14 Songs, 59 Minutes

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About Pierre-Yves Artaud

This artist is one of the most important flautists in contemporary music. Pierre Yves Artaud plays bass, contrabass and the recently invented octabass as well as the normal C flute, the word "normal" probably misleading for a player who reinvents the sounds of his instruments in every way possible, additionally augmenting with amplification, tape or both as per a composer's whim.

Artaud has recorded pieces by, among others, Edgard Varèse, John Cage and Charles Koechlin, in the latter case a masterwork for solo flute that lasts three hours. While many listeners in the rigid classical music world look at avant-garde music as something like a communicable disease -- and a three-hour performance as a death sentence -- Artaud has always retained a certain level of respect simply by having established himself as part of a tradition of virtuoso Frenchmen on his instrument.

Well before the '80s he worked as an instructor in master classes for the flute, eventually leading to postings at the Paris Conservatory and the University of Darmstadt. Artaud's performances have been released by a series of labels including Neuma and Auvidis-Enesco and he has also published what are effectively manuals for contemporary flute technique as well as basic methodology for the novice. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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