certain categories of people… The populations having abandoned news channels, the government deployed fleets of drones imposing continuous information in the streets. The forest has been extended to all public spaces, preventing large gatherings. January 2068. Increasingly, sound constrains populations, governs lives, becomes unbearable. Under the apparent tranquility of the forest, chaos now grows. … soon there will be a May. The sounds used for this video were recorded in Place Saint Jean and in the Mexican desert to create the ambiance of 2068. The unconventional sounds added come from frequency modulation synthesis and recordings of instruments.

A subtle way to reintroduce life and its sound productions closer to our habitats. Great finesse of the finely articulated graphics with the sound model of 2068.”

4 – Proposal sent last year to UNESCO members during a meeting via videoconference


Memory of a utopia

Nomination Festival Sur Aural 2020 – Memorias y Relatose

It is a work about what happened in San Miniato during the “Prima del teatro” process (École des Écoles (EdE)) in Italy 2019. An invitation to listen to thoughts about what ART should be in the future. A powerful and honest sonic journey inside the ephemeral museum in Lisbon at the end of the process.


Mention Phonurgia Nova Awards 2023 Découvertes Pierre Schaeffer

Distortions is the convergence of two deeply divergent environments, beset by intrinsic imbalances caused by human actions, whether they are physiographic, cognitive, or political. This piece delves into the bowels of a silver mine in northern Mexico and traverses the surface of an island, Taiwan.