Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"In Search of a Concrete Music" by Pierre Schaeffer

Pierre Schaeffer, one of the great music theorists as well as composer, and the inventor of musique concréte (concrete music) is a remarkable force.   I just recently purchased and read his collection of essays and diary called "In Search of a Concrete Music" that is totally focused on this particular type of music.  Its music that comes from natural or everyday sounds.  Schaeffer, with the instrument of his choice, either a turntable or tape made some real great 'noise.'

When I first picked up the book I was concerned because it had diagrams and music notes - which to an idiot like me is kind of scary.  But more then half of the book is a diary that focuses totally on his trial and error of making music in the recording studio.  First of all his recordings are absolutely great.  Dramatic with a side dish of humor, it is a collection of remarkable sounds.  

Schaeffer's book is an important document on what I think is a serious form of music.  And I write that with a sense of joy, because what I hear is a sense of discovery, joy, and angst all in the same package. Also for you Beatle fans, Schaeffer is basically the root to Revolution No 9 on the Beatles' White Album.   And what would DJ culture be without Schaeffer's thought or skill.  Genius.

The Beatles "Revolution No 9"

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