Philippe Mion

Teacher, Composer

Philippe Mion photo by Britt Roger Sas

Born in 1956. Chorister in various vocal ensembles from the age of 8 to 35. Classical guitar at age 12. Definitely turned to music after one year of higher studies in mathematics Musical studies in Musicology at the Sorbonne-Paris (1974-1978), at the Paris Conservatoire (Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel's class). Composition prize in 1977 and assistant to Pierre Schaeffer and Guy Reibel (1979-1980). 
Discovered electroacoustic music at the age of 16 and made it the main part of his work as a composer, in particular in a close collaboration and intermittent association with the Grm (Groupe de Recherches Musicales, Paris). An acousmaticist, therefore, fervent and passionate, he also composes by writing scores, mixed works for instruments or voices and also hybrid devices bringing together electroacoustic parts and sounding objects, whether or not microphonised.  

His works for the concert, the ballet and the theatre testify to the importance he attaches to the perceptual point of view in composition, and he does not conceive of abstraction that is not initially derived from it. Interested in theatre, voice and singing, he has composed two operas (Léone and Choc lyrique de chocolat), two electroacoustic oratorios based on texts by the poet Henri Michaux and several works of musical theatre. Resident at the French Academy in Rome (1989-1991).

For a long time now, he has also been carrying out various musical projects immersed in other social contexts, sometimes completely removed from the world of contemporary music. The work in these cases is no longer exclusively the work as a result but also the way in which its birth, elaboration and accomplishment take place in the life of a population, and in one way or another concerns people who would perhaps never have imagined being able to appreciate such a musical orientation. In this alternative he feels he has found a balance to his profession as a composer.
In addition to composition, he has been interested in:
  • The electroacoustic concert business (concert management and interpretation of acousmatic works on loudspeaker systems). He has given numerous practical courses
  • Radio (producer at Radio-France from 1979 to 1982, broadcasts of "éveil à la musique" and "Concerts-Lecture"),
  • Teaching in various forms: Composition: He taught acousmatic composition at the Conservatoire de Mons – Ehigh school of arts (Arts2) in Belgium from 2000 to 2021 and continues to teach perceptual analysis there. 

In 1999 he founded the electroacoustic composition workshop at the Conservatoire de Vitry-sur- Seine near Paris, where he teaches electroacoustic composition.
Pedagogy of an experimental approach in music:
Since 1979, he has been carrying out pedagogical activities, but above all musical activities, for children, amateurs, young professional musicians, and above all for teachers or pedagogical advisors... various musical trainers concerned with transmission to children, and this in associative or institutional settings (Music schools, teacher training colleges...)
Very early on, he was involved in pedagogical activities And after more than 40 years of  varied practice he must agree that this is a sincere vocation.

He also composes for the theatre, acousmatic music for the stage (collaboration with the Ekphrasis company, A.Desmots)

His first opera, Léone, (State commission) for 6 singers and electroacoustic part was premiered in 1993 at the Perspectives Festival in Saarbrücken. The second, Choc Lyrique de Chocolat, (commissioned by the Justiniana Ensemble) for children's choir, countertenor, actress, two percussion instruments and live electroacoustic part, was premiered in 1997 at the Théâtre Edwige Feuillère in Vesoul.


L'image éconduite. After Henri Michaux (Coll. INA-Grm)

Confidence (Ed. Métamkine, Coll. Cinéma pour l'oreille)
Soupçon-délice (Coll. INA-Grm)
Léone (Opera. Ed. empreintes DIGITAles)
Loulou & Pierrot-la-Lune et les drôles de sons (Gallimard-jeunesse)
Si c'était du jour. Des jambes de femmes tout le temps. Statue (Coll. INA-Grm)
Tissé par mille (Gallimard, "À voix haute" collection with Camille Laurens)
L'image éconduite. Je joue pour faire de la fumée. after Henri Michaux (Éole Records / Ina-Grm)

