back in stock as of
july 31st, 2013
first in stock on
june 6th, 2012
|digitalis vinyl (usa) #digiv040 lp|
jean piché “heliograms” long playing record
- ange (11:48)
- lameralaube (11:28)
- helio/ rouge (21:40)
|may 2012 release ; ... was surprised to see this long-time canadian record-shop “electronic” section “bin-clogger” (no disrespect intended ; it was simply cut-out prior to release, resulting in a deluge of cut-corner copies flooding all known retail avenues for decades afterwards) suddenly pop up as a reissue target, mainly as i’d passed it up so many times (based, to be fair, on the aesthetics of the original artwork - recreated perfectly here - which just screams “complacent academic” to me) ..|
... i mean, seriously ::
... anyways, that this doesn’t involve some feat of tape-studio prowess, nor an analog monster-synth of obscure origin, nor some heady conceptual afterthought is also a sign of the changing tastes of the “early electronic music reissue market” ... instead, this covers a series of digital synthesis studies composed during jean piche’s time spent at simon fraser university in the late 70’s, specifically with barry truax’s software-based pod & podx systems ::
... while not as adventurous as such as daniel arfib’s contemporaneous digital-sound work “musique numérique”, this does provide a similarly energied set of drone / cloud oriented pieces on the a-side ; they’re absolutely dripping with the artifacts (a pun !!! funny if you get it anyways) of those by-gone early computer-synthesis days, full of nyquist squiggle and shifting bit-rate clock-noises ... on the flip there’s an opening gambit of extended rhythmus (imagine if michael mann had made “run lola run” in 1985 ; listen to the sound-sample) that makes way for further sliding “numerique” studies the get back into the raw sound of those early algorithms ...
|digitalis vinyl press release...|
|digiv040: jean piché “heliograms” lp|
in 1982, a small canadian record label specializing mostly in classical music released “heliograms”. this was the first record by canadian composer and video artist jean piché, and it was also one of the first albums to feature music produced almost entirely with digital synthesizers. but, due to an unfortunate turn of events, the label went bankrupt as soon as “heliograms” was released, therefore relegating this essential piece of electronic music to obscurity.
jean piché recorded “heliograms” between the years 1977-1980 during his time at simon fraser university in vancouver, bc. the music on the lp consists of works for computer, digital synthesis and acoustic instruments, and most of it was composed using the pod interactive compositional system that barry truax had developed at sfu. the four compositions that make up “heliograms” are often dense, harmonically rich pieces that slowly evolve through time. there is a strong use of tonality throughout which characterizes piché’s work during this period. it echoes a fascination with the music of terry riley, steve reich, and lou harrison, placing it firmly in a minimalist approach to electronic music, alongside the contemporary work of american composer laurie spiegel, then working at bell labs.
the initial sounds that would end up constituting the bulk of “ange”, the first piece on the lp, were created on the systems concepts digital synthesizer, also know as the samson box, during a residency at stanford university, california, in the ccrma facilities. the samson box was a powerful machine and the first of its kind. it was designed to synthesize complex musical events in real time using fm synthesis. as soon as piché returned to sfu, he mixed all the tracks in a traditional analog studio and then proceeded to record the voice of joanna anonychuk, as well as his own voice, carefully blending these with the sounds generated with the samson box. the result is a striking oceanic drone of microtonal frequency waves shifting in and out of focus.
remastered by james plotkin from the original tapes and cut to vinyl by rashad becker at d+m berlin.