The Viennese composer of acousmatic music Thomas Gorbach together with his Mexican colleague Enrique Mendoza will present the world premiere of The Virtual Vienna Acousmonium – a sonic project involving multichannel sound reproduction combined with open-back headphones. Gorbach and Mendoza will present their project in the water tanks under Žlutý kopec, where they will place 26 loudspeakers whose sound combined with listening from open-back headphones will bring an immersive sonic experience.

The Virtual Vienna Acousmonium is based on HADS (Hybrid Audio Diffusion System), an artistic research project which uses this special configuration of loudspeakers and headphones to challenge and at the same time to expand the acoustical-spatial perceptive faculty. This unique combination of technology and sound will bring a new dimension to the listening experience.

The 50-minute concert will feature music by four composers, composed or arranged specifically for this sound system - in addition to Thomas Gorbach and Enrique Mendoza, works by Annette Vande Gorne and François Bayle, inventor of the acousmonium and world pioneer of spatial acousmatic music will also be presented.


It's time to introduce Thomas Gorbach, a key figure behind The Virtual Vienna Acousmonium project! The Viennese composer and promoter of acousmatic music launched the first concert series for acousmatic music in Austria in 2007 and built the first ever Austrian acousmonium with the concert association THE ACOUSMATIC PROJECT. The original set-up of 8 units has been expanded to more than 60 loudspeakers of various characteristics, which Gorbach places in the space according to a detailed plan, deliberation and long-term experience based on real experiments. Gorbach has explored various methods of sound projection in space, live sound diffusion and invented his own spatial sound control system, achieving unprecedented mastery in this area.  

We are both thrilled and honoured that Thomas Gorbach has chosen the SONDA festival to present his latest project, The Virtual Vienna Acousmonium, which combines classical acousmonium with ambisonic format and binaural listening from open headphones.


Francois Bayle, born in 1932 in Madagascar, is a legendary composer and a pioneer of acousmatic music – abstract electroacoustic music that works with spatial distribution of sound. In the 1950s Bayle joined Pierre Schaeffer's Groupe de Recherches Musicales, an organisation for research and analysis of electroacoustic music, which he led from 1966 until the late 1990s. It was François Bayle who, in 1974, came up with the idea of creating the Acousmonium, a large-scale set of loudspeakers for spatial representation of acousmatic music. His work with the spatial aspect of sound achieved unprecedented mastery.

Francois Bayle was, and still is, an extremely prolific figure whose contribution to the development of electroacoustic music is of great importance. Among other things, he launched a record series Collection Ina GRM, organizes concerts and radio broadcasts, and continues to support the development of technologically advanced musical instruments (Syter, GRM tools, Midi Formers, Acousmographe). In 1993, he founded Acousmathèque, a music library containing some 2,000 works composed since 1948. After leaving GRM in 1997, he founded his own studio and label, Magison.

Bayle’s œuvre is notable for its masterly craftsmanship and rhetoric, its agile discourse and its sophisticated thought.

To date, he has composed 99 works.

We are absolutely thrilled to have this key composer's work Déplacements (2011), arranged for spatial representation, performed at SONDA Festival. 


Classical music studies at the Royal Conservatory of Mons and Brussels and with Jean Absil (instrumental composition). Electroacoustical composition with G. Reibel and P. Schaeffer at the Paris National Conservatory.

Organises as Artistic Director the International Acousmatic Festival of Brussels :L’espace du Son (1984, annually since 1994) Creates and leads the non-profit making association “Musiques & Recherches” and the “Métamorphose d’Orphée” studio (1982) Publish the revue "Lien" and the ElectrO-CD repertory.

Wins the SABAM (Belgium Author Society) “Music’s Year” price in 1985 and “Fuga price” in 1995.

Teaches electroacoustic composition at the Liège (1986), Brussels (1987) and Mons (1993) Conservatories where she create  a complete electroacoustic section in 2002.

Give many concerts in many countries of Europe, Canada, about the acousmatic repertory and his own works on his acousmonium (60 loudspeakers).

Presently, her music studies various types of sound energies of nature; she uses these as they are or transforms them in the studio to create an abstract and expressive non-anecdotic musical language. The relationship between Text and Music is an other domain of research.


Born in Mexico City and based in Vienna, Enrique Mendoza is an electroacoustic music artist focused on acousmatic composition, live electronics, and live diffusion. His electroacoustic composition and performance utilize DIY analog oscillators, lo-fi mini-synths, custom software, 3D immersive music technology, and multi-channel systems. Enrique has received commissions, awards, and grants from Institutions and Ensembles around Europe, the USA, Asia, South America, and Mexico. Enrique has a master’s degree from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and currently undertaking an artistic doctorate at Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria, where he is a Lecturer in Digital Music Techniques. His research topic deals with electroacoustic music composition for Hybrid Audio Diffusion Systems.