Heterotopias are concrete utopias: places where we can experiment other ways of acting and living together.

Hétérotopies#1 is a soundscape, created as a digital and geolocated musical narrative, thanks to a smartphone app. It tells you about the forest and its future evolutions due to climate change on a trail of the emblematic site of Sainte-Victoire. It is a permanent journey. Throughout the year, alone, with family or friends, you can live or relive this experience.

Go for a walk in the forest, starting from the path of Saint-Claude in Meyrargues and hear the sounds around you change as you take steps fowards. Heterotopies#1 is a cartography of sounds and narrative geolocalised in the form of a journey. You are invited to compose your own soundscape by walking. Fiction and reality tangle up to change the immediate perception of your environment via the free app Walk with me.

The M-topia association has invited Dutch composers Jeroen Strijbos, Rob Van Rijswijk and Dyane Donck, to create an original musical piece based on inhabitant stories, interviews of researchers, records gathered on site and scientific data. The forest, its future evolutions linked to climate change and you, actor of change, are the main themes.

For two years, M-topia mobilized artists, cultural, digital actors, students and other operators of the territory by declining experiments, workshops and meetings. These experiments combining art, science and multimedia have involved since its inception the Regional Group of Experts on Climate in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (GREC-PACA) and a consortium of researchers, engineers conducting a study on effects of climate change and air pollution on the agricultural and forest areas of the Grand Site Sainte-Victoire in 2050. This territory is protected today but fragile because it is directly affected by the effects of climate change.

If we want to understand natural processes better, how do we produce, highlight and visualize scientific data to make it easier for everyone to access? ? How do we establish ourselves and commit as an actor of change, how do we explore new levers? Why is the tree necessary for our existence, how can we take a new look at it?

This kind of subject, often apprehended in a complex and alarmist way, is effectively ousted from our daily lives. By placing these questions at the heart of our project, we wish to question ourselves along with you in a sensitive and creative process, to trigger exchanges, to dream in those sites where we still can experiment other ways to take action and live together.

Listening to the scientific soundscape

Please download the Walk With Me App onto your iPhone or you cellular iPad (GPS absolutely enabled), then ‘le parcours hétérotopies#1 Meyrargues ‘ before you leave home if you can or stop en route where there is wifi to do this. The app is free. It will also be available for free for android at the end of 2017. Check that you have a charged battery and enough space on your phone to download the application (3.9 MB) and the soundscape of Meyrargues (150 MB).

The App is designed for iPhone 5 and iPad with iOS 7 or higher. Most walkscapes are playable on iPhone 4 but in some cases the processor power might be insufficient.

Think about bringing your headphones and then, you can go directly to the starting point of the journey. You then do not need internet connection.

Your position is geolocated by a blue signal, and you are ready to follow the path; the GPS points are indicated by a green signal. To use the app, the GPS function of the iPhone or iPad must be on. You do this by clicking the « Allow » button when the app at first start is asking for access to your location. This setting can also be changed in the iOS Settings app, in the Privacy / Location Services section.

4G reception may not be good during the walk. Once installed this App uses GPS signals to deliver the soundscape of Meyrargues. We advise you to be careful that the App doesn’t close during the whole journey.

How to get there : 

Starting point : avenue du château, parking of the cemetery, 13650 Meyrargues

The journey is a loop. It starts at the very beginning of the avenue du Château, passes by the path of Saint-Claude then Pas de l’Etroit to take you back to the parking space of the cemetery.

Duration : 1h30
Distance : 4 km –easy access ( marked trail  )

Good shoes and water recommended

The journey is located above the town of Meyrargues and offers a panoramic view of the valley of the Durance, the Luberon and the Sainte Victoire. Meyrargues, 15 km north of Aix-en-Provence, lies between the Durance valley and the forest of Ligourès, which stretches as far as Sainte-Victoire mountain.

The conceptors



The M-topia association, headed by Fanny Bordier, aims to carry out social and cultural innovation projects through the design of experimental devices, the implementation of contributory approaches involving inhabitants, actors, artists and cross-cutting sectors. It supports projects conceived on a European scale between transdisciplinary creation and territories, involving a large community of citizens and professionals. M-topia intervenes with operators in support of the design and structuring of their European and international cooperation projects. It thus facilitates the implementation of transformations. M-topia is a sharing space for questioning, federating and developing collective initiatives around societal issues.



Jeroen Strijbos & Rob Van Rijswijk


The Dutch composers Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos are graduates of the Utrecht Faculty of Arts (HKU). They are specialized in electronic composition and applied composition. Strijbos & Van Rijswijk’s collective body of work combines electro acoustic compositions and spatial elements, design and innovative music technology. The composers seek out the zones where different disciplines meet and intersect. Their site-specific performances, installations and innovative technology which transform the listener into an active participant have earned them an award winning international reputation. They developed the free Walk With Me platform to support their vision which breaks down the relationship between artist and listener.

Strijbos & Van Rijswijk’s walkscapes are present in cities across the world, from Istambul to Berlin, form New York to Paris, from Glasgow to Belgrade, Marseilles and today Meyrargues. Using GPS technology to superimpose site-specific compositions, natural sounds and narrative onto the surroundings, they invite audiences to choose their own path and tempo to create their own soundtrack.



Dyane Donck

Associate composer

Dyane Donck Dyane Donck is a composer and sound artist, living in the Netherlands.

She graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Breda and the Faculty of Arts in Utrecht (HKU) in composition and electronic music, where she met Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos.

Her projects are multifaceted: live performances, sound creation, interactive multimedia installations, film music … She very often collaborates with other composers, artists of all disciplines: dance, fashion, poetry, theater, cinema, chamber music, cooking, circus, perfume, etc.

Her work is presented in Europe in various galleries and festivals such as November Musik, Gaudeamus International Music Week, Operadagen Rotterdam, Glow International Light Festival etc. She is a professor at the St. Joost Academy in Breda, Den Bosch and the Faculty of Arts of Utrecht (HKU).

She collaborates with Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos for this creation in Meyrargues.




Le Groupe régional d’experts sur le climat en Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Animated and coordinated by A.I.R. Climate, GREC-PACA aims to bring the scientific community closer to managers and decision-makers of public institutions in order to assist them in a better understanding of the challenges of climate change, assess the impacts of climate change, the vulnerability of the territories, but also the levers of action.

Philippe Rossello is a geographer and head of GeographR, a research firm whose main activity is focused on spatial analysis, environmental and territorial foresight. He is specialized in the fields of air quality, climatology, landscapes and geomatics. He coordinates and animates the Regional Group of Experts on Climate in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (GREC-PACA). With the CRIGE-PACA and the PACA Region, he created le pôle métier Climat & Air, a space  dedicated to promote the access to data, the adaptation to climate change, the improving of air quality and the networking of regional actors.

He is the scientific coordinator of the project heterotopies # 1.


Interview realized by Zinc broadcast by Radio Grenouille – la Clique Numérique on 13/06/2017

© hétérotopies #1 2017