La théorie des nerfs creux

Jocelyn Robert

Direct visceral stimulation. he sound of synapses firing. Excellent. The Wire, UK

Avatar strikes again with its new release, Jocelyn Robert’s La Théorie des nerfs creux. With this sound creation, Robert brings to the ears floods of souvenirs through the electrified channels of organic memory. This is the fourth solo phonogramme by Québec city artist Jocelyn Robert, whom we have also heard in projects with Bruit TTV or Diane Landry. Thinking is a noisy process.

CD (AVTR 003)

  • Label: OHM / Avatar
  • AVTR 003
  • 1996
  • UCC 622209015229
  • Total duration: 41:27
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 100 g

On the web

In the press

Soundcheck Review

Phil England, The Wire, no. 167, January 1, 1998

Avatar’s director is Jocelyn Robert. His The Hollow Nerve Theory uses sound as a metaphor for the electrical activity of the brain, as activated by all manner of external stimuli. The set of four pieces starts off in high-activity beta mode with juxtapositions of mechanical, electrical and digital noise at a velocity approaching the cuts on John Oswald’s Plexure. there is a gradual thinning of materials (towards alpha) which only reveals further complexities: a chaos of independent activities running simultaneously and at different speeds. “Thinking is a noisy process” is the legend on the artwork. The paradox being that this CD is best experienced without the mediation of linguistic or analytical thought. Direct visceral stimulation. he sound of synapses firing. Excellent.

Direct visceral stimulation. he sound of synapses firing. Excellent.


Revue & Corrigée, no. 32, June 1, 1997

Avec La théorie des nerfs creux, Jocelyn Robert explore soniquement («penser fait du bruit») les rapports entre le système nerveux et la pensée. De multiples stimuli sonores sont ainsi véhiculés, cumulés et mis en relation, processus conduisant à la perception de quatre pièces, entre bruitisme et environnement sonore et parcourues de parasites de toute nature.


Richard Moule, Exclaim!, January 1, 1997

That Québec has always had a strong tradition in electronic and electro-acoustic music is a given; what continues to surprise is the health, depth and scope of the work being created. The Québec label OHM/AVTR seems interested in exploringsound sources and found sounds. At its core, OHM/AVTR seems to be following the esteemed traditions of people like John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Brion Gysin, and more recently Robin Rimbaud’s project, and Panasonic, in creating musique concrete and sound collages.

Jocelyn Robert -La theorie des nerfs creux is no less manipulative, but its intentions are more in creating waves and frequency-based glitches, similar in style to the german duo Oval. Robert’s sounds collages appear to come more from the electro-acoustic side of musical experimentation.