For their 2nd album together, published 1980, educator Brigitte Jardin and composer Claude Marbehant embarked on a spatial exploration concept, weaving together a collection of wondrous electronic vignettes and what started like a regular educational project ended up as an electronic space opera for kids.
♫ While their previous LP A La Découverte (see previous post) was balanced between synth, piano and drums, Atmosphères is an all-electronic odyssey with echoes of Kraftwerk and kosmische musik. The tracks are purely instrumental but, according to liner notes, the story goes like this: on track #1, the kids decide to go on an interstellar trip across the universe helped by their special wings (#2). During the trip, they eventually lose their wings, legs, arms, everything (#3) to become mere “biosons” or bio-sounds (#4), that is, minute, weight-less particles (#5). After several inter-galactic encounters (tr.#6-9), the bio-sounds finally reach a quiet corner of the universe (#11) and finally decide to go back home. Meteorites and asteroids of all kinds lead their way through the galaxy (#12-13). When the kids reach the Earth’s atmosphere (#14), they hear supernatural bird-like sounds to which they join for a space chorus (#15). Back on planet Earth (#16), their interplanetary trip instantly becomes legendary (#17).
01 Eveil Pour Une Escapade (3:06)
02 Histoire D’Ailes (2:12)
03 Transit Extra-Terrestre (1:12)
04 Biosons (3:04)
05 Poids-Plume (2:30)
06 Dialogue De Pattes (1:50)
07 Bric-A-Brac (2:55)
08 Nord-Sud (1:14)
09 Espaces Ailes ( 1:38)
10 S.O.S. Compuphonie (Ballet) (5:51)
11 Au Clair Des Etoiles (1:55)
12 Itinéraire (1:59)
13 Etapes Stellaires (2:44)
14 “Atmo” Sphere ( 1:18)
15 Vocalises (1:03)
16 Vers La Planète Bleue (2:26)
17 Légende: Timbres (2:08)
Totla time 38:40
LP released by Unidisc, France, 1980
Post scriptum on Unidisc
French label Unidisc was a folk, ethnic and Christian music label launched in the late 1950s in Paris. It was integrated to Auvidis in 1980, a label with similar cultural imprint. Unidisc’s main collection was a series of more than 50 ethnic music 7” singles titled Rythmes et Jeux. Launched around 1962, it consisted of mostly traditional dance music from all over the world. Another successful series was a collection of French nursery rhymes by Jean Humery.
Unidisc published several Pierre Henry records, starting with 1959’s Saint-Exupery radio play, the L’homme du XXIè siècle 7” single and the 1963 ballet music for Maurice Béjart’s La Reine Verte, as well as Henry’s major religious works, including a monumental series of four 4xLP sets (Evangiles selon St Jean, St Luc, St Matthieu, St Marc). Other French avantgarde pop up here and there on the catalogue, with Lasry – Baschet Mister Blues single, 1962 or Jef Gilson‘s Jazz pour Dieu in 1967.
While Unidisc published regular library music and sound effects records during the 1970s, they gained a reputation with immaculate educational records, a genre they practically pioneered in France. These discs usually paired an educator or teacher with a composer able to come up with fresh ideas. The most famous names in the field include artists such as Dominique Laurent with Pinok & Matho, Francisco Semprun & Michel Christodoulides, Patrice Sciortino or Brigitte Jardin & Claude Marbehant.
The label is still operative and releases CDs from time to time, mostly ethnic or folk music compilations.