Jean-Baptiste Favory
CD (E146)

UNISONO I (11.00; 2008)

For Gérard Pape

Eight musicians play the same virtual synthesizer
(programmed by myself with Max/MSP) following
a precise score. They start with the same sound
but while slowly modifying each parameter they
transform it from within, grinding up its entrails.
The listener is positioned at the center of a sound
at once unique and multiple.

The version on this CD is a live recording made
at Les Voûtes in Paris in June 2008 by the CLSI
(Circle for the Liberation of Sounds and Images)
directed by Paul Méfano. The players are Rodolphe
Bourotte, Jorge Campos, Jean-Baptiste Favory,
Michaël Kinney, Emmanuel Miéville, Lissa Meridan,
Gérard Pape and Stefan Tiedje.

UNISONO II (15.40; 2010)

For Paul Méfano

Based on UNISONO I (eight synthesizers,
eight players) but with a new, more complex

“One must get inside the heart of sound,
sound has a heart, it is spherical, it has
a center, the center of the heart. It is
there one must get to...”
— Giacinto Scelsi (1987)

UNISONO III (15.40; 2011)

UNISONO III is a piece for eight virtual
instruments based on the UNISONO II score.
The synthesized sounds are the model for
the virtual instruments (flute, oboe, English
horn, two cellos, violin, viola and bass). Their
parameters — usually programmed to be as
realistic-sounding as possible — are extended
to their limits, reaching frequencies and speeds
unimaginable otherwise. Authenticity is no
longer important and in this case, the frontier
between acoustic and synthetic becomes

UNISONO IV (15.40; 2011)


See also
Jean-Baptiste Favory (E89)

Edition of 200 copies

Photo by François Roman


A series of compositions written for eight players
using digital synthesizers — part one finds all using
the same synth, seemingly each controlling a
separate parameter. It’s a tasteful slur of buzzing
oscillators, beating and modulating against one
another in a spacious stereo field. Part two is more
complicated, with each player controlling his/her
own synth, the patches changing more quickly,
and the piece’s narrative logic becomes hard to
follow. But skip through to the real gem, the third
part, where Favory’s own Max/MSP-programmed
synthesizers are replaced by virtual synths designed
to emulate acoustic instruments in the manner of
presets on a Casio keyboard. A wonderful auditory
trompe l’oeil occurs when what sound like flutes,
violins and cellos all hold impossibly sustained notes,
and play well out of the frequency ranges allowed
by physical instruments. 

William Hutson in The Wire