Monday, June 16, 2008

Pierre Henry - Psyché Rock

Name that tune?

This floored me. Funny enough, I remember hearing this song many years ago. I never made the connection.

I also slipped on the fact that Pierre Henry was one of the pioneers of Musique Concrète, a movement in music that eschewed standard instrumentation in favor of "real world" sounds using gramophone recordings, tape loops and splices, and electronic instruments. In today's ultra-sampled music world, this might seem unremarkable, but in its early days, it was rather radical.

Pierre Henry in the lab

In more popular forms of music, Musique Concrète lives on to this day in the works of artists like Scanner, Matthew Herbert and Matmos and was carried on over the years by diverse talents such as Frank Zappa, Einstürzende Neubauten, and The Residents.

It was this gang of composers that opened the doors of music to all sorts of strange styles, forms and sounds-- much to the chagrin of purists but much to the joy and confusion of musical adventurers. Both the synthesizer and the sampler were originally created to meet the needs of composers looking for new sounds and were a direct result of this movement in music. From the freakouts on The White Album to the world of hip-hop, Musique Concrète has left its mark deep in the wet cement of contemporary music.

Interview with Pierre Henry
via Xtabay's World


john salisbury said...

Huh. I've never heard of "Psyche Rock" or Pierre Henry, and I thought I knew my shit, early-electronic-music-wise.

Do you recognize this?

john salisbury said...

Oh--by the way: y'know in the Pierre Henry video, where the numbers on the odometer-type gauge pause at 000666? That happened to me today. I drove my new-ish car (I've had it for about 8 months, actually) to the bank, and when I got there the odometer was exactly at 000666 (and zero tenths).
At the BANK, man. Is that weird or what

John M. said...

Damn, dude, watch your back. Avoid trucks carrying sheets of glass.

Didn't someone recently say that 666 was a mistake and it was actually 616? Then I think someone refuted that. I don't know.

I missed that. I'll look again and I'll check out your link a bit later. In the midst of something right now. Back in a bit.

John M. said...

You got me on the Joe Byrd video. Never heard it before. Pretty cool, though, thanks for that.

It's amazing how much there is yet to hear. I also like to think of myself as someone who has heard a little of everything, but I guess that's pretty much impossible.