Field-Recording Workshops

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Each year, Félix Blume offers different workshops in different countries and contexts. This page describes the workshops to be held in 2024 in Azillanet (South of France), which are now fully booked.
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In the village of Azillanet (South of France), where I grew up, these workshops will allow us to think about soundscape and listening both as a practice and as a way of approaching the world surrounding us. Taking this territory as a terrain of experimentation, we will listen to the tiniest details, from flies buzzing to the cicada’s singing, from birdsong to cricket’s song. We will use sounds as a basic material to propose a listening of the place, along with human and non-human inhabitants. We will try to perceive the dialogues between them, in the limit of the worlds (the village and the surrounding countryside), between day and night, between wandering and dreaming… We will distance ourselves from realism (if reality exists) to translate an experience or sensation into sound. We will (re)think notions such as point of view and point of listening. 
Together, we will question ourselves about the construction of a sonic narrative. We will develop a narrative taking a distance from the words. Instead, we will look for information, musicality, memories, documentary elements, position and resistance within each sound…
We will consider listening as our principal sharing tool, using the collective sonic work that will result during the workshop as an excuse to share. We will invite listeners to create their own story, while offering them the pleasure of listening to their territory, but also the pleasure of dreaming with their ears wide open. The workshop will end with an open listening session with the public and inhabitants from Azillanet.

During the workshop week, we will discuss and practice the following topics:

  • in situ listening (through listening exercises)
  • sound pieces listening (both historical and contemporary)
  • stereo recording as the base of sound pieces (through different techniques and setups available to the participants)
  • critical analysis of sound recordings
  • sound recording via contact microphones and hydrophones
  • sound file notation, sound library storage and organization 
  • sound exploration of Azillanet’s and surrounding territory (garrigues, rivers, small woods, caves, etc…)
  • morning and night time sound recordings
  • sound creation through a collective project
  • sound editing and design
  • mixing and creation of a final sound piece as a group
  • public broadcast and presentation of the resulting piece

This workshop is addressed to people who already practice listening and field-recording (even at a beginner level). To participate in this workshop it is necessary to own and be familiar with sound recorders and to have editing software skills. If you have doubts about the level of your skills, feel free to contact me in advance.

The number of participants will not exceed a maximum of 10 people (probably 8 participants), in order to ensure a workshop with little group work and to provide all necessary assistance for the unwinding of individual experiences. Submission of an application does not guarantee your participation in the workshop. Selection of participants will be made, in order to favor an heterogeneous and coherent group.
The workshop will take place as indicated in the calendar below.

6 days workshop (7 nights), total of 45 hours.
Each day, the workshop will take around 7,5 hours per day, from 9:00 to 18:00 with a lunch break. The schedule below will be adapted after the selection of the participants, in order to better address everyone’s expectations.

Day 1 :
Arriving in the afternoon and dinner. 
Day 2 :
Presentation of each participant, places and workshop planning.
In situ listening exercises.
Stereo sound recording, study of different stereo recording setup, outdoor recordings and comparative listening.
Day 3 :
Listening to historical sound pieces.
Definition of the common project and different experimentation fields, planning of the sound recordings to be made on the following days.
Sound recording methodology.
Sound recorders and recording basics.
Acoustic and digital basics (if needed, according to everyone’s level and experience).
Sound recording in groups of two.
Day 4 :
Sound pieces listening.
Individual or in group sound recording, trying to experiment with new sound recording setups.
Critical listening of the recordings made the previous day.
Review of the project group progress.
Listening, derushing and beginning of the montage, individual or in little groups.
Presentation of the process of some of Félix Blume’s projects.
Day 5 :
Sound pieces listening.
Individual or in group sound recording at dusk at a place to be defined together.
Sound editing examples, editing and plug-in principles, EQ and RX Noise.
Individual or group sound editing.
Listening of a first mix of the sequences that will compose the final piece. 
Day 6 :
Sound pieces listening.
Extra sound recordings (if needed).
Individual or in group sound editing.
Group sound editing.
Final stage of a general structure draft in group.
Day 7 :
Final group editing of the sound piece.
Final editing.
End-of-course open listening with the inhabitants of the village.
Day 8 :

At Azillanet, a small village in southern France (360 inhabitants), 40 minutes from Narbonne (nearest train station), 40 minutes from Carcassonne (train station and airport) or 1 hour 30 minutes from Toulouse (airport).
Azillanet on wikipedia

Each participant must be autonomous with his own sound recording material: sound recorder, microphones, headphones and computer. 

Some material will be available for the participants, such as:
2 pairs of ORTF Schoeps
2 pairs of MS Schoeps
1 pair of AB DPA4006
Binaural Sanken Cos11D and LOM
Hydrophones, geophones and Aquarian contact microphones, LOM, Jez Riley French, AKG C411 etc…
Electromagnetic sensors LOM
2 Sound Recorder MixPre6 (model I and II)
6 Genelec 8030 Speakers, 2 Genelec 8020 speakers, 1 Genelec Subwoofer
Tripods, wind protectors, boom, adapted accessories and wiring. 

LE COUVENT, workshop and accommodation site
In an old convent with a shaded interior courtyard offering peace and tranquility. Old building, located in the old village center.

Spaces : 

  • Shaded inner courtyard
  • Dining room and kitchen on the ground floor
  • Working room in the building 
  • 4 independent rooms to be shared by 2 or 3 participants
  • Shared shower and toilets


Workshop cost = 600 €
50% to be paid to confirm the inscription once the results of the selection are known.

Accommodation  = 160€
7 nights in a double or triple room (to share with the other participants). Please have a look at the pictures to make sure it works for you. Some other options are available in the village if you would like to have more privacy and a better place to stay (Bed & Breakfast, small hotel, camping at 3km from the village). 

Food = 200€
Including midday meals (starter, course and dessert) and a light dinner (only main course). Dinner on the 1st day is included but lunch on the departure day is not. Drinks are not  included in the price.
Breakfast is available in self service. 
A vegetarian diet is available, do not hesitate to mention your food restrictions.

Please note that this workshop is not supported by an educational establishment, and it cannot be paid through this type of financing. If this is your case, you can contact Phonurgia, they offer multiple workshops focused on sound practices and they welcome this type of financing.
A special discount of 50% can be given to some participants who need it (students, unemployed etc…), limited to 1 person in each workshop.

Payments will be made by bank transfer before the beginning of the course or by cash upon arrival. 

Arrival and departure transportation from the nearest train station (Narbonne or Lézignan Corbières) is possible and I could come for you. I’ll try to group together the arrivals and departures and in some cases, you may be asked to wait at the train station at your departure or arrival.
The nearest airport is Toulouse, and you can get a train from there easily. I can provide you information depending on your flight.
If you come by car, car sharing is encouraged. Free parking is available only a few steps away from accommodation. Participants coming by car will get a 50€ discount on the workshop cost.