Canadian composer and video artist Jean Piché, born 1951, studied at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University with Barry Truax (see previous post). A pioneer of digital technologies in the late 1970s, Piché created music using the PODX interactive compositional system (especially the POD 6 and 7, programmed by Truax) and, since the 1990s, turned to interactive works for computer, digital graphics and live instruments. Piché is also a noted software designer (the Cecilia and Tam Tam programs) and a teacher at Montreal University.
♫ This LP (coincidentally, Melbourne’s last release in 1982) collects 4 electroacoustic works for computer, digital synthesis and live instruments (vocals and percussion). The music is based on long-held electronic notes morphing into one another like tiles to form dense textures of enveloping sounds. These textures have an organic, almost liquid quality and, somehow, the music seems wrapped in uncanny digital harmonics. Far from New Age, the density of electronic sounds sometimes reach powerful levels.
On #1 Ange, Joanna Anonychuk’s ethereal vocals magically blends with the synthetic sonorities. The title and music of #2 La Mer à l’Aube seems inspired by Debussy’s La Mer’s 1st movement “De l’aube à midi sur la mer”, from the famous symphonic poem describing a day in the life of the ocean. #3 Rouge is the most lively and agitated of the LP and is build on rhythmical sequencer programming and live percussion. The sublime Heliograms is possibly the greatest achievement here, with its quasi-symphonic synthetic washes alternating with minimal electronic bleeps. Constantly eschewing resolution, the entire track recalls Wagner’s Infinite Melody concept.
- Ange (12:07)
Joanna Anonychuk, voice
- La Mer à l’Aube (11:43)
- Rouge (10:20)
Paul Grant, percussion
- Heliograms (13:49)
Jean Piché, musiques électroniques
Total time 48:00
LP released by Melbourne Records, Waterloo, ON, Canada, 1982