Ondist Arlette Sibon-Simonovitch is the catalyst of this 1972 LP pairing two electroacoustic music compositions for Ondes Martenot, electronic sounds, magnetic tape and drums. Arlette is the wife of Yugoslavian-born director Konstantin Simonovitch, who championed the orchestral music of Edgar Varèse, Iannis Xenakis, Luc Ferrari and many others with his Paris Instrumental Ensemble for Contemporary Music orchestra during the 1960s and ’70s.
Composed by Bernard Parmegiani in 1969, Outremer belongs to a series of compositions for single acoustic instrument and magnetic tape Parmegiani created during the 1960s, like Violostries for violinist Devyh Erlih (1964), Jazzex for jazz quartet (1966) or Pop Secret with The Third Ear Band (1969). In these works, the tape usually contains sound manipulations of the acoustic instrument plus additional electronic sounds and studio effects. The juxtaposition of the live and taped instruments creates dense and unheard layers of sound that reconfigures the way one usually listen to instrumental music. Such is the case with Outremer, for Ondes Martenot, electronic and tape, as the electronic treatment of the Ondes’ sonorities raises eerie, otherworldly frequencies, expanding the range of the instrument and pushing it to its limits. Describing Outremer included in one of his 1972 radio shows, Charles Amirkhanian noticed the “bowed sounds, bubbles, ripples, suction, oscillations, washes, crashing waves; all very mutable and seamlessly merged” [here].
Trois Canons en Hommage à Galilée by Spanish composer Josep Maria Mestres-Quadreny is a proper Ondes Martenot/percussion duo where percussionist Sylvio Gualda‘s mallet instruments propel the music in stellar regions, as befits a work dedicated to Galileo (no pun intended). The music is terrific, interplay between the 2 instruments is perfect and the technique is peerless.
01 Outremer (21:08)
Josep Maria Mestres-Quadreny
02 Trois Canons en Hommage à Galilée (20:39)
Total time 41:47
LP released by EMI, France, 1972