Armando Balice

Composer, Improviser

© Christopher Barraja

Armando Balice is a Franco-Italian electroacoustic composer and improviser. He is the director and co-founder of the electroacoustic group Alcôme, as well as a professor of electroacoustic composition at the Grand Chalon Conservatory in Burgundy.

He draws inspiration from the abstract idea of Black and explores the poetic and cultural references associated with it, including painting, poetry, and various cultural elements. Armando Balice seeks to develop an intense and deep musicality, almost orchestral in nature, drawing influences from contemporary music with a more noise-oriented character, as well as from the extensive repertoire of acousmatic and classical music.
In 2023, he was awarded the Francis and Mica Salabert Prize as part of the SACEM Symphonic Awards.
He has received commissions from various institutions including Radio France, the Maison de la Musique Contemporaine, the INA-GRM, La Muse en Circuit as part of SACEM's Fabriques à Musique, the Cairn Ensemble, creation centers Le Logellou and Ici L'Onde, Esox Lucius, the Motus music company, and various festivals. His music has been regularly performed abroad, including at the Silence festival in Italy, the conservatory of Wuhan and Beijing in China, Japan, the Acousmonium festival in Russia and Austria, Romania, Spain, among others.
Armando Balice studied electroacoustic composition under Jean-Marc Weber and then at the Pôle Supérieur d’enseignement artistique of Paris Boulogne-Billancourt with Denis Dufour and Jonathan Prager before pursuing a Master's degree in electroacoustic music and sound arts at INA-GRM. In 2013, he designed the Alcôme’s acousmonium (loudspeaker orchestra dedicated to spatialized sound), with which he regularly organizes concerts and conducts educational activities focused on electroacoustic music.



Performed live at ACOUSMONIUM Festival on May 08, 2024

Concrete Obscura is the second installment of the "Concrete" series, aiming to engage with a raw material inspired by both the literal meaning of "concrete" as an architectural symbol of the modern era, and Pierre Schaeffer's concept of musique concrète in 1948. Concrete, widely used in construction since the latter half of the 20th century, gave rise to the brutalist movement, exploring simplistic and massive forms that convey both utopian and dystopian aesthetics.
Concrete Obscura may resonate with "La fièvre d’Urbicande" from the "Cités obscures" series, although it does not draw direct inspiration from it. The comic's narrative, blending realism and fantasy, portrays tensions between order and chaos within a totalitarian architectural cityscape disrupted by a geometric structure that emerges and vanishes, illustrating human and natural contradictions. Concrete Obscura aims to express these dualities through soundscapes, exploring contrasts such as mass-lightness, chaos-harmony, and organic-mechanical.

The light went out before I could see, 2022

Commissioned by Alcôme

Black Garden, 25’ / 2019

Commissioned by INA GRM
Cello: Lola Malique

Composed in the INA GRM studios, in Tokyo, and in my personal studio.

“In the light or in the dark, a song comes forward, it takes over a song that was getting tired”
Guillevic, in Le Chant

The expression of an inner garden, of destruction and creation, of darkness and light… I think I put some inspirations of a Japanese Garden in it, but making it very personal and trying to reach something more dramatic and expressive, contrasting with the external peacefulness of such a place. Playing with the symbols and poetry of black, the composition explores the instrumental character in electroacoustic music, mainly through cello, used equally as a lyrical element, as well as a raw material from which other sounds are produced.

I. Prélude
II. Noir I
III. Behind the rocks
IV. Noir II
V. Yet still, we rise
VI. Noir III
VII. Collapse
VIII. Where are you

Empty Garden, 21’05” / 2020

Here I am taking the side that says that emptiness is full, that it is at the origin of everything. Empty Garden was composed with the idea of offering a second part to my piece Black Garden commissioned by INA-GRM. The form approaches it and the sound universe develops there with certain covers.

I. From nothing
II. Noir I
III. In front of the stones
IV. Noir II
V. In the ground
VI. Noir III
VII. Strange immobility
VIII. This is black and light