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Interview Denis Dufour and Jonathan Prager

Interview with Roald Baudoux. ACME n°207 pages 14 to 22 and n°208 pages 30 to 40. 2002.


Roald Baudoux gives us a very rich two-voice interview on the backstage of the performance, on the performer's preparation before the concert, on the characteristics of each loudspeaker orchestra or the ideal concert hall, and other considerations on the quality of listening, etc. 

Denis Dufour, an ardent defender of the acousmatic interpreter, is a pioneer in the discipline. He has trained a whole generation of musicians, including Jonathan Prager, today one of the greatest performers of this music and a teacher of interpretation. He demonstrates with conviction what it brings to the work and how it "changes the point of view of composition".

Both give a sharp insight into the role of the interpreter, a profession in its own right. Through his feelings, he makes live music in concert, he is there to bring an additional touch to the composition, as he has the responsibility to transmit it and reveal it to the public. His ability to embody sounds, to stage them, prints his mark and his style to the work. Like conductors, he must also consider the space of the concert hall as well as the resonances and sound characteristics of the loudspeakers.

In this interview, we discover Prager's immense work of impregnating himself with the works until he knows them by heart, the impact of his choices on the arrangement of the acousmonium, the need to know the tonality of each loudspeaker, as well as the effects produced by their combination, etc., in order to maximize its potential. 

On reading this interview, collected in 2001 and transcribed in two parts in issues 207 and 208 of the Cahiers de l’Atelier Créatif de Musique Électroacoustique in Brussels, it appears that the interpretation of the acousmatic work does not seem to be self-evident, that it is not yet considered as an essential element of the projection of music in concert. This exchange between Dufour and Prager makes us realize, as a matter of course, what the performer brings to listen to the work, as well as the need to validate training in the interpretation of acousmatic music and its recognition by institutions.

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