Archive for the 'library' Category

Herns Duplan – Expression Primitive

Herns Duplan - Expression Primitive LP front cover
Herns Duplan - Expression Primitive LP back cover
Herns Duplan - Expression Primitive LP side 1

Herns DuplanHaitian-born choreographer and musician Herns Duplan studied in the U.S. in the early 1960s before moving to France in the early 1970s where, as a teacher at Paris’ American Center, he introduced the Primitive Dance style in jazz dance, a concept invented by Duplan’s mentor US choreographer Katherine Dunham. Inspired by African rhythms, Primitive Dance, or “Expression Primitive” in French, allows individuals to move away from dance preconceptions, free their emotions and is also used in music therapy. See Duplan’s official website (in French).

The Expression Primitive LP was published by Le Kiosque d’Orphée in 1971, according to the discography on this site, and reissued as “Rythmes Pour L’Expression Primitive” on Unidisc in 1981, ref. UD 30 1479, with the same tracks in a different order and a different cover art. It was recorded in New York by Duplan himself on drums with American percussionists Daniel Barrajanos, Edner Calvin, Morton Saunders and Ronnie. Intended to be used during Duplan’s classes and workshops, the 7 percussion tracks are inspired by Voodoo music and other African rhythms.

01 Yanvalou 2 (5:08)
02 Zepol (5:11)
03 Banda (5:47)
04 Congo (5:06)
05 Yanvalou 1 (5:22)
06 Samba (5:03)
07 Rumba (8:32)

Total time 40:00
LP released by Le Kiosque d’Orphée, ref. KO/DUPL, France, 1971


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Brigitte Jardin & Claude Marbehant – Jeux de Sons et de Gestes

Jeux de Sons et de Gestes LP front cover
Jeux de Sons et de Gestes LP back cover
Jeux de Sons et de Gestes LP side A

French educator Brigitte Jardin and composer Claude Marbehant published a total of 5 LPs during the 1980s, all on Unidisc except this one. I posted their debut “A la découverte…” and their follow up “Atmosphères” back in 2010. For an introduction to their project, please refer to the first post.

“Jeux de Sons et de Gestes”, or Sound and Gesture Games, is composed of 2 suites of tiny electronic vignettes intended to inspire various games to children. The first section is Ronald et le Synthétiseur, or Ronald & the Synthesizer, where the keyboard’s zany sounds suggest body movements to the kids. In the exquisite Grand Voyage des Petites Gouttes d’Eau, or The Little Raindrops’ Great Trip, the children are asked to imagine  the water cycle, from pouring rain to little stream to large river to ocean to evaporation and rain again. Helped by bass, flute and drums, the synthesizer suggests raindrops, river, waves.

Ronald et le Synthétiseur:
01 Allo ! (:39)
02 Jeu de l’Ascenseur | The Lift Game (2:11)
03 Proposition | Proposition (1:00)
04 Les Toboggans | Tobbogans (1:28)
05 Berceuse | Lullaby (1:29)
06 Devinette | Riddle (:52)
07 Animaux Animés | Stop Motion Animals (4:42)
08 Dialogue | Dialogue (:24)
09 Cache-cache Musical | Sonc Hide and Seek (2:56)

Le Grand Voyage des Petites Gouttes d’Eau:
10 Pluie de Sons | Sonic Shower (2:19)
11 Arc-en-ciel | Rainbow (1:41)
12 Au Fil de l’Eau | Moving Downstream (1:30)
13 Parcours | The Stream (1:53)
14 Petit Ruisseau Deviendra Grand | From a Stream to a River (1:50)
15 Sous La Mer | Under the Sea (1:42)
16 Les Dauphins | Dolphins (1:53)
17 Evaporation et Tout Recommence | Evaporation (4:25)

Total time 33:00
LP released by Fernand Nathan, France, 1980


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John Leach – Arabia

John Leach - Arabia LP front cover
John Leach - Arabia LP back cover
John Leach - Arabia LP side A

Another library music oddity, this time credited to John Leach – of which I posted another LP before and one of the pillars of the De Wolfe catalogue–, “Arabia” is a collection of Middle Eastern sound vignettes alternating between fake ethnic music and vaguely exotic orchestral mood music ala Cecil B. DeMille. The 30+ tracks are remarkably written and immaculately interpreted by Leach himself, at ease with strings and percussion, as wel as santur, flute or tambourine. Another evidence library music – an amorphous genre if ever there was one– can be anything you want it to be.

