Friday, November 5, 2010

Christian Zanési - Le Paradoxe de la Femme-Poisson (INA-GRM, 1998)

Christian Zanési is one of my favorites among the later generation of GRM affiliates. He's at his best when exploring the more ethereal side of tape music, particularly in his ability to travel and inhabit space along the stereo spectrum. Le Paradoxe de la Femme-Poisson is his soundtrack to a Michel Kelemenis dance piece of the same name, which he realized at the Groupe de Musique Expérimentale in Marseille, France. The piece takes heavy cues from Homer's sirens, with Marjolaine Reymond's dreamy "mermaid" voice often dominating the sonic background. However, much of Zanési's touch here seems highly influenced by human movement, his sounds very acrobatic in nature. In addition, there is a very strong, albeit surreal, sense of place to the piece. While Le Paradoxe... is not his best (For me, that honor belongs to Stop! L'Horizon), the work certainly plays to his strengths and proves that imagination is still a strong presence in tape music.

Le Paradoxe de la Femme-Poisson & in .flac 1 & 2

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pierre Schaeffer - L'Œuvre Musicale 4 x cd (INA-GRM, 1990)

The four discs collected here cover the bulk of Pierre Schaeffer's concrète works (and act as addendum to my previously posted three disc version). The set begins with his pre-tape days when he composed using multiple turntables mixing sound effects recordings direct to lathe. The earliest recordings here were created in 1948 while serving as radio engineer for Radiodiffusion Française and are built from sounds ranging from locomotives and whirligigs to pots, pans, piano, and percussion. Each of those collages eventually made their way onto the air. His "Suite Pour 14 Instruments" is an amalgam of orchestral sounds rendered far beyond their original context.

Where these early works clearly function as experiments for Schaeffer, once Pierre Henry joins in as his assistant, the music takes on both a playfulness and a refinement of detail that eventually became landmarks of the French approach to musique concrète. The processes became increasingly laborious, and those who once flocked to Schaeffer's studio to work in this new medium became disillusioned by the demand and patience that the work required. Schaeffer and Henry worked together for eight years amassing a daunting sound library, some of which never fully materialed. Included here is an Henry work from 1988, created in homage to Schaeffer using fragments of their Orpheus 51 and 53. Though Schaeffer retired from music in 1960, he returned to sound studies in the late 1970s, eventually revisiting some early works. Those too are collected here, and the bridge in time is event as Schaeffer breathes new life into his early techniques while also incorporating a more defined sound. Included as well are the results of Schaeffer's studies of psycho-acoustics, presented here as the two part Le Trièdre Fertile. The newly included fourth disc gathers interviews and assorted radio material as well.

mp3s, 320 kbps
Les Incunables (1948-1950) & Les Œuvres Communes (1950-1953 Et 1988)
Les Révisions (1948-1952) Et Œuvres Postérieures (1957-1979) & Documents (1948-1990)

Les Incunables (1948-1950)
Les Œuvres Communes (1950-1953 Et 1988
Les Révisions (1948-1952) Et Œuvres Postérieures (1957-1979)
Documents (1948-1990)