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José Manuel Berenguer

Barcelona, 1955

Graduated in Medicine and Surgery by the U.A.B. (1978), Master in Music Therapy by the U.B. (1979), Clinical Psychologist Cum Laude by the U.B. (1980), Master in Musique EléctroacoustIque by the IIME (Bourges, 1984), Computer Engineer by the AFTI (Paris, 1994), José Manuel Berenguer is a composer and guitarist, coordinator and professor of Psychoacoustics and Experimental Music of the Master in Sound Art of the University of Barcelona and director of the Orquestra del Caos. He has been consultant of Sound in multimedia systems at GMMD-Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and Digital Sound at ESDI-Universitat Ramon Llull. He has also collaborated with other universities and artistic research institutions such as Metrònom, MECAD, IUA-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Elisava. Inter-media artist, founder of Côclea with Clara Garí – where for more than a decade he directed the Festival Música13 – and also of the Orquestra del Caos, collaborator of the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (France), he was the designer and first responsible for the sound and music laboratory of the CIEJ of the Fundació la Caixa de Pensions, as well as professor of Electroacoustic Music at the Conservatoire de Bourges. Former President of the Electroacoustic Music Association of Spain, he is currently Honorary President of the International Conference of Electroacoustic Music of the CIM/UNESCO, President of Quantum Art Lab, Vice-President of the Fundació d’Artistes Visuals de Catalunya, member of the Académie Internationale de Musique Electroacoustique/Bourges and of the Board of Trustees of the Phonos Foundation.

His musical work, published in Musica Secreta, Hyades Arts, Chrysopée Electronique, Côclea, la Ma de Guido, Akademie der Künste, has been the object of commissions and distinctions from institutions such as the Internationale Ferienkurse of Darmstadt (Germany), Gaudemus Foundation (Holland), Prix de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (France), Concorso di Musica Elettronica de la Fondazione Russolo-Pratella (Varse, Italy), Tribuna Internacional de Música Electroacústica del CIM/UNESCO, Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea. INAEM. Ministeri de Cultura, Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, RNE Radio Cálsica, Gabinete de Música Electroacústica de Cuenca, Festival de Músiques Contemporànies de Barcelona, Akademie der Künste Berlin, among others. With Clara Garí, in addition to the intermedia shows presented by Côclea, he created and produced interactive installations -Metronomía or Policrònic/Politòpic, with Côclea, and El Pati respira i canta, with the Orquestra del Caos, are some examples- and several videos, such as Aigua, Augia, Augen or Mancha : Linde, Tajo. The latter won the Castilla-La Mancha Video Award. Among the numerous collaborations with other authors, it is worth mentioning the realization of the soundtrack for the film Dead, Slow, Ahead, by Mauro Herce, the video by Clara Garí, La Muda de la Serpiente or the videos by Joan Pueyo, such as Maria Muñoz, Sóc Jo, L’immortal, as well as dance shows such as et si la pièce est trop courte, on y rajoutera un rêve, by Lluís Ayet, etc ….

Much of his work has been oriented to the sound installation as a means of presenting his artistic and compositional proposals, as well as, despite his epistemological doubts about the appropriateness of these terms, to real time and interactivity. The themes developed include questions related to the philosophy and history of science, the limits of language, ethics, life and artificial intelligence, robotics, information metabolism, as well as the very limits of human understanding and perception of the world. His most recent works in this field include monographic installations and concerts such as Silenci, Tránsfer, La Casa de la Pólvora, Mega kai Mikron, Minf, On nothing, @bienenVolk, and Bienen. Luci, who explores complex behaviors emerging from sums of simple elements, won the ARCO-Beep Electronic Art Award in February 2008. Her musical work in lambda/itter, with flutist Jane Rigler, which takes the form of an audiovisual performance based on the ideas of flow and turbulence, reflects on the musical gesture. The latter, together with Desde dentro, a concert for microscope, electric guitar, sound and images of electronic generation, Expanded Piano, a duo concert with pianist Agustí Fernández, for piano processed by electronic devices, Expanded Voice, a composition presented as a performance for voice solo, sound and electronic image and based on the texts of Walter Benjamin’s Book of Passages, and others, make up a kind of compositional work that, given its duration and intensity, requires the programming of a full concert.

Artwork details:

Title: Dur


The granularity of matter is one of the most surprising peculiarities of the world I live in. Another no less surprising peculiarity is the tendency of matter to mutate.  This is a phenomenon that occurs at all levels of organization, which adds a new and quite remarkable feature: homothety. And it is the grains, small and large, as well as the structure of their relationships, that change.
Dur is like this. Granular and mutant at all levels. In a first phase I fabricated the sounds with the help of Stampede, a synthesis device programmed by Gerhard Behles at the Technical University of Berlin, which had won the Prix de Bourges in 1997. After a week of work from a minimal sample of a piece by Laurent Garnier during which I recorded more than four hours of sound material, I chose a total of 45 minutes of sounds that I found particularly interesting. I spent two days arranging them into an 18-voice structure in ProTools. I needed only four hours to establish formal relationships between the vertical structures that were generated in the juxtaposition process. After five days of critical listening, during which I did not feel the need to play the slightest sound, it was enough for me to make the decision that Dur was finished. Three hours later I had found an acceptable final cadence. No treatment was subsequently added. It was quite an amazing process. And painless, this time.
Like the Ocean, a space of biological reproduction and mutation, Dur is the habitat of a certain kind of set of sound species that, they too, evolve. Sometimes they do it gradually, grain by grain, sometimes violently, as happens in natural catastrophes.
Dur was composed at the request of the Institut international de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges.


José Manuel Berenguer

Fileformat: .AIFF

44.1 kHz · 16 bit

Year: 1999





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