Christophe Ruetsch

Another interesting discovery on Soundcloud is Christophe Ruetsch, who’s active in the hub of musical activity in Toulouse that the composer, conductor, and performer Pierre Jodlowski has been fostering. As a member of that circle, it’s not surprising that he has also created a number of works for video, where dance and music are integrated; and these can be seen on Collectif Éole’s channels on Youtube and Vimeo, as well as on another Vimeo channel that is presumably his own personal one. (He also has a Myspace page.)

Perhaps his most well-⁠known work is “Atomic Radio 137,” which premiered in 2009 and has been performed (and broadcast) a number of times since then; it was inspired, if that’s the right word, by the disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 – suffused with snippets of narration and other remarks, eerie droning and tickings, and a certain amount of fuzzy static (though also – and this offers perhaps a ray of hope – by the noises of ordinary animal life). Somehow while listening one thinks that this is how radiation would sound, if it were an aural phenomenon at all.

These are two video extracts from a live performance of the work.

And here is another piece of it.

Also in 2009, Ruetsch collaborated with Jodlowski and others to perform improvised music for the screening of a short film assembled from extracts from The Great White Silence, Herbert Ponting’s later cinematographic documentation of the 1911 expedition to Antarctica which ended so terribly; this music has evidently since been added as a soundtrack to their film, which may be viewed here.

But to come back to Soundcloud – on his page there are other striking pieces of electro-⁠acoustic music.


Six Doors.”

Sympathy Express.”

And “V” (d’après V de Thomas Pynchon, says Ruetsch).