Immersive Sound Art

Album: Ha! compagnons

Ha! compagnons

Air de cour, lute song & monodie

Elodie Bouchard, voice
Anthony Harvey, lutes

Ha! compagnons takes us back to a time when the voice and the lute were the true companions in the quest for poetic and musical expression. In exploring this fruitful partnership, we seek to immerse you in the most intimate soundscape heard in Italy, France, and England of the early 17th century.

Giulio Caccini (1551–1618)
1Torna, deh torna pargoletto mio
Thomas Campion (1567–1620)
2Oft Have I Sigh'd
3Her Rosie Cheekes
4Shall I Come Sweet Love to Thee
Sigismondo d'India (c. 1582–1629)
5Tu parti, ahi lasso
6Intenerite voi, lagrime mie
Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
7Lamento d'Arianna SV 22
Etienne Moulinié (c. 1599–1676)
8Quoy faut-il donc vous dire adieu
9Quittez, quittez cette fière rigueur
10Enfin la beauté que j'adore
11Ha! compagnons nous voyla bien
Order now on
Pure Audio Blu-ray & CD Premium Package
9.0 Auro-3D & 5.0 Surround 24 bit 96 kHz
High Resolution Stereo 24 bit 96 kHz
Dolby Atmos 24 bit 48 kHz
Binaural (for headphones) 24 bit 96 kHz
mShuttle Stereo & Binaural portable flac
The CD contains the album in both, stereo (tracks 1–11) and binaural sound (tracks 12–22) at standard resolution.

The Intimate Soundscape of Voice and Lute

This project introduces the listener to the pivotal period between Renaissance and Baroque when composers united in the desire for clarity of sung lyrics. Voice and lute then became an essential duo whose intimate character perfectly matched the needs at the different courts throughout Europe. This symbiosis can be heard in the air de cour and ayres of France and England, whereas in Italy it is rather the genre of accompanied monody which prevailed over the national soundscape and later lead to the development of the first operas. The pieces on the album share the timeless theme of love in all of its different shades, rounded up by the ultimate drinking song that lends its title to the project: "For us, Ha! compagnons illustrates not only the historical camaraderie of voice and lute, but also the collaborative aspect of many companions making this release possible" explains Elodie Bouchard.

Passionate about early music, soprano Elodie Bouchard stands out for her musical expressivity and the diversity in colours of her voice. She performs regularly with the baroque ensemble Les Méandres and the Scholastica Ensemble with whom she participated in the recording Saints inouïs recently released on Atma Classique. She was featured at the opening concert of the Montreal Bach Festival in 2018, as well as at the Montréal Baroque Festival and the Young Performers Festival of Early Music America in 2019. Since 2018, she has partnered with the exceptional lutenist and continuo player Anthony Harvey who performs both, as a soloist and accompanist with many of North America's leading ensembles such as the National Philharmonic, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and the Washington Bach Consort. Together, Bouchard and Harvey aim to bring music for voice and lute to the forefront of the music world. In each performance, the young artists combine their vast expertise in historical performance practice with their evocative musical intuition.


What is Immersive Sound?

As we attend a music performance live in a concert hall, sound is all around us. Acoustic reflections from floor, walls and ceiling form what we refer to as the unique personality of a specific venue. The human hearing can perceive these sonic cues in fine spatial resolution and thus allows us to immediately characterize and imagine the space we are in. Moreover, room acoustic features strongly impact the timbre of musical instruments and even influence our perception of compositional structures. This is why space is an essential component of music interpretation.

In conventional two-channel stereo recordings, wise decisions must be made by the balance engineer on how to implement the complex acoustic setting into the two-dimensional reduction of two loudspeakers while still maintaining balance and clarity – in a way this process is comparable to a painter projecting a landscape with a brush on canvas. Immersive recording and playback technologies, however, can now reproduce the full character of sound in all spatial dimensions, allowing for the creation of a more natural reality related sound stage. Without losing detail and transperency, the acoustic envelopment afforded by immersive sound provides a strongly enhanced emotional experience to the listener and makes a more intimate engagement with the music possible.

The Evolution of Recorded Music

Sound Format: Stereo

Stereo playback as we know it for more than half a century uses two loudspeakers placed in an equilateral triangle in front of the listening position. With the listener exacly sitting in the so called sweet spot, this setup can reproduce the frontal localization of an ensemble on stage and is to a certain extent able to create the illusion of depth and distance.

Sound Format: Surround

Surround sound was the next milestone in playback technology introducing additional speakers around the listener. 5.1 surround affords an acoustic envelopment that already comes a lot closer to a natural presentation of sound and space.

Sound Format: Immersive

Finally, immersive sound formats such as Auro-3D and Dolby Atmos add the still missing height information to music recordings. The full reproduction of sound in all spatial dimensions is now possible with the addition of surround and height speakers. The result is not only a much more natural listening experience, but also a significaltly increased size of the listening area.

Sound Format: Binaural

If you don't have a three dimensional loudspeaker setup at your disposal for playing back native Auro-3D or Dolby Atmos content, our recordings also include a discrete binaural mix for an immersive listening experience on just a pair of headphones. Binaural sound technology is able to create a headphone feed that contains natural acoustic cues as they would arrive at your ears in a real concert situation. The result is a two-channel signal that can be heard with any common headphone listening equipment such as portable music players, mobile phones or your good old CD player.

Next Generation Distribution Media

After almost 40 years in history, the Compact Disc still is the most important physical distribution media for recorded music today. We all love our CD collection, it's easy handling and the convenience of grabbing a record from the shelf to listen at any time while turning the pages of a printed booklet with unique program notes, translated lyrics and information about the artist's background and intention.

The next generation reference media for music recordings is the Pure Audio Blu-ray disc. It combines Blu-ray’s vast storage capacity and bandwidth necessary for high resolution immersive sound with the easy and straight-forward handling of a CD. Pure Audio Blu-ray plays back on every Blu-ray player and hosts all sound formats available for our records: the immersive sound formats Auro-3D and Dolby Atmos, conventional stereo in high resolution and a native binaural mix for immersive headphone listening. Additionally our Pure Audio Blu-rays are equipped with mShuttle technology – the key to enjoying your music even when away from your Blu-ray player. Connecting your Blu-ray player to your home network will enable you to access portable copies of the music on the disc in both conventional stereo and binaural sound for headphone listening on the go.

Our record packages always include two discs in order to suite every customers playback environment: the Pure Audio Blu-ray containing all available sound formats and a conventional CD in standard resolution stereo.

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If you have any questions regarding immersive sound and our recording releases or if you would like to share your personal listening impression, please don't hesitate to get in touch:
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Illustrations © 2020 Hyunjoung Yang