IRCAM (Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique) was founded by composer and conductor Pierre Boulez in 1977 as part of the Centre Pompidou project in the heart of Paris. Following the pioneering experience of the Bauhaus, Boulez’s vision in the late 70s was that the future of contemporary music would be shaped by advances in science and technology. In this spirit, IRCAM was conceived as a place bringing together researchers and engineers on the one hand, and artists – composers, performers, sound designers – on the other, enabling multiple forms of interdisciplinary interaction between them for their mutual benefit. Since then, IRCAM has remained a benchmark art-science-technology institution, where artistic production, at the service of leading artists, is a permanent source of experimentation and needs for scientific research and technological innovation, sometimes years ahead of mass-market developments in ever broader economic sectors, starting with the creative and cultural industries.

IRCAM has grown considerably over the last few decades. Its research and development activities are organized in the STMS (Science et Technology of Music and Sound) joint lab, which brings together over 100 researchers and engineers with the support of the CNRS, Sorbonne University and the French Ministry of Culture. It is a leading international laboratory in a wide range of scientific fields of STMS, from physics and acoustics to human cognition and musicology, with core research into all aspects of sound and musical information processing.

One of IRCAM’s distinctive features in the academic landscape is its involvement in professional technological development, both as a support and result of research, industrial transfer through its commercial subsidiary Ircam Amplify, and as creative tools for artistic production. These tools made of numerous technological components and several integrative environments form the basis of its in-house artistic production, with over 30 new works produced each year and presented at various international venues, including its annual ManiFeste festival in Paris in June. They are also made available to the IRCAM Forum, a growing community of 40,000+ users, including artists, researchers and engineers involved in the creative technologies of sound and music, who meet regularly in the IRCAM Forum’s workshops in Paris and in partner institutions in various countries.

In DAFNE+, IRCAM is in charge of coordinating the use-case pilots, including the one on experimental sound and music production, and contributing to the specifications and technical development of the platform.

Building on the IRCAM Forum and its community, IRCAM’s participation in DAFNE+ will enable it to experiment with new possibilities for empowering the players in this ecosystem, made possible by blockchain and NFT technologies and the community governance rules of DAOs: declaring their ownership of the creative tools and technical repositories used to produce works of art, making them directly available to other community members and possibly monetizing them or obtaining crowdfunding support for new artistic projects, among other aspects.