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    Bernard Parmegiani – Violostries, Pour un Finir Avec le Pouvoir d’Orphee, Dedans-Dehors, Rouge-Mort: Thanatos, Exercisme 3, Le Present Compose

    Bernard Parmegiani - Violostries

    Along with the François Bayle and Ivo Malec 2-CD sets, The Violostries… 2-CD is one of the major continents on the INA-GRM planet and is a required layover for any wayward electro-acoustic music fan. These two discs divide his career into two eras: tape splicing and mouse clicking. “Violostries” (1963) is comprised of a sustained, ominous atmosphere punctuated with violent electro bursts and spooky, tweedling violin. “Pour en Finir Avec le Pouvoir d’Orphée” (1971) is a very mesmerizing pleasure fun center full of glimmering electronics building in intensity—only to give way to downwardly circling whip-cuts, metallic crashes and echoes of the deepest kind. A very empty area of low pulsations with high-pitched tinklings again amplifies and builds in intensity—eventually turning into a swirling mass of rare beauty that abruptly comes to a sudden, beeping stop. Following that is a rather “happy” section of boinging electronic “springs” and whistles that slowly coalesce with a low-pitched drone into a hectic area of stuttered percussive sounds.

    “Dedans Dehors” (1977) pits piping hot rhythmic, synthetic sounds with the concrète sounds of a wave crashing, water dripping, etc.—all juxtaposed, battling and massaging each other in various ways. A ping pong ball squeezes its way in there somewhere, too. Next comes a quiet ambience full of “jungle” sounds—birds, air, rain—that, with a faint and ever accelerating high-pitched electronic sound, build up and up and abruptly disappear, leaving just the electronic whine. Then comes some obscure shuffling and door closing, more rushing water, rustling gravel, a very distinct fire with crackling embers and chirping electronics that morph into a section of cut-up chaos including all of of the above with a huge, low rumble that ends with heavy breathing. The final part features stormy wind, slamming shutters, a creaky door and crows, a crowd roar and whispering—all backed by a reverberated drone. A loud electronic whine then takes over and finishes out the piece.

    Disc two and “Rouge-Mort: Thanatos” (1987) begins the desktop computer age with a momentary whistle, followed by a quiet, glittering atmosphere that reveals ornate “keyboard” flourishes, underwater lowness and pulsating, whistling turbulence. Curtains of ringing, electronic drones with occasional muted shaver stabs also appear. The piece closes with stuttered percussion plus keyboard knocks that ease into a pleasant cloud. “Exercisme 3” (1986) features the barely audible environmental sounds of a desert plain in Southern Morroco: A bird cawing—at first dry and then with reverb—preludes some electronic explosions intercut into a quiet quilt, eventually building back up into a layered skyscraper of electronic sound sheets with giant dice rumbling, phasers firing, and more Bayle-like activity that wrap a big rubber blanket around your brain and then completely explode everything you thought you ever knew. A really quiet section follows with occasional outbursts of corroded synth that gradually gets louder until it breaks every single one of your face’s windows. The last section contains tinkling, drunken glass sounds that reverberate around distant electronic waterfalls.

    “‘La Présent Composé’ (1991) is a title that could be applied to a good many works. The present mentioned in the title is, in fact, that instant which Bachelard describes as being the only reality of time and which, in large numbers, forms the duration we make intimately our own by the way we experience it, compose it. I compose the instant, the instant composes me. Things we do automatically or deliberately—the aim of which is to inflect the instant toward a composed continuity. From the latter arises another, which in turn…death and resurrection of the instant! Intertwining of actions and reactions.”—Bernard Parmegiani. On the cover, a metallic leaf-like sculpture floats in an abstract, green color field. The booklet interior contains several vintage photos of the composer. For an in-depth article on Bernard Parmegiani, consult the October, 1998 issue of The Wire magazine (Issue 176).

    Label: INA-GRM Catalog Number:INA C 1012-1013 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Double jewel case Tracks: Disc 1: 14, Disc 2: 14 Total Time: Disc 1: 62:31, Disc 2: 64:32 Country: France Released: 1992 Related Artists: Francois Bayle, Luc Ferrari, Pierre Schaeffer More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Official

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