Sunday, January 24, 2010

50 Cent Albums: "Hétérozygote" by Luc Ferrari

one track - from compilation (26:27)
available here

OK, today I am cheating. This is not a complete album, but it is a complete composition, a stone-cold classic of twentieth-century electro-acoustics, and one of the most important pieces I know of. (Though only those who have read my Masters thesis might know why - ha!) So, though I am cheating, I don't think anyone will mind getting close to half an hour of wonderful music for fifty cents.

This post is for those who want to check out something from Ferrari, but who don't know where to start. And if you have followed my lead and downloaded the last two tracks, maybe you are disappointed? This piece will set you to rights.

Everyone else should just buy the entire L'Oeuvre électronique and never mind sampling one or two tracks. But if you go that route, don't bother with eMusic. The entire 10 CD set can be ordered from INA-GRM for only 40 euro. And you then get a nice box and large booklet with track descriptions, interviews and photos. It's one of my re-issues of the decade, though since I never got around to writing that particular article you wouldn't know that yet. (Sorry!)

Ferrari had come aboard the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at its inception in 1958. He was converted from a composer of piano suites to a musique concrète exemplar. "Hétérozygote", composed between 1963 and 1964, marked the end of this period with a bang. It was so at variance with Pierre Schaeffer's orthodox doctrine that it created a definitive scandal.

Carefully crafted from found sounds, voice, instrumental passages and other material, the piece was assembled on four tracks of tape in a manner that would become know as "anecdotal" for its casual narrative properties. It sounds as amazing today as it did so long ago.


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