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3 CD Box Set: L'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Pierre Schaeffer, re-digitised and re-issued with newly discovered tracks.
Book and 3 x CDs: Solfege de l'Objet Sonore This book, accompanied by 285 tracks on 3 CDs of examples is a unique and indispensable resource work for all those interested in electroacoustic music. Examples by Parmegiani, Henry, Bayle, Xenakis, Luc Ferrari etc. illustrate Pierre Schaeffer's text.
Book: Audible Design by Trevor Wishart
5 CD Box Set: GRM Archive 5 CD Boxed Set containing music spanning half a century of GRM inspired compositions
12 CD Box Set: Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Bernard Parmegiani on 12 CDs

Trevor Wishart - Globalalia/Imago

Trevor wishart - Globalalia/ImagoA re-issue of Globalalia which explores human speech and the syllables common to all, and Imago, which is constructed entirely out of the sound of 2 whiskey glasses being clinked together. Classic Wishart at his best!

Wishart writes: "In Globalalia, I wanted to use human speech, but focus on what we hold in common as human beings. Although the world’s languages contain many millions of words, these are constructed from a much smaller set of sounds, the syllables. I wrote to several friends asking them to collect voices from their local radio stations, and also recorded voices from TV stations via satellite dish, assembling sounds from 134 voices in 26 different languages. I then edited these into their syllables, ending with more than 8300 sources."

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour Kafka

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour KafkaA new release from Francis Dhomont, who in the opinion of many is the greatest living composer of electroacoustic music. This CD contains 3 studies which were the seeds from which many of his other works grew. Behind major works of the scope of … mourir un peu, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, and Forêt profonde, in these studies Dhomont experiments with the themes, tries out sound materials, and unveils glimpses of the final work. Dhomont at his best!

Denis Smalley - Sources - Scénes

Denis Smalley - Sources - ScénesrOne of our most popular titles is back in stock. Denis Smalley is one of the UK's best known composers of electroacoustic music, and this CD is a personal favourite of ours - definitely a desert island disc. The music is simply stunningly beautiful, the production and sound quality are as good as it gets. If you don't already have this CD, don't put it off any longer.
Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre MusicaleWe are fans of Bernard Parmegiani and so we now have all of his CDs in stock, including the newly released l'Oeuvre Musicale. If you don't know his music, we recommend that you make an acqaintence with it by listening to some clips and reading the comprehensive notes which we have on the site. Click here for links to his biography and all his CDs.
Pierre Hanry: Labyrinthe We now stock a selection of the best electroacoustic CDs from the GRM Catalog, both historic and new - Electroacoustic Classics from Pierre SchaefferPierre Henry Luc Ferrari and  Jean-Claude Risset are just some of the new offerings.

One of our most popular GRM titles is Pierre Henry's Labyrinthe - Pierre Henry says of Labyrinthe - "For the first time during my journey and ventures into the world of creation, I dreamt of a breath of fresh air deriving from the electronic realm." This CD is a real retrospective of this pioneer of electronic music.
New from Digital Music Archives - Download a continually expanding catalogue of electroacoustic music tracks!

You can now download a selection of single tracks of music from our website. All the tracks are encoded as top quality MP3s at 320k. All you have to do is go to our tracks page, add the ones you want to your shopping cart, and you will be presented with a webpage with links to the tracks as soon as your credit card payment has been authorised. You will also be sent an email with the links and a seven day period to download the tracks.
Our UK Event Listings service is now online....

We now have a listings page for concerts, festivals, conferences and workshops of electroacoustic music in the UK. We hope it will soon be the place to check up on whats happening and where. Its already up and running - click here! to check it out.
Looking for a course in electroacoustic composition? - Try our links page for some of the best places in the UK. You'll also find links to organisations and institutes all over the world.

Think we've missed out on something? Email us at and let us know.

