Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Luc Ferrari - Presque Rien (1995)

| Avant-Garde | Musique Concrète | Ambient |
| Experimental Electronic |

20th century French composer Luc Ferrari has been a major contributor to musique concrete for several decades. In the late 1950s, he began collaborating with the "Groupe de Musique Concrete" (a relationship which lasted until 1966) and helped Pierre Schaeffer found the "Groupe de Recherches Musicales," a group and studio dedicated to the electronic medium where Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen could also be found. A wonderful sampling of Luc Ferrari's work, Presque Rien also may serve as a smooth introduction to the world of musique concrète. His "Music Promenade," which opens the album, is a combination of ambient sounds (including marching bands and laughing girls) augmented by electronically processed sounds and snatches of other prerecorded music. It's actually illustrative of some of the pitfalls that can occur when a collage of this type is overly forced and the result is somewhat awkward. This is decidedly not the case with "Presque Rien No. 1." While the title translates to "almost nothing," the reality of the piece is far different. Rather, the piece is nothing less than a rich, sonic recreation of an early morning in a Yugoslavian seaside village. Though one knows he must have engaged in substantial manipulation, Ferrari's touch is virtually invisible. Instead one is transported to a beach where bird cries, outboard motors, children singing, and, more than anything, cicadas chirping surround the listener, offering a startlingly immediate sensation of "being there." More, of being in a heightened state of awareness. "Presque Rien No. 2" is a more private, though no less beguiling affair, as the composer talks softly to himself while walking through a very sonically active field. As in the first piece, there are again purely musical adornments, but here they meld beautifully with the natural sounds.

Catalog: 245172 MU 750 (Musidisc)
Album Overview on Allmusic
On Last.fm

No comments:

Post a Comment