Sonification of Le Mans’ tramline

A poetic sound mapping of the city


A public procurement for contemporary art

In 2014 a new tramline was launched in Le Mans, developping and improving the network. The local transportation company SETRAM wanted to add an artistic dimension to this new way of moving around the city. With the support of the ministry of Culture and Communication, they launched a public procurement for that purpose.

The artist Delphine Bretesché and the sound designer Martin Gracineau have been commissionned to create a sound work for the tramline. They will be assisted in this task by Lou Lejard, a young artist graduated from the School of Fine Arts TALM-Le Mans.

A songline to represent the city

Their artistic project is inspired by the “songlines” of Indigenous Australians. Passed down from generation to generation, these songs guide the traveller along his way. By repeating the words of the song, he can recognize the lands around him and naviguate long distances.

The work of art Song-Line, installed in the tramline and at the stations, offers a new poetic experience of the city by creating a sound mapping of the land.

A participative harvest

From september to december 2014, Martin Gracineau and Delphine Bretesché were in Le Mans discovering the territory and meeting the unhabitants. They recorded the urban sounds and the voices of many volunteers to create their work.

All the recordings are assembled in two digital “Silos” and are available for consultation here.

These “Silos” are the matrix of their work as they have drawn and mixed the sounds contained in them to create the final piece of art.

250 people have given their voice to this project during 28 recording sessions that took place in the city of Le Mans.

Song-Line will be presented to the public on April 14th 2016.

Song-Line: the team

Author and visual artist

Delphine Bretesché

Delphine Bretesché graduated in 2001 from the School of Fine Arts , Nantes métropole with a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts and Visual Expression (DNSP). She also received a Diploma of Art, Danse and Performance from the University of Besançon in 2014. Delphine’s work focuses on the idea of territory and orality. She writes plays and poetry. She is actively researching the fields of performance, drawing, and performed reading. Her work has been regularly exhibited and published.


Sound conceptor

Martin Gracineau


A sound conceptor, a composer and a sound engineer, Martin Gracineau manipulates sound, either autonomous or associated with an image. Concrete sounds and the questions on their musicality lie at the heart of his practice. He has realised museum commissions (Musée d’Histoire de Nantes, Jules Verne Museum, Maison du Lac de Grand Lieu) and has collaborated with visual artists (Pierrick Sorin, Olive Martin, Patrick Bernier…). In parallel, he has worked in the world of cinema, notably sound editing, when he lived in in Montreal, and has continued a similar activity in France as a sound engineer for documentary and films. In 2009, he created the sound environment of the Memorial for the abolition of slavery in Nantes, and in 2013, he created the radio fiction “la Crue” (the Flood).

Martin Gracineau lives and works in Nantes.



Jérôme Fihey, Le Crabe Fantôme


Jérome Fihey graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Nantes Métropole and The National Studio of Contemporary Art of Le Fresnoy. In 2005, he created the production company “Le Crabe Fantôme”. The company aims to develop, produce, realize, broadcast and promote works and material for cinema, television and new media by proposing new ways of writing, producing and broadcasting thanks to original transmedia projects looking towards contemporary art.


Project manager

Marina Mendoza Vienne

An English and Spanish graduate, Marina Mendoza started working on the accompaniment and the development of the Crabe Fantôme’s projects after receiving her Master’s degree. She often collaborates on the diffusion of events related to Museums and digital Museomix.


Lou Léjard

Lou Lejard graduated from ESBA TALM Le Mans with a National Diploma in Sound Design in 2014.

She worked mostly on the graphic design of the « Silo des Matières » (Silo of sound material) and of the Silo des Voix (Silo of Voices) which are present on the Song-Line website. Her work interrogates the links between sound and image, especially in the context of interactive cartography.


Graphist et web designer

Samuel Jan

A graduate of the Strasbourg School of Applied Arts (2006) in graphic communication, Samuel Jan is an independent graphic designer as well as a web designer. He also teaches at the Infocom IUT of la Roche-sur-Yon (85)



Camille Hervouet

A graduate from the Photography School of Toulouse, Camille Hervouet revisits the historical practices of institutional and amateur photography. Her photographs explore the perceptible frictions of particular territories, based on the elements of nature, architecture and the inhabitants.

SONG-LINE est une commande publique de la Setram menée en partenariat avec le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DRAC Pays de la Loire), en collaboration avec l'esba-talm et le concours de la société de production le Crabe Fantôme.