33 tracks
Total time 46:40

LP released by Music de Wolfe, ref DW/LP 3190, London, UK, 1971


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De Wolfe – Africa

De Wolfe - Africa LP front cover
De Wolfe - Africa LP back cover
De Wolfe - Africa LP side A

Published in 1973, “Africa” is an LP worth of “authentic” ethnic music from the indomitable de Wolfe catalogue, supposedly documenting music from Congo, Ivory Coast-Ruanda (sic) and Madagascar – that is, countries administred by France or Belgium at various periods. I assume the record fullfils the needs of British documentary film producers of the 1970s in search of Ocora-type ethnic music. Tracks range from songs with solo accompanyment on kora or balafon to collective chanting and festival songs, from wild slit drums to marching band (!), as well as religious singing under the influence of Catholic missionaries. Origin and authenticity is dubious but this is nonetheless a highly unusual library LP.

01 Boatmen’s Choir
02 Boatmen’s Song
03 Congo Drums
04 Congo Chant
05 Congo March
06 Choral Drama

Ivory Coast–Ruanda (sic)
07 Song of Thanksgiving
08 Page’s Song
09 Song of Bativa
10 Religious Song
11 Tom-Tom Rhythms

12 Amboasary Troupe
13 Vangaindrane
14 Avia Hilala
15 Tree Planting Song
16 Mpilalao Male Dance
17 Drums and Flutes
18 Santa Bary
19 Mitsinjo Flute
20 Sakalava Chanting No 1
21 Sakalava Chanting No 2
22 Dance Time

Total time
LP released by Music De Wolfe, London, UK, 1973


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Guy Bezançon – Periplos

Guy Bezançon – Periplos LP front cover
Guy Bezançon – Periplos LP back cover
Guy Bezançon – Periplos LP side A

Guy Bezançon, born around 1935-1940, graduated from a Paris art school and became a painter and educator during the 1960s. At the same time, he practiced as a church organist, performing his own contemporary music compositions, sometimes augmented with electroacoustic tape or electronic. In the 1970s, he composed film and stage music, exhibition soundtracks and radio plays, as well as being the titular organist at St Roch church in Paris. Bezançon pioneered the concept of church organ+electroacoustic music during a performance in 1967 (Lagny church, France). See official website for more info.

This library music LP was released in the fairly experimental Sysmo collection published by Parisian recording studio of the same name, of which I posted the Michel Deneuve LP a while ago. The electronic tracks collected on Periplos are minimalist synthesizer compositions intended for film or stage music. Rather impressive and scary, these tracks recall the Blade Runner soundtrack as well as some of Dave Vorhaus solo efforts. Indeed, Periplos sounds very KPM-ish to these ears. The LP ends with a handful of powerful organ tracks recorded on Bezançon’s own, home-build church organ (see video demonstration).

30 tracks, from 17s to 4mns

Total time 47:00
LP released by Sysmo Record, Paris, France, 1985


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Guy Bezançon discography:
1973 Prémices, 7”, self-released
1974 Scènes de Don Juan (O. de Milosz poems), w/ various readers, LP, Disques Adès
1979 Orgue, LP, Saravah
1981 Pâramitâ, LP, Saravah
1985 Periplos, LP,    Sysmo Records
19xx Chant sidéral – Musique des Etoiles, CD
2007 Hymnes à Marie, w/ Laurent Terzieff, speaker, CD, Disques Dom
2008? Déo gratias, CD
2010 Men Zen, CD
2010 Organum Universalis, CD, Ready Made Music
2012 Le Cantique des Cantiques, w/ Michael Lonsdale, speaker, CD, Ulysse records

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Espace Fiction – Cinemasonor series #16

Espace Fiction LP front cover
Espace Fiction LP back cover
Espace Fiction LP side 1

Great science-fiction-themed library music LP by uncredited French composer, released in 1969 in the Cinemasonor library music series published by Véga records in France. Cinemasonor included several collections like “Bruits de la Vie” (everyday & household noises), “Bruits de la nature” (nature sounds), “Machines et Engins” (engine noises) or “Espace Fiction” (library music for films).

From the “Espace Fiction” series, this LP is a collection of radical electronic vignettes inspired by spacecraft launch sites, space station or interstellar travel. The music is based on highly abstract, metaphysical electronic sounds a la Pietro Grossi, where noisy sonorities distill a tangible feeling of fear and paranoia. Often extremely minimal and skeletal, some tracks also include radio static, machines noises, sound collage and sound treatment.