CD Details for Various: GRM Archive

GRM Archive Various
GRM is celebrating their 50th anniversary with this collection of 5 CDs which contains works by almost all the composers who have worked there. A veritable Who's Who of electroacoustic music!
6 hrs+
In Stock
 Customer Reviews 
 Audio Clips 
Track 1_1
Andre Hodeir: Jazz et Jazz
Track 1_2
Pierre Boulez: Etude 1
Track 1_3
Pierre Boulez: Etude 2
Track 1_4
Jean Barraque: Etude
Track 1_5
Darius Milhaud: La riviere endormie
Track 1_6
Roman Haubenstock-Ramati: L'amen de verre
Track 1_7
Henri Suguet: Aspect Sentimental
Track 1_8
Edgar Varese: Desert - Interpolation 1
Track 1_9
Andre Boucourechilev: Texte 2
Track 1_10
Claude Ballif: Points-Mouvements
Track 1_11
Iannis Xenakis: Concret PH
Track 1_12
Olivier Messiaen: Timbres Durees
Track 2_1
Pierre Schaeffer: Etude Pathetique
Track 2_2
Monique Rollin: Etude Vocale
Track 2_3
Michel Phillippot: Etude no 1
Track 2_4
Phillppe Athuis: Boite a musique
Track 2_5
Pierre Schaeffer: Etude aux allures
Track 2_6
Luc Ferrari: Etude aux sons tendus
Track 2_7
Luc Ferrari: Etude Floue
Track 2_8
Luc Ferrari: Etude aux accidents
Track 2_9
Francois Bernard-Mache: Prelude
Track 2_10
Pierre Schaeffer: Etude aux objets, 1st mvt.
Track 2_11
Mireille Chamass-Kyrou: Etude 1
Track 2_12
Ivo Malec: Reflets
Track 2_13
Phillippe Carson: Phonologie
Track 2_14
Akira Tamba: Etude no 2
Track 2_15
Beatriz Ferreyra: Mer d'Azov
Track 2_16
Alain Savouret: Eyude aux sons realistes
Track 2_17
Alain Savouret: Eyude numerique
Track 3_1
Francois Bayle: Eros Bleu
Track 3_2
Dieter Kaufmann: Voyage au Paradis
Track 3_3
Jean-Claude Risset: Sud
Track 3_4
Ivo Malec: Week-end
Track 3_5
Denis Smalley: Wind Chimes
Track 3_6
Gilles Racot: Anamorphees
Track 3_7
Yann Geslin: Variations didactiques
Track 3_8
Benedict Mailliard
Track 3_9
Jean Schwarz: Quatre saisons (Hiver)
Track 3_10
Francis Dhomont: Novars
Track 4_1
Bernard Parmegiani: Exercisme
Track 4_2
Ake Parmerud: Les objets obscurs
Track 4_3
Denis Dufour: Pli de perversion
Track 4_4
Horacio Vaggione: Ash
Track 4_5
Alain Savouret: La complainte du bossue
Track 4_6
Francis Bayle: Mimameta
Track 4_7
Gilles Racot: Subgestuel
Track 4_8
Daniel Teruggi
Track 4_9
Ramon Gonzales Arroyo: De la distance
Track 4_10
Michel Redolphi: Appel d'air
Track 5_1
Bernard Parmegiani: indicatif Roissy
Track 5_2
Robert Wyatt/Francois Bayle: It
Track 5_3
Bernard Parmegiani: indicatif France Culture
Track 5_4
Alain Savouret: Valse molle
Track 5_5
Bernard Parmegiani: indicatif Stade 2
Track 5_6
Jean Schwarz:pour Carolyn Carson II etait une fois
Track 5_7
Jean Schwarz: sonail France Culture
Track 5_8
Michel Portal/Jean Schwarz: Chantakoa
Track 5_9
Boris Vian/Bernard Parmegiani: L'alcool tue
Track 5_10
Robert Cohen-Solal: Les Chadoks
Track 5_11
Guy Reibel: Canon sur une trompe africaine
Track 5_12
Edgardo Canton: Rengaine a pleurer
Track 5_13
Bernard Parmegiani: La roue Ferris
Track 5_14
Christian Zanesi: sonal Ratp
 Sleeve Notes 

