#606: 2017.07.09 [pierre henry]

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it was with great sadness that we learned this past week of the passing of pierre henry, pioneer of musique concrète, found sound, and experimental composition, at the age of 89. henry has of course played a huge role in the history and development of all electronic, experimental, and acousmatic music, and we in the field recording community owe him a special debt. we wouldn’t be here without him. he has had a huge influence personally on my work and my ears, and i count myself very lucky to have arrived in france during my formative years and to have had the chance to discover and explore his work, and count myself even luckier to have been able to witness his live performances on more than one occasion. i was even able to meet him once, very briefly, a very memorable moment for me, and undoubtedly instantly forgettable for him. the 20 years for which i have been listening to his music feels shamefully short against the almost 70 years for which he was making it. we here at framework felt we had no alternative but to make the tiniest of possible gestures in dedicating an edition of our show to him and his immense body of immense work, a tip of the ‘phones, if you will, to a great artist. rest in peace, pierre, and thanks.

a note about the image accompanying this edition: on hearing of henry’s death, and resolving to make this tribute edition of framework, i approached long-time regular contributor sebastiane hegarty to ask him if he would be ready and able to produce a special framework introduction for the occasion on short notice – his reply made it very apparent that i had approached the right person: “serendipitously i recorded a squeaky door at work yesterday!” his intro, in my view, is very much about tribute and memory; it makes use of the aforementioned squeaky door in direct tribute to henry’s 1963 variations pour une porte et un soupir, and also the voice of his mother, originally recorded for a framework introduction back in 2007(!). the rest of the piece is very literally the introduction text made audible – as seen in the image, sebastiane printed the text, diced it up into its individual letters, and then “dropp[ed] the framework intro on a cheap guitar.” i am very grateful for his contribution, and for his wonderful photo.

in his own words: “this variation includes recordings of doors and elevators made on the 5th july and other recordings made on the 6th july, using a cheap guitar played by a ping-pong ball and a ‘sigh’ of wind. a recording of my mother reading the framework intro in 2007 is also played through the guitar (she died in 2011). The variation concludes with the cut up letters of the framework statement being dropped onto the guitar strings.”

.information about pierre henry and his work is easy to find online, but i did mention in the program that i would provide some links, so here are a few basic places where you can learn more about the man and his body of work:

http://www.pytheasmusic.org/henry_pierre.html (and many further links on this page)

[time  /  artist  /  title  /  from the work  /  year of composition]

00:00 – 03:47  /  sebastiane hegarty  /  framework intro: variation for henry, with a door, a sigh, and a cheap guitar

02:13 – 04:55  /  pierre henry  /  dimanche noir I  /  le microphone bien tempéré  /  1951

04:34 – 09:42  /  pierre henry  /  souffle 2  /  le voyage (d’après le livre des morts tibétain  /  1962

07:05 – 15:07  /  pierre henry  /  la noire à soixante  /  –  /  1961

10:15 – 21:44  /  pierre henry  /  sommeil – gestes – comptine – fièvre 1 – bâillement – chant 3  /  variations pour une porte et un soupir  /  1963

12:06 – 18:46  /  pierre henry  /  communion  /  messe de liverpool  /  1967

20:00 – 24:52  /  pierre henry  /  cinquième temps, le jugement: cataclysmes IV  /  apocalypse de jean  /  1968

22:00 – 27:22  /  pierre henry  /  la religion  /  fragments pour artaud  /  1970

23:57 – 28:09  /  pierre henry  /  danse des fausses bouteilles  /  machine dance  /  1973

24:59 – 32:41  /  pierre henry  /  préliminaire  /  futuristie  /  1975

29:09 – 34:16  /  pierre henry  /  affirmation  /  le livre des morts egyptien  /  1986-88

31:46 – 35:15  /  pierre henry  /  pendules  /  la ville. die stadt  /  1984

34:22 – 44:16  /  pierre henry  /  hugosymphonie  /  gouttes d’eau  /  –  /  1985

36:07 – 38:23  /  pierre henry  /  chiens  /  la ville. die stadt  /  1984

36:29 – 43:29  /  pierre henry  /  sport – gymnastique  /  l’homme à la caméra  /  1993

39:58 – 43:53  /  pierre henry  /  automne  /  intérieur/extérieur  /  1996

41:50 – 46:03  /  pierre henry  /  respiration des chauves-souris  / antagonismes IV  /  1996

43:38 – 47:18  /  pierre henry  /  poule  /  pulsations  /  2007

45:05 – 50:23  /  pierre henry  /  un effet de serre  /  histoire naturelle ou les roues de la terre  /  1997

45:33 – 51:46  /  pierre henry  /  elevation:ascension  /  une tour de babel 1999

48:48 – 55:32  /  pierre henry  /  dualité  /  voyage initiatique  /  2005

51:46 – 59:00  /  pierre henry  /  enfoncement  /  labyrinthe!  /  2003

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  1. […] was broadcast on Resonance FM last Sunday and is now available for listening and download on the Framework website. Framework is also broadcast on radio stations across the world (details […]

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