Lionel Marchetti

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Lionel Marchetti is one of a handful of artists who in the mid-to-late 1990s took electroacoustic music out of academic studios and into the free improvisation ring. A scholar who worked at the CFMI (Lyon)…
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Artist Biography by

Lionel Marchetti is one of a handful of artists who in the mid-to-late 1990s took electroacoustic music out of academic studios and into the free improvisation ring. A scholar who worked at the CFMI (Lyon) and GRM (Paris) studios and published a book on acousmatic composer Michel Chion, Marchetti developed a set-up of microphones and loudspeakers he uses on stage along with tape recorders, prepared CDs, motors and radios. He often refers to his "instruments" as an "electroacoustic contraption." His live work with Jérôme Noetinger found echoes in the approach of Swiss and Austrian abstractionists like Voice Crack, Günter Müller, and Werner Dafeldecker, but Marchetti is mostly active in France, performing regularly at the club Les Instants Chavirés and at the festival Musique Action. His studio work encompasses sound collage (Knud Un Nom de Serpent) and academic electroacoustics (Sirrus, Portrait d'un Glacier), although the level of poetry and refusal of genre boundaries in his music puts him closer to Kristoff K.Roll and Luc Ferrari than Pierre Henry or Bernard Parmegiani.

Marchetti was born in France in 1967. His interest in music resides in the qualities of sound. He started to experiment by himself and later discovered the rich French corpus of musique concrète through Xavier Garcia. From 1989 to 2002 he was attached to the CFMI studios in Lyon where he still runs workshops. The first large-scale work he created there was Sirrus (1989-1990, released only in 2001). Following his encounter with label owner and fellow sound experimentalist Jérôme Noetinger, he began to release material on Metamkine in 1993, quickly growing his own voice out of Michel Chion's influence. Knud Un Nom de Serpent (Le Cercle des Entrailles) was his first American release (on Intransitive, 2001). Albums began to multiply in 2001.

Starting in 1993, a series of live and improvisation-based projects would run parallel to his more academic career. The Marchetti-Noetinger duo was the first of such projects and remains the longest lasting one. From the start their brand of abstract real-time transformation of sounds hinted at the lowercase/microsound esthetic that would soon take over avant-garde circles at the turn of the millennium. The pair has recorded as a duet (Mort aux Vaches, 2001) but also as part of larger groups (Double Wash with Voice Crack, an eponymous release with Mathieu Werchowski). The two of them are also involved in the audio-visual project Le Cube. In addition, Marchetti performs with the influential improv collective Archipel (with Emmanuel Petit, Sophie Agnel, Fabrice Charles, Pascal Bathus, and Werchowski).