Alexia Charoud has emerged from London’s electronic landscape with a singular universe. Their work explores the creation of worlds through sound and music in a blend of popular music sonorities with unique experience design, while introducing innovative uses of
In 2018, Alexia was awarded the John Leckie Award for innovation in Audio Production as the outcome of their MA in University of Westminster. Over the last years, they have been performing and producing work in numerous contexts across London and Paris, including fashion shows, gallery events, and festivals. Most recently, Alexia showcased their work in venues such as the 4 Quarters, Tola Peckham, Bussey Buildings, Iklektik, Showcase, Sonar+ and La Sorbonne.
Throughout my RCA journey, I have been investigating the fluidity of sound and music, and their ability to reveal invisible realities. Music and its sounds are absolutely fluid and ungraspable. They are free from things in the world, build their own unique architecture, their own paradigm, and transport us within them as they unfold in time. Humans keep trying to enframe things in rigid definitions and boxes, to essentialize a world that is inherently mysterious. Music is for me one of the last places where such categories do not have to apply, where everything is magical, flowing, and limitless. Where we are completely free to rethink the world.
The project I am presenting as my RCA final project is called The Explorer. It intends to replace music and sound in space, and to use technologies to inaugurate a sense of magic and wonder.
For the virus outbreak made it difficult to take this work to its full potential, I decided to use it to reenchant spaces of the everyday. Installed in a bedroom, or in the forest at the back of my grandfather’s garden, it allowed the emergence of the magical in these places of isolation.
The Explorer - Alexia Charoud [RCA2020]. — [Sound On!] A trailer video for The Explorer, blending live footage with animated visualization. The live footage consists of real-time interactions with the installation.
The Explorer / Forest Installation [RCA2020]. — Lock-down had me think of ways to implement this project in everyday life contexts. I chose to set it up in the little forest by my grandfather's house. This video, shot with the means available, shows my grandfather discovering the magical world hidden at the back of his garden...
The Explorer is an interactive experience. Disrupting the common affordances of light, it invites you to reveal a hidden soundscape with a torch. As you explore the space around you, a mysterious sonic world emerges, creating an evolving musical piece in which you are both an explorer and a performer.
Vision allows us humans to define, fix and manipulate the world around us. Between reliance on vision and positivism, we tend to forget the inherent mystery and the fluidity that lie at the heart of life.
Artist Paul Klee once said: ‘in a forest, I have felt many times over that it was not I who looked at the forest. Some days I felt that the trees were looking at me, were speaking to me... I was there, listening...’. In opposition to the occidental paradigm, where absolute knowledge allows Man to grasp reality in its entirety, Klee gives a sense of a world that has depth, a world where we are both seeing and seen, hearing and heard. A world where lies, beyond the reach of our perception, a mysterious reality, a possible way into which would be the act of listening.
The Explorer poetically explores this idea of listening to an invisible layer of reality. A reality that is fluid, opaque and magical. An inhabited reality, constantly unfolding, and never graspable as a whole. It challenges the roles of light and vision, and highlights the power of sound to create independent worlds, transpose space and create collective experiences. Anyone, regardless of their language, culture, identity or background, should be able to connect with this piece and other participants involved.
The aim of this project was to use technology to create a very simple, intuitive and magical experience. The technology behind The Explorer was developed throughout the course of the confinement, with support from John Wilde and Thomas Deacon. We developed a unique piece of code to send data wirelessly and in real time to Ableton Live. The resulting piece is easy to install, connect, transport and adapt to any type of space or exhibition context.
Medium:Interactive Sound Experience
Silver Lines - Alexia Charoud (Music Video) — Director: Sammy Selin. Music: Alexia Charoud. Cast: Alexia Charoud, Julia Renning, Lyuqitiao Wang, Yena Park. DOP: Robert Chang Lun Chang Chien. Set Design: Arman Ataman, Christian Pecher, Akvilė Terminaitė. Outfit Design: Manon Planche. Make-up Art: Chloé Zanotti. Animation: Zohar Dvir. Color: Ruudu Ulas. Thanks: Laura Dudek.
Coming straight from the subconscious, this song confronts two conceptions of the world. One is of a world of depth and existence, of exploration and magic; the other of an alluring dehumanized world of consumerism and instrumentalization. The music production plays with this dichotomy, opposing irresistible industrial beats and beautiful lively synths, amongst which resigned vocals struggle to find meaning. Sammy Selin’s video depicts this tension perfectly, with its twofold color-palette, and the strange relationship between the wandering space traveler and her evil antagonist, ready to turn her into another pawn.
I-Refrain, cover art by Zohar Dvir.
Blending these inhabited soundscapes with catchy phrases and hooks, this work intends to both reimplement magic and meaning within pop music production, and to create a unique musical journey that can speak to anyone regardless of their preferred music genres.
Expect a production free from boxes and genres; a delicate and strange universe slowly building and taking you through its magical meanders!