Michel Risse

Creative Director, Compagnie Décor Sonore

Spring 2022

Musician Michel Risse
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Cities
  • New York
"The Cloudspeaker (Le Son qui vient du Ciel) literally creates the city’s rumblings: the urban space becomes an arena of elusive tones that seem to rush through the streets, emanate from the facades, and melt into the existing soundscape.”

My troupe, Décor Sonore, sees the city as a breeding ground for sound creations. It provides a unique listening experience of the world by drawing inspiration from urban resonances, from the natural and industrial harmonies that make up our day-to-day city life. These unique creations offer a new perception of our sound environment and reinvent our relation to music.


Ever since Instrument|Monument (2004), all the troupe’s creations are meant to reveal urban set designs, landscapes, and our sound culture. Whether they are turning urban objects into instruments, inviting us to rediscover our domestic everyday items by listening to them, or exploring sounds of the past, all these audio and musical creations implicitly highlight the sensitive world of our sound culture. They do not just offer new tones, but also new contexts and ways of listening to everything that surrounds us.


Having used monumental sculptures (Les Kaléidophones, 2016) to invite the public to listen to the existing soundscape, we would now like to slip into this soundscape imperceptibly, but with the same aim: to change the way we hear the city and invite people to listen to the environment like a musical composition so that its poetry emerges.


Michel Risse is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and electro-acoustician. He studied music and percussion and has played in many rock and jazz groups alongside a wide range of artists (Moondog, Vince Taylor, Angel Parra, Nicolas Frize, Herbe Rouge, Grand Orchestre Bekummernis, etc.). Starting in 1972, he started composing his first “sound decors” and began setting up electro-acoustic installations for public places. These experiments led him to create, with Pierre Sauvageot, the troupe Décor Sonore in 1986, for which he is now the creative director.


Décor Sonore is a unique creative group in sound composition and theatrical production, specializing in free-space sound creation. The troupe offers unique public performances that combine theater and musical design. It is also a place for collaborative construction, open to creators from other artistic disciplines: a center for reflecting and experimenting where original spaces and systems for projecting sound are invented, and a center for teaching and raising awareness of our sound environment.


In partnership with

logo lieux publics
Lieux Publics

Historically the first national creation centre in France, created in 1986, Lieux publics was awarded the label "Centre National des Arts de la Rue et de l'Espace Public (CNAREP)" in 2017, and also obtained the designation "Pôle européen de production" that same year. Lieux publics is a place of creation and production, a shelter for artists and companies who utilize the city as the place, the object and the subject of their creations. Since 2003, the structure has been piloting the European network IN SITU. 


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