About the Music

a preface for five faces
by Jean-Christophe Thomas
Here are five tomes of classified archives The visitors of the concrete adventure; the art of study; sound in numbers; the time of real time; The GRM without knowing it). Classified? There is nothing worse than classifying. It’s quite simply impossible to do. It is without doubt easier to compose (and in particular concrete music which can be done any old how) easier to make life i.e. disorder than it is to be the careful bookkeeper. Or the presenter. But it is true that there is a certain amount of fun to be had, for those who have a taste for this kind of thing in dreaming up taxonomies. We all know the opening pages of The Order of Things where Foucault reminds us of the text by Borges citing a Chinese encyclopedia — very probably improbable — which offers the following wondrous taxonomy Animals can be divided etc: a/ those that belong to the Emperor, b/ embalmed, c/ tamed, d sucking pigs, e/ mermaids, f/ fabulous g/ stray dogs, h/ included in this classification, i/which wave around madly, / innumerable, k/ drawn with a very fine camel hair brush 1/ et cetera, m/ which have just broken the water jug, n/ which look like flies from a distance.
Foucault’s reply refers to the impossibility of thinking that (for us modern Westerners) and takes great delight using this exotic classification, in teasing out the frontiers of our familiar mental universe. The problem for the pioneers of concrete music was different and exactly symmetrical.
Here what is strange is an established,, system of thought, which pigeon holes every thing in a way which surprises us but which envisages the world, it seems, without mystery. For our pioneers (let us think of Pierre Schaeffer), it was precisely this mystery, the edgeless immensity, the monstrous nature of the ocean of sounds..... which was the obstacle to their efforts to classify which made the rationality of their experiments waver so much. Hence, still today, the amusing and misleading eclecticism of the classification created by these five discs of archives.
In the Beginning, it was a case of taming the animals,, of sound. In the Beginning, there were no works, as yet. And so there were no genres (genres are less numerous, and therefore easier to classify — more abstract than the works, which themselves are easier to classify than sounds). Only studies were required: because their very purpose is to test, to demonstrate, to
simplify, to enhance the opaque expressive power of sounds.
Maybe electroacoustic music, essentially, is still at that stage (i.e. misleading and necessarily superficial, pragmatic, amusing classifications). Because in reality, sound is such an important affair that the music of sound has not yet finished with it with this basic level of writing of composition of the invention of sound — and despite the virtuosity that has been acquired over the years, from the very start and still today, that is the humble study, so dear to the heart of Pierre Schaeffer. Regardless of that, let us have fun with the way this analytical grid has been assembled. Let us cloud the issue, let us blur the labels on the five disks, these overly assertive labels — let us de-catalogue the music Let the listener if he wishes to think and to hear — and to classify — ‘all by himself,,, like a grown-up, listen to all five disks, for a start! And then perform this same ordering exercise in his own way, afterwards.

So firstly, we meet the Visitors to find out just what they do, that is, their etudes. Here, the classification (of our archives) is historically relevant: here, we have brought together all or nearly all composers who have spent some time at the Studio Schaeffer, the Club d’essai, from the fifties. ... All diverse. Some from ‘abroad’, others sometimes already famous abroad, others who will also return there; but all wish to become acquainted with ‘concrete specificity’, to come face to face with it and leave with something — or nothing at all. Thus we encounter the étude, in vogue a genre of the period, and not only at the Studio Schaeffer. The period was truly ‘experimental’: the étude is seen as absolutely essential in the creative experience a compelling entity where the self is immersed — yet also waiting for better days — kept secret in the dark: it is in fact the genre of the super self . . Puritanical renunciation of any expression (suspected as ready made) and a calling into queston a testing of the ‘material’ (of syntax, etc). However original idiosyncrasy is the mark of the visitors, each more or less playing the harsh game of this pedagogical time. Most often, style cuts through, defying repression. And Pierre Boulez doesn’t just provide his (renowned) ‘strictness’, his ‘quite Webernian’ succinctness, his stoicism. Well perhaps he does in Etude 1 using just a single sound , but in the second one, the composer becomes enticed by baroque qualities maté — far more typical of him. And on the straight dotted line moving around an unperturbed axis, it is a delight to encounter despite repetition — the motif so typical of productions at the Studio at the time (that is- markedly concrete-club d’essaimusic, exquisite anecdotal in style) with a rolling box .. cut up into pieces (obviously to remove anecdotal or realist character); thus emerges a punctuation using recurrent silence (very Boulezian) an echo or mini- pause, resounding hollowness or absence thereof, following each cluster of events), delightfully foreshadowing movements (No. 1, No 4) of the Marteau sans maitre for example.

Jean Barraqué has a more weighty style — and the author of Temps restitué does not always respond with subtlety, using long presentations of somewhat dull sounds in reverse. With its shrill and muddled polytonality, la riviere endormie — although authentic — is more like ‘incidental film music’! Symphonic and scored for voice, ‘generously lyrical’ dreamy bending simple refrains with uncomplicated reed pipes and pastoral demonstrations, here we encounter very little concrete music or ‘etude’ and a lot of Darius Milhaud. However, this same genre (let us call it elegiac) recurs elsewhere too. (For example, as in the piece with the melancholic Debussy-like theme, by Henri Sauget). With utterly opposed poetics, the ‘interpolation by Varése — suggesting the first magnificent landscapes of his Deserts — is reminiscent of the disorderly thundering sounds the composer positively developed for orchestra. Boucourechliev as well offers unique style a surfeit of thorny, spiny abundant elements — two parallel universes, bursting forth from the broken yoke of their unquestionably ‘open’ structures. Xenakis reveals yet another style, finding in the concrete dust of smelting coals the very dimensions, the sound nebulae he will later measure before magnifying them for the orchestra. Quite the other way round Claude Ballif achieves a truly concrete feat: with a marked mood of control the etude emerges devoted to resonance, percussion and deliberately focused on the object. The Messiaen case is delicate: the composer had apparently been saying his study had ‘gone wrong’. ‘I believe in the future of concrete music, but I am not gifted’ Something in his style is hollow or empty, in this working drawing that is utterly extremist and poorly developed (filled out) by its material, like Varése proper contour is only achieved with the orchestra, only then does tone rhythmic brilliance (between the concrete and the abstract) pour forth with exuberance.
The Visitors and Concrete Adventure
By Françoise Bayle

