Boomkat Product Review:
Epic 16 hour François Bayle retrospective, an unparalleled document of the key C.20th electro-acoustic and concrète pioneer and director of the hugely influential GRM institution from 1966-1997, where he was instrumental in bringing the Acousmonium speaker array and INA-GRM label to life, among many important, enduring innovations
This 10 year reissue of ’50 Ans d’Acousmagique’ joins INA-GRM’s quintessential boxsets of Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry, Parmegiani, Radigue, and Xenakis in a rare, stellar microcosm of works by twentieth century groundbreakers. At 16 hrs long, and including 228 tracks, it offers a comprehensive overview of François Bayle’s unfathomable catalogue of work between 1972-2012. During this time Bayle was pivotal in altering perceptions of music’s materiality and purpose at the most fundamental and philosophic levels through his work in developing the Acousmonium diffusion system - an “orchestra of loudspeakers” which has become key to the GRM’s facilities in Paris - as well as supporting technological developments (Syter, GRM Tools, Midi Formers, Acousmographe) which are vital to his own remarkable compositions, and his endeavours organising radio broadcasts and events.
Deeply informing and paralleling the history of recorded electronic music during its formative golden years, Bayle’s recordings render an embarrassment of riches for the discerning and explorative listener and historians of vanguard C.20th music. Between the flighty electro-acoustic staging of his avian dreams on ’72’s ‘Trois Rêves D'oiseau’ to the sensually lathered cosmic delirium of 1978-80’s ‘Erosphère’ works, to his beguiling latter tributes to his tutors at the Paris Conservatoire and Darmstadt summer courses, Messiaen and Stockhausen; the overwhelming scope of Bayle’s work, and thus the boxset, is brought into clearer focus by its chronological sequencing, offering a logical pathway thru his incredible projections of imagination.
It bears reflection that figures such as François Bayle created, and then opened, doors of perception for music in the past century that have come to mirror and shape the soundsphere we now inhabit. His innovations in sound spatialisation and the embrace of an acoustic unknown, or acousmagique, underline some of the most fascinating expressions of pathos thru art in our lifetimes, and this boxset is more than enough to send heads reeling into deep time for eons to come.