Antoine Chessex

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Antoine Chessex
OriginVevey, Switzerland
GenresExperimental, Noise, Improvised music, Contemporary classical music
Occupation(s)Musician, Composer
Associated actsMonno

Born in 1980 in Vevey (CH), Antoine Chessex is a Swiss composer, saxophone player, sound artist and researcher whose works assume a wide diversity of forms spanning compositions for ensembles, solo performances, sound installations and transdisciplinary researches. The works of Antoine Chessex have over the years crossed the boundaries between noise, modern composition and improvisation defining an atypical path towards sonic imagination. His background as a saxophone player saw him performing extensively in manifold situations over the last decades.

As a performer, he radically reterritorialized the saxophone as a monstrous noise machine by playing his horn through distorting stacks of guitar amplifiers and PA systems to create monolithic walls of electrified textures resulting in intense live actions. He performed solo at numerous international festivals and venues worldwide.

As a composer, he has been investigating the abstract properties of acoustic instruments within ensembles, usually in combination with electronic dispositives including the reel-to-reel tape recorder performed live by Jérôme Noetinger or Valerio Tricoli. Chessex's compositions are characterized by textural density and microtonal tensions often resulting in sound-masses exploring the physical dimensions of space and time. Recent chamber music commissions include DUST for three violins and electronics recorded live at Berlin's Berghain in 2010, Chute for the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Schichten & Ritournelle Fulgurante for the oh ton Ensemble, Metakatharsis & Damage is Done for the Phoenix Ensemble in Basel, Furia for the Ensemble Werktag in Zürich as well as Plastic Concrete & Accumulation for Apartment House in London. In 2016, he wrote Les Abîmes Hallucinés, an electro-acoustic sonic drama for the Ensemble Proton in Bern. His compositions have been published by Tochnit-Aleph, Cave12 records and Bocian records.

As a researcher, he addresses issues around noise, auditory perception, sonic abstraction, marginal artistic practices, politics of hearing and possible articulations of sound and philosophy within the sound studies context. Recent publications include Unfolding the Margins (éditions du désordre, 2017), Thinking A Sonic World (ZHdK, 2017) and the multilingual magazine Multiple (2016).

Chessex is also a founding member of the noise band Monno with whom he toured extensively.

Collaborations with musicians Lasse Marhaug, Zbigniew Karkowski, Jérôme Noetinger, Maja Ratkje, Valerio Tricoli, Dave Phillips, the noise band Monno, architect Christian Waldvogel and media artist Ulrike Gabriel (Flow, 2002).


chamber music:

  • Chessex, Noetinger & Apartment House (Bocian, 2016)
  • Furia played by Werktag (A Tree in A Field, 2015)
  • Selected Chamber Music Works (Tochnit-Aleph, 2014)
  • Dust for 3 violins, backtape and electronics (Cave12/Metamkine, 2011)

solo works:

  • Subjectivation (Rekem/Fragment Factory, 2018)
  • Multiple (Musica Moderna, 2014)
  • Errances (Under Platform, 2013)
  • Fools (Tourette, 2010)
  • Le Point Immobile (Mnoad, 2010)
  • Terra Incognita (Absurd, 2009)
  • Power, stupidity & ignorance (Petit mignon, 2009)
  • Untitled acoustic (Naivsuper, 2008)
  • Lost in destruction (Editions Zero, 2008)
  • Silences (Tanzprocesz, 2007)
  • No (Imvated, 2004)

with Monno:

  • Cheval Ouvert (2xLP, Staalplaat/Petit Mignon, 2015)
  • Cheval Ouvert (Idiosyncratics, 2013)
  • Ghosts (Conspiracy, 2009)
  • Error (Conspiracy, 2007)
  • Untitled (Soundimplant, 2004)
  • Candlelight technology (Subdeviant, 2003)


  • Coi Tormenti with Valerio Tricoli (Dilemma, 2010)
  • Calcination (Utech, 2009)
  • With Dave Phillips (Tochnit aleph compilation, 2005)
  • Swiftmachine (Creative sources, 2004)
  • Kainkwatett (Schraum, 2003)

External links[edit]