Looking back over more than half a century, the pervasive evidence of a new Muse appears, that of technological art itself, forthrightly emerging since then. However it undoubtedly fell to exponent Pierre Schaeffer himself more critical or more ambitious, and certainly better placed than his predecessors the futurists of 1913, J. Cage or even E. Varese, to considerably enhance the scope of the first discoveries mode then with sound and music by linking the adventure he called concrete music with another, more general and unquestionable, thereby forming the background of our period, and enabling research/creation through audiovisual communication.
Far more than just an avant-garde gesture, the sudden irruption of his Concert de Bruits in radio broadcasts in June 1948 was a uniquely astonishing signal for the social emergence of an art derived from the medium itself.
Twenty years later its inventor described it as follows: ‘We learned to associate the lute with the Middle Ages, plain song with the monastery, the torn torn with wild and primitive man, the viola da gamba with courtly dress. How can we really not expect to also find that music in the 20th century relates to machines and the masses, the electron and calculators ... The unbridled release of noises, the surge of sounds, all utterly opposed to terms customarily used to describe music — harmony and counterpoint, mellowness and subtlety expression and feeling -, was actually the music of the period, brutal and disturbed in nature, born n the period of the atom and missiles, power and speed, all unleashed elements’. Whilst it is not be possible to give an account in just a few lines of the upheaval brought about by such a disruption within musical practice as already detailed in many writings by the author of Journal de cette recherche (1952) or in his Traite des Objet Musicaux (1966) we must take due note of an approach whose experimental essence clearly asserted itself in the foreword to the very first Concert in 1950: ‘We trust the meaning we attach to the demonstration today may be well understood. We have taken the tool technical developments themselves have given us, we have utterly applied ourselves to the task and yet, the result is not entirely our own work. Child of the gods and mankind, of will and chance the result is like some last item not actually desired, to be shown really only to determine whether it can fulfill a purpose. The sound engineer who has been able to extract something from the purring of machines is entitled to relief; the ingenious musician then arrives to take over. Of course, not a musician who just wants a prefabricated object, but one who loves the material and the unexpected involved with playing a multistage instrument, and who is able to do away with his interline spaced paper in favour of the ever-changing shimmer of a record. Only such a musician should come to the rescue, if he/she so desires’.

So, an initial call had already gone out to the ‘visitors’ A commentator of the time the musicologist Serge Moreux, issued this clear statement The material of concrete music sound in its original state, as it occurs in nature fixed by machines, transformed through their manipulations (…) It is astounding that someone wanted to make veritable works of the mind using this material. Despite so many imperfections in initial productions, these works fully deserve our admiration due to their own logic, the psyche challenging our own, their dialectics of the fortuitous. (…)

