Boomkat Product Review:
Pierre Henry and Luc Estang’s rare radio play resurfaces on LP some 60 years since the original 10” pressing
Over his resoundingly influential early mid century phase, Henry created incidental music for a range of equally seminal authors, from Jules Venre to Victor Hugo, Lautréamont and Antonin Artaud. ‘Saint-Exupéry’ is a among the enigmatic example of his work setting literary texts to contemporary musical settings. It takes the form of a radio play about the life of French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, based on the 1956 book by Luc Estang. The vocals are performed by a small theatre troupe including French actor Paul Meurisse (1912-1979).
Across the LP, Henry underlines critical points of the text with extra-dimensional sound, in the process reminding of everything from Arthur Lipsett’s ‘Soundtracks’ to the oneiric appeal of Delia Derbyshire’s ‘The Dreams’ LP (coincidentally also reissued by Fantôme Phonographique) and Luc Ferrari’s sound poetry. It’s a sterling example of a style and format that’s been largely lost with the passing of time.