Boomkat Product Review:
Finders Keepers’ Cacophonic series gets serious with the first ever reissue of an important milestone in the history of experimental music; compiled by Pierre Schaeffer and with sleeve notes by Olivier Messiaen.
Originally issued in 1960 as a showcase for the findings of Groupe de Recherches Musicales de la RTF - a cluster of inventive new composers innovating with new technology and sound at the French Radio and Television studios - Musique Concrète served a definitive expo for this often misunderstood and methodology-cum-genre of “organised sound” that reflected the violence and pace of change in the 20th century in a way that orchestral interpretations simply didn’t hold up to.
It features works by some of the best known pioneers in their field, compiling ground-breaking works such as the turbulent, geometric Diamorphoses by solider and architect/mathematician-turned-composer, Iannis Xenakis, alongside two scrabbling, cut-up studies by Luc Ferrari - Étude aux sons Tendus and Étude aux Accidents - and fascinating, compelling gestures by Michel Philipott, with the far ahead of its time designs of Ambience I, and Henri Sauguet’s charmingly poetic Aspect Sentimental.
Of course, two of the highlights are realised by the master, Pierre Schaeffer, who illuminates a pair of deeply surreal, dream-like abstract dramas in Étude aux sons and the starkly ascetic acoustic animations of Étude aux Allures.