Sound artists have experimented with everyday noises for centuries. Now this music is making a comeback.
The conceit behind the 1989 edition of Luc Ferrrari’ “Presque Rien Avec Filles” is that a concealed composer/photographer records some girls having a picnic. If that sounds potentially passive and prurient, it ends up being neither. The opening nature sounds are soon elbowed aside by isolated words and exhalations, which are in turn blasted by bursts of a very late ’80s-sounding drum machine.
The idea of “sculpting” sound is a critical aspect Henry’s “approach” to composition. In 1981, Henry himself said, “The origin of this music is also found in the interest in ‘plastifying’ music, of rendering it plastic like sculpture.”