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Ferrari: Far West News, Episode No. 1

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Album Review

Luc Ferrari's annotation to this CD doesn't make the circumstances surrounding this recording totally clear, but basically, the sounds comprising these two nearly half-hour-long compositions were recorded during a trip across the American Southwest in September 1998. Although just two "tracks" ("Far-West News Episode 2" and "Far-West News Episode 3") are listed on the sleeve, in fact the disc itself is divided into ten separate selections. ("Episode 1" from this journey appears on a different CD release.) The core of these recordings presents speech-oriented audio snippets collected during these travels — conversations with acquaintances, stops at restaurants and shops, inquiries for directions, tacky Hollywood tours, and so forth. Overlaid and mixed in with these are tapes of onrushing/passing automobiles, airplanes flying overhead, minimal electronic tones, disquieting reverberations, and what sound like brief distorted tumbles of synthetic percussion. These juxtapositions reflect the randomness and, yes, mundaneness of these kind of wanderings, where tense intrusions from civilization are never far away, but unexpected kindnesses from strangers help keep you on the road. It doesn't really lead anywhere exciting or conclusive, but then, that's how much of real life goes.


Born: February 5, 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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Ferrari: Far West News, Episode No. 1, Luc Ferrari
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