IMEB (Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges) was a French electroacoustic music center, one of the National Centers for Musical Creation in France, active from 1995 to 2011. Originally founded in 1970 as Groupe de musique électroacoustique de Bourges by composers Françoise Barrière and Christian Clozier, the collective eventually evolved into the full-scale Institute, changing its name in the mid-nineties. Throughout the years, IMEB had been hosting Concours International de Bourges, one of the most prestigious competitions for academic electronica in Europe. From 1971 to 2009, IMEB also curated and organized 39 editions of prominent Synthèse Festival. Numerous composers from all over the world stayed as residents at Bourges, producing and recording many innovative and award-winning works at IMEB.

Bourges Institute had two studios with analog and digital instruments, rare modular synthesizers, and various sound processing tools, which were continuously upgraded and evolved to provide cutting-edge solutions for composing, recording and mixing 'new music' in all genres. Certain unique technology, particularly custom interfaces to enable full digital interconnectedness of various pre-MIDI analog instruments, were designed and constructed at the Institute, as well as several original instruments. The extensive catalog of works produced by GMEB/IMEB in forty years includes music by the core composers of the group, such as Françoise Barrière, Pierre Boeswillwald, Christian Clozier, and Alain Savouret, and pieces by multiple visiting composers, including José Manuel Berenguer (Spain), Gerald Bennett (Switzerland), Yves Daoust (Canada), Beatriz Ferreyra and Horacio Vaggione (Argentina), Sten Hanson and Erik Mikael Karlsson (Sweden), Georg Katzer (Germany), Maxence Mercier (France), and Nicola Sani (Italy). IMEB studios also served as a laboratory for scientific research in synthesis, composition, polyphonic sound diffusion, interpretation of electroacoustic music in live performance, and new pedagogical techniques.

Looking for new ways to introduce electroacoustic music to a wider audience, in the early seventies Christian Clozier developed a portable educational synthesizer, Gmebogosse, constructed by Jean-Claude Le Duc, and accompanied with a series of special elementary school exercises and group games to provide basic training in listening, discovering, composing, and rebuilding new sounds. Since 1998, this unique instrument has been known as Cybersongosse. Two consoles with various switches, knobs, faders and sensors are triggering commands on the connected Mac/PC computer. Each console includes a complete synthesis ensemble, four inputs for external sources, three racks with 8 digital 'tape' samplers, effects processor (filter/envelope/pitch-shift/delay/EQ/reverb), microphone, an array of external motion capture sensors, and 20-ch mixer for easy capturing, sequencing, and stereo/quadraphonic recording. For an adult audience, GMEB/IMEB had been organizing and hosting multiple symposiums, workshops, and international conferences in Bourges and abroad, some in collaboration with C.I.M.E. and UNESCO, as well as developing professional courses and curriculums for IUFM (Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres) and various 'écoles normales' and 'grandes écoles' across the country.

As a record label, GMEB/IMEB had been producing and releasing two CD collections since 1986: Cultures Électroniques, a series of compilations with award-winning works from Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, and Chrysopée Électronique – solo albums and themed compilations of works recorded over the years at Bourges studios. The label was distributed by Le Chant Du Monde / Harmonia Mundi in the earlier years, but continued to use LDC xxxxxx catalog numbers even after this contract was terminated. In addition, IMEB published several periodicals and books, including four issues of Faire (1973–80) magazine, and the proceedings of Académie internationale de musique électroacoustique '98–2008 in eight volumes. All GMEB/IMEB releases and publications were issued through an associated publishing house Mnémosyne Musique Média.

Since 2008, despite the 'Centre National de Création Musicale' government-endorsed status and wide international recognition of their activities, IMEB started experiencing sudden and severe budget cuts in the unexplainable attempt by the French Ministry of Culture to shut the Institute down. Against the advice of all other partners, several international institutions, and SACEM rights society, the government demanded IMEB to cease all activities, including Festival Synthèse, the competitions, and scheduled publications. Bourges Institute decided to protest this decision, so they continued their work, and established Support Committee to draw international attention to this problem. In October 2009, IMEB sent a petition with 4500 signatures from 63 countries to the Ministry of Culture. According to the open letter published by Barrière and Clozier on IMEB's website in July 2011, the French Minister of Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand 'paid no attention' to all the efforts, refused to meet with the Committee, and didn't even acknowledge receiving the petition.

