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Son mémorisé

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Album Review

Son Memorise (Memorized Sound) is the second installment in a three-volume series put together by the Sub Rosa label and Luc Ferrari before the latter died. This album focuses on the composer's musique concrète and presents three previously unreleased works: the final "Presque Rien," an old piece, and a very recent one. "Presque Rien #4" takes us on a walk through a village, although this is not your average soundwalk. Reality is being shaped as Ferrari sticks his microphone left and right (he once said that the act of recording was a form of composition in itself), and being reshaped in the studio afterwards, with snippets of dialogue being used as leitmotivs and abstract sonic material highlighting the "real" events. The piece shows once again how agile Ferrari could be with field recordings as he reinvents them from top to bottom. The title of the 1978 piece "Promenade Symphonique dans un Paysage Musical ou un Jour de Fête à El-Oued, 1976" means "symphonic walk through a soundscape on a festive day in El Oued, 1976." The field recordings serving as the basis for this half-hour long work were made in Algeria. Ferrari takes his microphone through the desert, to a city where people start singing at the sight of it. The composer walks straight into a wedding and there, the celebrations escalate into music, dance, and gunfire. All the action is carefully structured, to a point where, again, notions of reality and fiction intermingle. However, the middle sections are somewhat long, and the sense of displacement does not last. Much better is "Saliceburry Cocktail," an abstract electro-acoustic piece completed in 2002. No field recordings, no narrative, only a complex game of hide and seek between natural sounds and their multiple transformations. Highly dynamic and intense, this 30-minute work is an essential for musique concrète connoisseurs: as dramatic and absorbing as Francis Dhomont's best works, more immediate and emotional than Pierre Henry's, it is alone worth the price of this album. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 05 February 1929 in Paris, France

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

20th century French composer Luc Ferrari has been a major contributor to musique concrète 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. As a student, Ferrari had studied composition with Arthur Honegger and piano...
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Son mémorisé, Luc Ferrari
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