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b. 1927, Paris

French composer of the musique concrète tradition. One of the big names of the GRM along with Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, François Bayle, etc.

Short Bio

Grew up in a family of musicians and learned the intricacies of sound engineering (for film, radio, TV). Also learned acting (actually, miming), with Jacques Lecoq and Maximilien Decroux. In 1959, entered the Groupe de Recherches Musicales founded by Pierre Schaeffer where he followed an electroacoustic music training course (given by the aforementioned Pierre Schaeffer).

In 1962, he starts work on his first piece, Violostries, which will eventually be choreographed. At the GRM, Pierre Schaeffer bestows upon him the responsibily of the Image-Music department which will lead to a collaboration with several filmmakers for whom he will compose music.

Investigates the field of video art during a travel in USA. Upon his return, he creates 3 musical videos: L'oeil écoute (1973), L'écran transparent (1973) at the WDR of Cologne and Jeux d'artifices (1979) at the ORTF.

He was also interested in the combination of the approaches of jazz music (mostly free jazz) and electroacoustic music. This lead to pieces like Jazzex (1966) and Et après (1973) with musicians like Jean-Louis Chautemps, Bernard Vitet and Michel Portal.

List of important works:

  • Violostries (1964)
  • L'Instant mobile (1967-1968)
  • Capture éphémère (1967-1968)
  • L'Oeil écoute (1970)
  • L'Enfer (based on Dante's Divine Comedy) (1971)
  • Pour en finir avec le pouvoir d'Orphée (1972)
  • De Natura Sonorum (1975) -- which is, in this noder's opinion, probably the greatest electroacoustic work ever composed and also among the great masterpieces of music of the 20th century
  • L'Écho du miroir (1980)
  • La Création du Monde (1984)
  • Exercismes 1, 2, 3 (1985-1986)
  • Le Présent composé (1991)
  • Entre-temps (1992)

A semblance of discography:

  • Concert Imaginaire: La Roue Ferris (INA-GRM C1000) -- this is out of print
  • De Natura Sonorum (INA-GRM C3001) -- this is out of print, but should be reissued soon
  • La Création du Monde (INA-GRM C1002) -- apparently out of print too, but should be reissued soon
  • Violostries, Pour en finir avec le pouvoir..., etc. (INA-GRM C1012-1013)
  • Pop'eclectic (Plate Lunch PL08)
  • Some works on very hard to find compilations...

  • Please be indulgent; this is my first node...