In 2010, the government finally succeeded with an actual shutdown at the Institute, and even fired five staff members in retaliation, so IMEB founders focused their final efforts on preserving and digitizing the musical and historical heritage of IMEB. Part of their archive, including 6975 compositions and 1080 scores from 63 countries, were deposited to the new collection at the Audio-Visual and Music Departments at Bibliothèque Nationale De France, to safely store and keep them available for musicologists and researchers, with main biographical and musicological information published at website. MISAME, Mnémothèque Internationale des Sciences et Arts en Musique Electroacoustique, was originally established in 2004, and signed a special agreement with IMEB to assist the Institute in the worldwide diffusion and promotion. In the light of latest unfortunate events, this international organization was made responsible for communicating, publishing, and diffusing IMEB projects, archives and documents (compositions, research & development, instruments, pedagogy), thus ensuring that Bourges Institute's rich and historically significant heritage is kept alive.

IMEB officially ceased to exist in July 2011. Mnémosyne Musique Média publishing, which was originally promised to stay alive, became inactive several years later, and MISAME website eventually went offline as well.
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
Historical Address
Mnémosyne Musique Média
Place André Malraux
BP 39 - 18001 Bourges Cedex


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
ARTS 8105 2 Visions  album cover Wilfried Jentzsch Visions(CDr, Album) ARTS 8105 2 Germany 2004 Sell This Version
DLE1 Residue  album cover Philip Samartzis Residue(CD, Album, Ltd) Dorobo Limited Editions DLE1 Australia 1998 Sell This Version
Ed. RZ 3005 Mondweiß  album cover Patrick Kosk Mondweiß(CD, Album) Edition RZ Ed. RZ 3005 Germany 2008 Sell This Version
EX-566-2 Kaufmann & France  album cover Dieter Kaufmann Kaufmann & France(CD, Album) Extraplatte EX-566-2 Austria 2004 Sell This Version
FER 1048 Canned Porridge  album cover Sten Hanson Canned Porridge(2xCD, Album) Firework Edition Records FER 1048 Sweden 2004 Sell This Version
LDC 2781103 Eva Ou Les Yeux Fermés  album cover Roger Cochini Eva Ou Les Yeux Fermés(CD, Album) Le Chant Du Monde LDC 2781103 France 1995 Sell This Version
LDC 278 1109 Beatriz Ferreyra  album cover Beatriz Ferreyra Beatriz Ferreyra(CD) Mnémosyne Musique Média LDC 278 1109 France 1998 Sell This Version
LDC 278 1111 Scènes Des Voyages D'Ulysse  album cover Françoise Barrière Scènes Des Voyages D'Ulysse(CD, Album) IMEB LDC 278 1111 France 1999 Sell This Version
LDC 278 11 21 Musica Electroacustica  album cover Luis Maria Serra Musica Electroacustica(CD) Mnémosyne Musique Média LDC 278 11 21 France Unknown Sell This Version
LDC 278 11 24 Hymne À La Beauté / Recyclings / 8 Variations Sur Une Polska De Hammerdal / La Mer D'Ulysse  album cover Sten Hanson Hymne À La Beauté / Recyclings / 8 Variations Sur Une Polska De Hammerdal / La Mer D'Ulysse(CD) Le Chant Du Monde LDC 278 11 24 France 2001 Sell This Version
LDC 278 11 25 Compendium International 2002 Bourges  album cover Various Compendium International 2002 Bourges(CD, Comp) IMEB LDC 278 11 25 France 2002 Sell This Version
LDC 278 1135 Pierre Boeswillwald  album cover Pierre Boeswillwald Pierre Boeswillwald(CD, Album) IMEB LDC 278 1135 France 2005 Sell This Version
LDC 278 11 36 Alain Savouret  album cover Alain Savouret Alain Savouret(CD) IMEB LDC 278 11 36 France 2004 Sell This Version
LDC 278 11 26-27-28-29 Les Saisons  album cover Various Les Saisons(4xCD, Comp) IMEB LDC 278 11 26-27-28-29 France Unknown Sell This Version
none DE​-​[Re​]​-​CONSTRUCTION [Homage L​.​B​.​]  album cover Robert Scott Thompson DE​-​[Re​]​-​CONSTRUCTION [Homage L​.​B​.​] none US 2015