The modern musician can try, as Pierre Schaeffer aptly expressed, to find a breach in the surrounding wall around music encircling us sometimes like a citadel . (18 March 1950 Inaugural Concert of Concrete Music)
In just a few years, several stages swiftly followed upon each other described by the ‘hapless inventor’ conveying a sense of anxiety. ‘The stroke of inspiration in 1948 came right out of the blue when I was on my own. Had gone to the studio ‘to bring out life from noise, to achieve the best result possible using a ‘dramatic sound setting ; this led me to the music. By dint of collecting sounds having some value as a sign, I found these same signs gradually cancel each other out, no longer call forth any particular setting or episodic structure of an action but move of their own accord, forming amongst themselves resonance linkages all hybrid of course. (...) Thus, a sort of poetry in sound, in the absence of music, comes about ex abrupto. (...) Particularly relevant here is the mechanism of the lost item, where the seeker stumbles upon an object other than the one being searched for and expresses dissatisfaction, failing to realise its actual significance rather like the lost traveler who discovers a secret passage without actually knowing it. But following the suggestion of Olivier Messiaen, a very exceptional first visitor appeared, Pierre Henry, truly a providential encounter with definitive consequences. Two men markedly different from each other in terms of training temperament and calling, met as early as 1949 at the unassuming studio in rue de I’Université. Like two explorers amazed at detecting a rise in water level, terrified by the elements unleashed, the very nature of circumstances meant that both of us, Pierre Henry and I stood side by side throughout all those years - After the period of early experiments where ‘the main concern was to firstly surprise the seeker, not only as regards the uncertainty but also as regards the ambiguousness of his approach, as he tries his hand at all sorts of noises’, the situation, as described in the Journal’, appeared ‘desperate’.. Three periods follow each other, alternatey poetic baroque, expressionist - ‘It is with quiet audacity, despite the ambiguity of the means and ends, that both authors worked on the Symphonie pour un homme seul benefiting, as may be said, from the pureness of the hybrid formation mechanism (...) whilst extending this dramatic art, itself born through radio broadcasting (...). However, such an outstanding adventure could not continue for very long’.
A baroque period followed this poetic episode: Perhaps it was necessary for someone to appear and try out forbidden regressive journeys whilst demonstrating it was also possible to have characters dance and sing using music on tape’.
Thus emerged the first opera concrete’ experience, Orphee 53, created (despite catcalls) and performed at a famous contemporary music festival: ‘In this way we lost the battle of Donaueschingen becoming the object of international disdain for many years after (...) But Orpheus, like Phoenix, continued to emerge reborn. Pierre Henry working on his own account, brought together all the remaining pieces in his own way for a magnificent Bejartian ballet which enjoyed three successful world tours!
The success of an ‘expressionist’ period brought respect for and a new focus on the Studio. The fascination exerted by machines on the spirit of adventure in the 50’s was such that many wished to explore its challenges: ‘Pierre Henry, at that time was like a child amidst magic spells having become in virtually no time at all a tape recording magician, having first been a true wizard with the record player and sound recording achievements. (...) He also received Messiaen or Milhaud, Sauget or Varése, with similar composure and skillfulness, offering to create sounds upon request, to calibrate them and try to have them fit into Timbres Durées formats, in scores for Aspects- sentimentaux or Desert. Our distinguished hosts felt less forsaken, as did we.’ In view of these epic circumstances it is easy to imagine the various expierences of our courageous visitors, some more or less prepared or daring, others disappointed or grateful, slightly disorientated or definitively transformed.
Whatever the case, when listening to the pieces all selected from various significant moments of this beautiful adventure, we note the penetrating style of the ‘astounding traveler’ Pierre Schaeffer, who, it must be said in passing, only devoted very brief periods to sound art — just a few weeks of his existence considering the sustained effort made on the other hand in writing up scores, keeping a research journal, developing a theory of listening, descriptive sound devices and methods and approaches for mediation . -. Such continuous written reflections provided him with greater assurance to pursue and closely define his research, an endless search he took ever further towards an imaginary horizon, in order to then offer it with resolute generosity to those who would take it on as their instrument in exploration.
Those of us thus so fortunate and ever grateful to him, will always hold him in high esteem.
In order to present the dozen or so musical works collected here, together with their composers, we have taken the liberty of grouping them into periods, reflecting affinities between them as far as possible. We begin with the first ones, André Hodeir and Pierre Bouez, in 1951, then Jean Barraque in 1952 It would have been chronologically appropriate to include in these Etudes that of Karlheinz Stockbausen had his brief contribution in 1952/53 not suffered over time. We do know that shortly after, the composer deepened his involvement with the Cologne Studio through two serious Etudes and especially also with the highly inspired Gesang der Jung Linge an unquestionable triumph, thereby definitively putting an end to the rivalry between concrete and electronic genres.
A second ‘strophe’ in 1954 draws connections between three ‘poetic’ experiments La rivière endormie by Darius Milhaud, Amen de verre by Roman HaubenstockRamati, and l’Aspect sentimental by Henri Sauget, in 1957.
A final crowning piece brings together or highlights contrasts between one of the ‘Interpolations’ for les Deserts by Edgar Varese 1954 — and works of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, with Texte 2 by Andre Boucourechliev — 1959, PointsMouvements by Claude Ballif — 1962, and the renowned Concret PH conceived by lannis Xenakis for his Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. Lastly, we conclude with a rare piece, the only experiment of this kind by Olivier Messiaen Timbres-Durees produced with assistance from Pierre Henry in 1952 and first made available in this grand tribute to the history of musical research.

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