Scroll down for more on the many faces of AkousmaHistory, mission and aknowledgements
Awards ︎Major events
The organization ︎ The team
History, mission, and
(formally Réseaux des arts médiatiques) is a concert production company that showcases
works by electroacoustic artists and collectives in Montréal. These works are
presented via an immersive sound system, and they take several forms:
acousmatic (tape music), mixed (tape and instruments), live (live electronics),
video music, or music integrated into other art forms such as dance,
performance, or installation.
Composers Jean-François Denis, Gilles Gobeil, and Robert Normandeau founded Akousma in Montréal in 1991. They shared the role of artistic director for 17 years, until 2008 when they passed the baton to Nicolas Bernier for the 2008–2009 and 2010–2011 seasons. That same season, Réjean Beaucage took on the role of director general, with support from Louis Dufort as artistic director for the 2011–2012 season onward.
Akousma would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and Canadian Heritage for their support for its operation. Akousma also receives valuable support from the Socan Foundation for its activities. Le Vivier and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal are important broadcasting partners.
PRIX OPUS 2001-2002: “Presenter of the year”
PRIX OPUS 2003-2004: "Concert of the year - New/electroacoustic music": Rien à voir (14) — Luigi Ceccarelli
PRIX OPUS 2004-2005: "Concert of the year - New/electroacoustic music": Akousma 1 — Theresa Transistor
PRIX OPUS 2005-2006 "Concert of the year - New/electroacoustic music": Akousma 2 — Pierre Alexandre Tremblay: Alter ego
PRIX OPUS 2009-2010: “Concert of the year - New/electroacoustic music“
PRIX OPUS 2011-2012 "Concert of the year - New/electroacoustic music": Akousma 8 - Soirée «sens_action»: France Jobin
PRIX OPUS 2016-2017 "Artistic director of the year": Louis Dufort
November 1991 : Réseaux des arts médiatiques (Akousma) produces its first concert, Top secret – hommage à Francis Dhomont ;
May to october 1992 : Montréal’s 350ᵗʰ anniversary event at the Planétarium de Montréal ;
May 1992 : Inaugural concert at the Place des Arts’ 5ᵉ salle ;
February 1996 : L’orchestre de haut-parleurs at the Musiques-échange Québec-Belgique festival ;
1996/1997 : Réseaux presents its first regular season with the Rien à voir series ;
2003 : Launch of the iConcerts, virtual concerts commissioned by Réseaux and presented via its website ;
2004 : Pulsar, a series of acousmatic concerts at the (former) Montréal Planetarium ;
2005 : Akousma, a series of concerts dedicated to all forms of electronic music ;
2007 : Le Vivier group is created with Réseaux as a founding member ;
2008 : New artistic director Nicolas Bernier takes the helm; a three-year strategic plan is developed ;
2011 : Akousma gets a new artistic director, Louis Dufort; the festival moves its main concert series to Usine C and also celebrates its 20th birthday !
︎︎︎ Download the special report on Réseaux’s first 20 years in PDF
2011 : The first concerts outside Quebec are held: one in Ottawa, where Akousma features at the Electric Fields festival by Artengine, and the other in New York, at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy ;
2012 : Francis Dhomont gives a concert at the CIRMMT to celebrate 20 years of Réseaux. We also say happy 30th birthday to Annette Vande Gorne’s organization Musique & Recherches, the Belgian inspiration for Réseaux; and the students from CEGEP Saint-Laurent present two pieces marking the 50th anniversary of the “Concert collectif” given by GRM members in Paris, June 1962 ;
2013 : Akousma’s tenth edition!
2021 : Akousma celebrates its 30th birthday in October with a fully local edition! (Because this pandemic isn’t over yet...)
UNIQUE IN CANADA
AKOUSMA is the leading presenter of electroacoustic music not only in Quebec, but also in Canada. Quebec composers are widely recognized for their success in major international competitions, and if we can speak of a “Montréal school” of electroacoustic music, this is because there is a concert production company like Akousma to showcase its work.
AKOUSMA is highly active in Montréal’s creative and experimental music scene and frequently collaborates with other organizations in the same vein. Over the years, we have presented works in partnership with Artengine (Ottawa), SMCQ, Orgue et couleurs, NEM, Avatar, FIMAV, Machines, Recto-Verso, Eastern Bloc, Codes d’accès, and Le Vivier, alongside collaborations with Radio-Canada, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, ACREQ, and others.
AKOUSMA also works actively for the future of creative and experimental music in Montréal through Le Vivier, a coalition of nearly 50 organizations working in the new music sector, whose main goal is to establish a site for performance and creation at the heart of Montréal. Since 1997, Akousma has commissioned 54 works, of which the list can be found here.
DIGITAL MUSIC OF ALL KINDS
Following on from the Rien à voir concert series (1997–2004), which was entirely dedicated to acousmatic music, the Akousma festival was launched in 2005 to showcase the wider spectrum of electroacoustic music—from musique concrète to visual music, mixed music, and live performance.
To this end, the concert production company adds more names to its list of partnerships each year, allowing it to hold concerts across Montréal (at Eastern Bloc, the SAT, Le Vivier, and Suoni) as well as extending its action further afield (to Victoriaville, Joliette, Gatineau, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Troy [NY]). The diverse range of venues in which Akousma holds its concerts reflects the multitude of paths that electroacoustic music has taken since Pierre Schaeffer’s musique concrète first encountered Karlheinz Stockhausen’s electronic music. In the decades between their era and our own, computer technology has mutated to democratize the means of production; as a result, what was once the music of the future has gradually become part of our day-to-day landscape. Today, while university music departments provide the opportunity to learn and master the intricate parameters of sound, many sound artists achieve their expertise via the self-directed and self-taught route.
