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Bernard Parmegiani ‎- De Natura Sonorum (2013)

Bernard Parmegiani (1927-2013), dla znajomych Parmé – jeden z najważniejszych francuskich twórców muzyki elektroakustycznej, ale też autor dżingla z paryskiego lotniska Roissy. Dorastał śród dwóch fortepianów – jednego od gam i pasaży (matka P. była nauczycielką muzyki), drugiego od Liszta i Skriabina (ojczym występował jako pianista koncertowy). W 1959 r. poznał Pierre’a Schaeffera, który pokierował jego edukacją kompozytorską i umieścił go w stosownych stowarzyszeniach (GRM, ORTF). Parmegiani napisał ponad 70 utworów koncertowych, z których najważniejsze to: Violostries, Capture éphémère, De natura sonorum, La création du monde, Sonare, La Mémoire des sons, Espèces d’espace. (musicaelectronicanova)

"De Natura Sonorum" powstało po długim okresie jego wspólnej pracy z innymi wielkimi, Xenakisem, Baylem czy Scheafferem. Już do tego czasu mógł poszczycić się wybitnymi kompozycjami jak "L'oeil écoute" ale to właśnie "DNS" kumuluje w sobie wszystkie doświadczenia kompozytora pozwalając mu na dogłębne rozwinięcie swych badań nad dźwiękiem. Tak jak na poprzednim "Chants Mechaniques" mamy do czynienia z muzyką sensu stricte, tak "DNS" to głównie dekonstrukcja i eksperymenty nad wszelakim wykorzystaniem instrumentów akustycznych i elektronicznych. Wszelkie manipulacje dźwiękiem, przetwarzanie dźwięków pojedynczych instrumentów dają ciekawe efekty - od czysto elektroakustycznych gliczowych porwanych kompozycji, przez quasi-free improwizowane dźwięki po ambientowe (dark nawet) pasaże. (emdede)

Bernard Parmegiani (1927-2013) calls his work “acousmatic music.” The word “acousmatic” indicates that the sound’s source cannot be seen. Sounds that come out of the radio or hard drive, or film soundtracks that move beyond the purely representational, are all “acousmatic.” Not only does the term fail to roll fluidly off the tongue, what it covers is so broad that it’s not a terribly handy category; try filing your records according to a concept like that.

What Parmegiani actually does, though, is make music for loudspeakers. On the face of it, that’s just as broad — so have Keiji Haino, Burial, the 1910 Fruitgum Company, and anyone else who ever envisioned the sounds they made being played through a speaker when they weren’t around to put it on. But Parmegiani goes a bit deeper than that. He was an engineer before he was a composer, and he has used technology to either make sounds that couldn’t be matched to any source, or so distorted sounds from a recognizable source that you can’t help but imagine or feel something that has more to do with what’s in your mind than what made the sound. Taken literally, the word “acousmatic” refers to an impossibly broad category, but it is used to signify a very particular and rare sonic experience.

Parmegiani’s work from the late 1950s to the middle ‘70s used the typical raw material of musique concrete; sounds lifted from records or the environment, and sounds that were generated by studio gear. But in 1972 he started playing with jazz and rock bands, and subsequently began using the sounds of instruments played specifically for his purposes in his music. They’re all over De Natura Sonorum, a two-part suite that was originally released as a single LP in 1975 and bulked up a bit upon its CD release in 1990 (both of those editions are collector’s bait now, although you can get a download for cheap at Amazon). Bursts of tablas and a flute puncture the fat electronic tones in “Accidents / Harmoniques,” then disappear. A swelling organ looms behind blurred cymbals on “Géologie Sonore.” And on “Conjugaison du Timbre,” the in-your-face echoes of short baritone sax blasts fly out of the speakers, dart around you, smack into the air behind your head, then fly back into a layered landscape of elongated tones that might have been derived from the same instrument. I strongly suspect that Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson have heard this piece; at any rate, some of the most exciting improvisations I’ve heard them play on the instrument occur at moments when it sounds like they’re trying to make something like this piece without the assistance of a studio.

Whether Parmegiani uses instrumental sounds straight or subjects them to some distorting process, they’re sufficiently divorced from the act of playing that that’s not what you’re likely to imagine when you hear them. What will you hear, then, and how will it make it feel? That’s up to you; that’s the experiment. Parmegiani’s genius is the way he takes sounds and finds in them some compelling quality. Then he arranges them in ways that are quite devoid of narrative, but full of surprise on first listen and deepening fascination on subsequent spins. (dustedmagazine)

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