Entropophone | La qualité de l’air, pollution music partition


In the work “Entropophone | La qualité de l’air” by artist Filipe Vilas-Boas, the anonymous video stream of a surveillance camera is transformed into a musical score: Each car detected triggers a sound as if it were the hole in a punch card of an automatic barrel organ. The notes are minor; the juxtapositions are dissonant; the rhythm is irregular but urgent and reminiscent of György Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata. The effect is magnetic; it makes you want to watch and listen to the sequences again and again, waiting for the moment when the isolated sounds of the first scattered passages of the cars become denser and more continuous, creating more complex, almost harmonic sound sequences. The images are very familiar to us. We see the bustle of the Lyon ring road, but it could be that of any city. This universality is underlined by the composer himself: Despite the almost propagandistic institutional narrative around urgent environmental measures, the real changes in everyday life are imperceptible. The ring roads continue to buzz with polluting vehicles causing heat, chaos and damage. Immersed in this soundscape, the immediate entropy created by the panorama of a ring road seems to call for urgent remedial action and, through the crescendo of the composition produced, to demand an alternative and more urgent position in the larger public discourse on the planet’s resources. Chiara Ciociola


Entropophone | La qualité de l’air