For this very reason, and while embracing the full range of practices within the genre, Akousma also works hard to promote young local and international artists alongside the veterans and pioneers who paved the way in Quebec and worldwide. And, in his ten years as artistic director, Louis Dufort has built up an impressive list of invitees:
︎ 2011-2012, AKOUSMA 8 : Marc Behrens (DE), Robert Hampson (GB), France Jobin (QC), Pierre-Yves Macé (FR), Stephan Mathieu (DE), Hélène Prévost (QC), Roger Tellier-Craig (QC), Horacio Vaggione (FR/AR)
︎ 2012-2013, AKOUSMA 9 : Monty Adkins (GB), Manuella Blackburn (GB), Maxime Corbeil-Perron (QC), Francisco Lopez (ES), Martin Marier (QC), Daniel Menche (US), Minibloc (QC), Émilie Payeur (QC), Paulina Sundin (SE), Martin Tétreault + Quatuor de tourne-disques (QC), Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (QC), Keith F. Whitman (US)
︎ 2013-2014, AKOUSMA X : David Arango-Valencia (QC), François Bayle (FR), Martin Bédard (QC), Simon Chioini (QC), Brunhild Ferrari (FR), FÜNF (QC), Monique Jean (QC), Loscil (CA), Adrian Moore (GB), Matthew Schoen (QC), Nick Storring (CA), Ben Vida (US)
︎ 2014-2015, AKOUSMA XI : Adam Basanta (QC), David Berezan (CA/GB), Myriam Bleau (QC), Olivia Block (US), Christian Bouchard (QC), Guillaume Cliche (QC), Mark Fell (GB), Gilles Gobeil (QC), Hanna Hartman (SE), Rene Hell (US), Jullian Hoff (QC), Line Katcho (QC), Pierre-Luc Lecours (QC), Seth Nehil (US), Robert Normandeau (QC), James O'Callaghan (QC), Jean Piché (QC), Sylvain Pohu (QC), Laurie Radford (CA), Jana Winderen (NOR)
︎ 2015-2016, AKOUSMA 12 : Thomas Ankersmit (NL), Martin Bédard (QC), Nicolas Bernier (QC), Marie-Hélène Breault (QC), John Chantler (AU), George Forget (QC), Golden Retriever (US), Jane/Kin (QC), Xavier Madore (QC), Martin Messier (QC), Fernando Murillo (MX), Junya Oikawa (US), Jesse Osborne-Lanthier (QC), John Rea (QC), Scant Intone (CA), Dominic Thibault (QC), Benjamin Thigpen (US), Valerio Tricoli (IT), Roxanne Turcotte (QC)
︎ 2016-2017, AKOUSMA 13 : Antwood (CA), Myriam Boucher (QC), Richard Chartier (NL), Simon Chioini (QC), Michel Chion (FR), Concordia Laptop Orchestra (QC), Noah Creshevky (US), David Cronkite (QC), Paul Dolden (QC), Vincent Fliniaux (QC), Gilles Gobeil (QC), Joël Lavoie (QC), Lucas Paris (QC), Pipo Pierre-Louis (QC), Pita (GB), Andrea Parkins (US), Colby Richardson (CA), Adam Stanovic (GB), Hans Tutshku (DE), Jon Vaughn (CA)
︎ 2017-2018, AKOUSMA 14 : Oren Ambarchi (AU), Elizabeth Anderson (US/BE), Natasha Barrett (GB/NO), Rashad Becker (DE), Nicolas Bernier (QC), Falaises (QC), Fousek/Hansen/Tellier-Craig (QC), GMACKRR (QC), Terri Hron (CA), France Jobin (QC), Estelle Lemire (QC), Magnitude6 (QC), Félix-Antoine Morin (QC), Tristan Perich (US), Nadia Ratsimandresy (FR), Patrick Saint-Denis (QC), Chris Strickland (QC), Nicolas Thirion (FR), Hildegard Westerkamp (CA), Horacio Vaggione (ARG/FR), Byron Westbrook (US)
︎ 2018-2019, AKOUSMA 15 : Befaco (ES), Mathieu Bezkorowajny (QC), Rose Bolton (CA), Georges Forget (QC), Vincent Gagnon (QC), Nashim Gargari (MX/QC), Ilya Ghafouri (QC), Giant Claw (US), Monique Jean (QC), L'ensemble d'oscillateurs (QC), Markus Mehr (DE), Cendrine Robelin (FR), SPIEL (QC),Tempo Reale (IT), Philippe Vandal (QC), Franck Vigroux (FR)
︎ 2019-2020, AKOUSMA 16 : François Bonnet, alias Kassel Jaeger (FR), Christian Bouchard (QC), Collectif Cégep St-Laurent (QC), Richard Devine (US), Nicolas Giannini (QC), Dominic Jasmin (QC), Monique Jean (QC), Panayiotis Kokoras (GR), Philippe Leroux (FR/CA), Bérangère Maximin (FR), Lise-Lotte Norelius (SE), Ryu Yoshizawa, alias koeosaeme (JP)