Founded in 2016 at Université de Montréal, Ensemble d’oscillateurs (French for “Oscillator Ensemble”) brings together 10 musicians around old analog test equipment oscillators that produce audio sine waves. The ensemble performs new compositions while also arranging early electronic pieces. In parallel, the project has developed itself as a space to gather information and reflect on sine wave–based music. In this article, the author presents some of the key considerations and challenges in the formation of Ensemble d’oscillateurs. Based on observations made throughout the development of a body of work using these audio oscillators, he then aims to open a discussion on some aspects of the historical trajectory of the use of sine waves in modern music.

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