Written publications

Written publications:
L'envers d'une œuvre in collaboration with JC. Thomas and JJ. Nattiez (Buchet-Chastel)
Published analyses (CD Rom, website and books or magazines)
L. Ferrari. La grotte. Heterozygote
F. Bayle. La langue inconnue
B. Parmégiani. L’oeil écoute
C. Zanési. Les voix de Pierre Schaeffer
D. Smalley. Empty Wessel
Y. Parenthoën. Le Tour de la France 1989 de Vincent Lavenu, dossard 154


Performed in Circuit Fantôme S1 Ep4:


to Mattéo Mion
19'58. 4 tracks. 2021
Creation Festival Espace du son. Brussels. October 2021
Composed in the Métamorphoses d'Orphée studio of Musiques&Recherches

The initial and main decision to make this piece was taken in a sudden and lively gesture as if one were throwing a "go! Hop!" in french. However, there is nothing casual about it, the act was punctuated by copious prior cogitations. But yes, to decide: a single piece of original material, a single microphone recording, and the will to stick to it.
A wager, a challenge-desire and the joy of choice. (An element from another source, very sparingly used, came to make a tiny bend).

The compositional process took place in a continuous flow, an energy consistent with this first "hop-iniatre" disposition. I remember that I had named my first work session "Hop" – out of resignation, because it had to have a name, even before I realised that it made sense.

A sometimes bouncy, wriggling character that, if I had to give it some cultural nobility, I could call Saltarello, from Saltare (which means to jump in Italian) but also because saltarello is an ancient couple's dance music, a love game marked by challenge.

Among other things, highlighting harmonic colours in what at first had none. Adding ambiguous “colourisation” - like a light colourful veil, arificial luminosities of the rainbow, while preserving the vivid, dynamic and wilderness of the original morphological trace. Comparable to the colourisation of old black and white postcards.

And then, it occurred to me to add an "e" to this Hop as if to feminise it, evoking by parenthesis, the English "hope", a "hop-timistic" way of saying that, despite the controversies and other ideological tensions, hope, which we undoubtedly need so much in these times, now seems to me to be conjugated for a new, important part, and finally...,  into the feminine.

Thanks to Annette Vande Gorne for hosting the studio.

Si c'était du jour
Si c’était du jour. (If it were day)
16'20. 1998. 8 tracks
Commissioned by Ina-Grm.

Upstream: an intention to concentrate on the idea of rhythm.
Later, during a research session in sound recording, I held a heavy box full of various objects in my hands:
The trembling imposed by the weight of the object on the arm muscles amplified and revealed a natural kind of nervousness; everything trembles, vibrates, wriggles, oscillates, clashes microscopically.
The way is prepared - it is leading me to maintain and explore this trembling, to go through this sensation with delicacy. Noticing the infinite poem of these shocks and their repercussions, and still playing with this rough bell and by doing so, producing clatter and jumble, tintamarres and capharnaüms ... . Like a "rat in a toolbox" ... .
After this poetic and musical field was opened, a desires for rhythm and rhythms of desire emerged. Sentimental feverishness, energies of desire and covetousness, in a writing in sections – where memory is constantly required.

Exposé du crible

Exposé du crible. (Presentation of the sieve)
14'. 2008. 8 tracks
Commissioned by INA-Grm. Creation 24 May 2008. Radio-France / INA-Grm

First of all in the luxuriant concrete. Distinguish according to intentions.
Carrying small attentions.
Small units in the illusion of large numbers. Fiction of quantity.
And since it is a question of separating the good from the bad, I dismiss negative connotations of debt and bullets.
I retain the ecstatic look of Saint Sebastian.
Cupid shoots the arrows?
Hence sieve as a principle of porosity, of penetration, of marriage through the surface.
Sky riddled with stars, meticulous animosities of embers.
Introducing organisation, artifice. Sieving lines, mechanisation, pulsation...
And sift through the moment.
To expose this.