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BORN 1927

Pierre Henry once de­clared that his pri­mary in­flu­ence was the sound of na­ture. He would duly ex­plore the po­ten­tial of amal­ga­mat­ing non-mu­si­cal noise and com­po­si­tion over a ca­reer that lasted more than six decades. Ini­tially a per­cus­sion­ist, he stud­ied un­der Olivier Mes­si­aen at the Paris Con­ser­va­toire be­fore tak­ing a job with French na­tional ra­dio in 1949, where he met Pierre Scha­ef­fer. To­gether they founded the GRM elec­tro-acous­tic stu­dio, and col­lab­o­rated on Sym­phonie Pour Un Homme Seul, a land­mark in musique concrète, while in 1958 Henry founded the APSOME elec­tronic stu­dio. Alone and col­lab­o­ra­tively, Henry’s 50-plus al­bums in­cluded 1967’s Messe Pour Les Temps Présent (com­mis­sioned by chore­og­ra­pher Maurice Bé­jart and recorded with Michel Colom­bier, its sec­ond track Psyché Rock be­came a clas­sic of retro-mod­ern dance pop af­ter its redis­cov­ery in the mid-’90s) and the 1969 col­lab­o­ra­tion with Spooky Tooth, Cer­e­mony. Other re­leases dis­played a lively, quest­ing mind, with al­bums var­i­ously themed around the Apoc­a­lypse Of John, the Ital­ian Fu­tur­ist Luigi Rus­solo, Mil­ton’s Par­adise Lost, The Egyp­tian Book Of The Dead and Drac­ula. He de­clared 1997’s In­térieur/Ex­térieur his great­est opus, while last al­bum Con­tinuo/ Capric­cio was re­leased in 2016. Ian Har­ri­son

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