close close
previous project
previous project
Paris, France

Le Cauchemar merveilleux (New Settings #5)

A poetic immersion in the world of the senses

Who has never dreamed of a truly ’total’ artwork, a piece enveloping the ‘spectator’ in a celebration of the senses? Le Cauchemar merveilleux rises to the challenge: inside the ‘synaesthesium’, wrap-around sound compositions by Léonore Mercier accompany the title piece (by contemporary French poet Arthur H), inviting us on a journey into the unexpected.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Le Cauchemar merveilleux (New Settings #5)
© Pierre-Luc Jamain

The audience takes its place beneath a lightweight, luminous dome. Gradually, a dense but subtle sound emerges – pure noise, but musical and environmental, too. Created by Léonore Mercier, the soundscape mingles with sensual, angry, provocative stories and poems by Arthur H. As the sound fills the space, shifting colours and moods cover the dome.

This atypical experience is created inside the ‘synaesthesium’ – a multisensory, immersive installation allowing Leonore Mercier to sublimate the boundless imagination of punk poet and mystic Arthur H.  ‘Let the sounds and images traverse and transport you’, urges the poet. ‘Sound transforms the everyday into a phantasmagorical world of unlimited hallucinatory power’, the artist responds.

Experienced live or as an installation, and using innovative technical means, this new immersive piece stimulates the senses and challenges the way we listen and see. The artists mingle with the audience in live performances that shatter the conventional boundary between stage and auditorium. Housed in a poetic, three-dimensional ‘temple of the imagination’, Le Cauchemar merveilleux (‘The fabulous nightmare’) is an experience out of time, opening the way to new possibilities. 

<< Discover "Le Cauchemar Merveilleux" on video

next project
next project


In 2016 :

Thursday February 25, 7pm

Friday February 26, 7pm - 9pm

Saturday February 27, 4pm - 7pm - 9pm

In 2015 :

Saturday November 14, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday November 15, 3.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Monday November 16, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tuesday November 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

(Performance time 1 hour)


Creators: Léonore Mercier and Arthur H

Sound design and production: Léonore Mercier

Text: Arthur H

Interactive installations and video: Maxence Mercier

Production: OTRA, with the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès (‘New Settings’ programme)

Partners: Opéra de Lille, Le 104, IRCAM, AETA, ESAAT, Maison Folie Beaulieu

Production assistant: Chantal Alvarez