Sonic Waters at Bains de Bruxelles: a concert where you can experience music under water

The winter is approaching quickly with its low temperatures these days. But don’t forget where you store your swimming suit because you might need it soon. Brussels welcomes a unique Underwater Concert in the Bains de Bruxelles on November 25th.

Sonic Waters is a unique musical experience that combines all the senses. Bringing music into life has been the quest for the composer Michel Redolfi for over thirty years. From this, comes a new concept: underwater music or “anamorphous” listening. To realise this crazy dream, Michel Redolfi creates original compositions which are diffused in the sea or in swimming pools by means of equipment and instruments developed for this purpose.

Audiences listen to the music floating in the water or immersing themselves in it. Sonic waters was premiered in June 1981 in San Diego Bay and a few days later at the Rencontres Internationales d’Art Contemporain in La Rochelle. Since then, this fascinating form of concert has been presented all over the world, and it is in Brussels, for the edition of Inouïe. Brussels Express speaks with creator Michel Redolfi to find out more about the nature of the concert.


What experience do eople have during the concert?

By floating in levitation in sonic waters, audience experience listening with their full body resonating magically to the music. It’s completely sensorial, overwhelming and just plain natural. You may feel like a sea mammal, a mermaid.


©Francois Domahidy



What difference does the liquid environment make?

While the sound travels four times faster than in the air, it brings the purest sound quality all down to your body bypassing your ears. Water makes you float while listening just like if you were in space. Art in gravity zero is our future here and soon on other planets.


Could you share more about the musical and reading choice?

I composed the music especially for the underwater concerts. Part of it will be performed live in the deep pool with my new instrument. The music is slow paced to induce a dreamy experience. Texts of the pioneer of modern music John Cage and the Italian writer Erri de Luca evoke inner mental states and life at sea with dolphins.


©Francois Domahidy


You chose Jean Marc Barr for the leading voice?

French-American actor Jean Marc Barr was the best fit for the vocal guide of the evening. We both worked on Besson’s “Le grand bleu” movie and his smoothing voice sounds amazing in the water. Part of his performance will be given in scaphander into the deep of the pool. This is a challenging world premiere that relies on the mythic oceanic world of Jules Verne.


Where have you performed before?

Previous venues include open sea concerts: Bays of Sydney, San Diego, Nice, and Monte Carlo. Concerts in Olympic pools in Amsterdam, Paris, Sao Paulo.


©Christoph Harbonnier


More information about the concerts

About the creator