In December 2021, students from an agricultural high school in Courcelles-Chaussy (France) shared the story of a lost French synthesizer from the 1960s – the Loumavox.
The students shared a short documentary, which tells the story of how the Loumavox was discovered and how the students learned the story of its creators, Louise and Marc Voksinski.
The documentary features French synth experts, including synthesist and composer Jean-Michel Jarre, offering their take on the device. In they end, the students stage a concert, recreating some of the lost music of Louise Voksinski.
“When the video was released, we noted the story was ‘unbelievable’, in both senses of the word:”
‘It’s an unbelievable story, told unbelievably well. Watch carefully, and you may find yourself scratching your head about some things – like a synth that works perfectly after being stored in a barn for decades and how the kids find and contact one of the synth’s creators. But even skeptics will be impressed by the creativity, craft and work behind the film.”
Now the students have released a follow up to their documentary, embedded below, confirming that the Loumavox – and the story of its creation – is, as Jarre describes it, ‘a beautiful fake’:
The documentary is revealed to be an elaborate and well-done student project.
Teacher Franck Deupont notes, “I hope the students will think about the border that exists between true and false, the imagination, the dream and the fantasy.”
Here’s the creators’ official statement:
“Alors voilà, c’est fini, bas les masques. Vous avez cherché, vous avez peut-être trouvé. Comme nous depuis plus de deux ans maintenant.
L’histoire de Louise et du Loumavox, c’est la plus belle des histoires : une idée imaginée par deux jeunes filles qui croyaient dur comme fer qu’une petite mosellane aidée par son frère aurait pu révolutionner de sa campagne l’histoire de la musique électronique, presqu’exclusivement réservée aux hommes. Et leur prof et leur classe ont fini par y croire aussi.
Nous l’avons tous rêvé ensemble et nous avons raconté notre rêve. Fabriqué, construit, bricolé entre deux ou trois confinements et reconfinements avec l’aide d’un savant fou de son, d’un réalisateur patient et de quelques complices enthousiastes.
Le Loumavox existe, nous l’avons rencontré. Ok, il n’est pas si vieux que ça mais il a déjà bien muri et il chante comme personne !
Quant à Louise, quelque chose nous dit qu’elle n’est désormais plus très loin de nous.”
“So there you go, it’s over, off the masks. You searched, you may have found. Like us for over two years now.
The story of Louise and the Loumavox is the most beautiful of stories: an idea imagined by two young girls who firmly believed that a little Moselle girl helped by her brother could have revolutionized the history of electronic music, almost exclusively reserved for men. And their teacher and their class ended up believing it too.
We all dreamed it together and we told our dream. Crafted, built, tinkered with between two or three confinements and re-confinements with the help of a mad scientist, a patient director and a few enthusiastic accomplices.
The Loumavox exists, we have met it. OK, he’s not that old but he’s already matured well and he sings like no other!
As for Louise, something tells us that she is no longer very far from us.”
Now that the true story of the Loumavox has been revealed, we’d love to see the students share details about the work that went into creating film and the Loumavox itself.
Do you want to know more about the Loumavox? Or to build your own Loumavox? Share your thoughts in the comments!