Sophie Usunier / ART WORKS


Psychologia Balnearia

Plombières-les-Bains (France)

collaboration with Alphonse Anougna, jazz musician and composer (

see on SOUND to hear some pieces, on VIDEO to see the 4 videos


Psychologia Balnearia is born during a 6 weeks residency in the French thermal city Plombières-les-Bains (summer 2010). I was invited by the association Les Jardins-en-Terrasses, and the FRAC Lorraine. I lived there for 6 weeks, searching for inspirations and meeting new people, inhabitants, "curists" and tourists. During my residency, I recorded some sounds, and more specially I looked for the drops of water, working on the metaphysical theme of time. It was very favorable being in a thermal city in which water was everywhere, I could feel the very peculiar and psychological atmosphere of time stillness. In the meanwhile, I met Alphonse Anougna, a jazz musician, during my stay, and I proposed him to collaborate with me on a CD. We both found it interesting to mix both sound illustration and musical composition, while we discovered our respective creative world, music and visual art. The achievement took one year long, and has been presented in the city of the residency, in Plombières-les-Bains, in the beautiful site of the "jardins-en-terrasses" in june 2011. The 13 tracks of the CD matched both natural sound registrations and specific musical compositions. I let Alphonse Anougna feel free in his compositions, I wanted him to reflect on the concept of drops with his own thoughts, feelings and musical background, I did'nt want to influence him too much, I'd rather looked for a strong and balanced exchange on the subject. It’ is the result of an eclectic CD, from melodic pieces to more afro-jazz and experimental rythms. The feeling of the duration and the repetition is important, it naturally follows from the drop of water. The rythm is at the same time hypnotizing, spellbound, relaxing, or even annoying... we can hear it differently, it all depends of our own state of mind. Psychologia Balnearia is a CD to listen more than once, unrestrainedly, with the idea that time will bring you through a lot of interpretations.

The CD includes also a 36 pages booklet, with texts, photos and drawing made during the residency.

There is also 4 videos called untitled #1, untitled #2, untitled #3, untitled #4 (psychologia Balnearia). All are describing a contemplation of landscape or an observation from my room. I just try to render an impression of slowness, in order to concentrate always more about one peculiar image, throughout the duration and the nearly still image.

"Psychologia Balnearia" was the first title given to the first edition of one of Hermann Hesse’s autobiographical writings "A guest at the Spa". It considerably gives the state of mind and the emotions I could feel during my stay in Plombières-les-Bains, giving at the final project the old and enigmatic charme of the old-fashioned spa.



Next project: → Dans Notre Maison

Previous project: ← L'Età del Dubbio

Psychologia Balnearia
Psychologia Balnearia