Diogo Alvim

Folies Charbon
For 8 brass instruments.
For any duration.

This piece sets to sound a specific urban configuration determined by the specific conditions of the Chapelle Charbon development in Paris. It asks for eight brass players, each to play from one of the indicated locations. Each should be heard by all the others. If necessary use amplification. The locations were selected for their pivotal position in relation to the site. They are either viewpoints, borders, old barriers, dead-ends or future entrances to the inward facing area of the projected park.

The specific conditions of each position, their acoustics but also other contingencies of an urban structure that is an accumulation of historic, socio-political and economic factors, set the tone for an improvisation over a determined, spatialised harmonic field. Each player is to be heard inside the area or the future park, while establishing single links with the external fabric of the city.

The distances between each position were measured to calculate the notes. Lengths were translated to frequencies and rounded up to the quarter tone (with octave equivalence). This also allows different instruments with different ranges to play from each location. There is no temporal sequence. Each note should be played towards the indicated direction. Players should improvise over the given notes and directions exploring different textures: call and response, harmonic chorales, or other more complex structures.


Diogo Alvim composes instrumental and electroacoustic music, and develops sound art projects mainly focusing on the relations with architecture.