32 tracks, from 27s to 2mn24s

Total time 37:30

LP released by Véga, France, 1969


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Dave Vorhaus – The Vorhaus Sound Experiments

Dave Vorhaus - The Vorhaus Sound Experiments LP front cover
Dave Vorhaus - The Vorhaus Sound Experiments LP back cover
Dave Vorhaus - The Vorhaus Sound Experiments LP side A

Published in 1980, The Vorhaus Sound Experiments was Dave Vorhaus‘ first solo release on KPM and the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the prominent British library music company. Vorhaus never envisaged producing incidental, background music, though, and his was always meant as music of the highest order with elaborate arrangements and sumptuous electronic sounds, as is the case in this fine collection of electronic miniatures. Some of the tracks on this LP were used for the soundtrack of cult Australian TV series Prisoner: Cell Block H, appearing on Australian TV between 1979 and 1985. Some of these tracks are available on YouTube “videos”, like Disintegration Series, Momentum, Time Base or Voyager One, albeit with bad sound quality. The Prisoner series also included music lifted from other library music LPs by the likes of Keith Mansfield and John Saunders. No surprise, then, The Vorhaus Sound Experiments sometimes verge on film music and is often reminiscent of Colin Towns’ remarkable Full Circle soundtrack, 1978. Additionally, track #19 Aurora was written by film music composer Brian Gascoigne, famous for The Emerald Forest soundtrack.

01 The Great Chip Takeover (2:04)
02 Design Technology (1:09)
03 Interaction (1:10)
04 Energizer (2:16)
05 Computer Code (A) (1:49)
06 Computer Code (B) (:33)
07 Sea Of Tranquility (A) (1:10)
08 Sea Of Tranquility (B) (2:50)
09 Regeneration (2:04)
10 Momentum (A) (2:18)
11 Momentum (B) (:38)
12 The Jamaican Digital Blues (:43)
13 Time Base (3:03)
14 Disintegration Series (A) (1:17)
15 Disintegration Series (B) (:32)
16 Voyager One (3:52)
17 Future Scan (2:32)
18 Charged Particles (2:14)
19 Aurora – with Brian Gascoigne (2:49)
20 Moog Logo (A) (:14)
21 Moog Logo (B) (:14)
22 Moog Logo (C) (:16)
23 Synth Effect (A) (:15)
24 Synth Effect (B) (:10)
25 Synth Effect (C) (:11)
26 Synth Effect (D) (:10)
27 Synth Effect (E) (:10)
28 Synth Effect (F) (:19)

Total time 37:00
LP released by KPM, ref. KPM1243, London, 1980


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London Studio Sound – Percussionarius

London Studio Sound - Percussionarius LP front cover
London Studio Sound - Percussionarius LP back cover
London Studio Sound - Percussionarius LP side A

What seduces in a solo percussion LP is the undiluted, uncompromising flavor. What bores is the ensuing monotonous, closed-circuit performance.  The Percussionarius LP is a little different: it is not a demonstration LP, it is varied and the drummers are not showing off their muscles. Rather, this is mood music for drums, if you’ll pardon the oxymoron, played by 2 or 3 percussionists at most, though often less than that. The musicians call themselves London Studio Sound, supposedly an off-shoot of the London Studio Group, also on De Wolfe. The composer is Walter Warren, aka James de Wolfe himself, who, among other things, composed music for the Monthy Pithon Flying Circus television series between 1969 and 1973.

Published as a mono LP in 1970, Percussionarius is a very peculiar disc of chasing film music with touches of film noir soundtrack. It starts with a handful of powerful percussion fireworks, yet the rest of the LP comprises shorter, unobtrusive tracks suitable for mystery films or radio plays. The addition of an upright bass and reeds on several, more laid-back, cool jazz numbers (#11 and 17 to 19), makes the music sound like Ken Nordine’s backing jazz combo on Colors, 1967, or some Tony Schwartz LP of the 1960s. On the other hand, there’s the pair of tracks titled Cymbalarius, based on cymbals and gongs exclusively, creating an atmosphere of expectation and menace.

01 Percussionarius I (2:48)
02 Percussionarius II (2:17)
03 Percussionarius III (2:09)
04 Percussionarius IV (2:06)
05 Cymbalarius I (2:10)
06 Cymbalarius II (2:20)
07 Percussionarius V (1:46)
08 Percussionarius VI (1:59)
09 Percussionarius VII (2:01)
10 Batterinarium I (1:54))
11 Batterinarium II (2:17)
12 Batterinarium III (2:29)
13 Batterinarium IV (2:39)
14 Batterinarium V (2:00)
15 Batterinarium VI (1:36)
16 Funeralius (1:35)
17 Low Danger I (2:02)
18 Low Danger II (2:19)
19 Low Danger III (3:01)

Total time 41:26
LP released by Music de Wolfe, ref. DW/LP 3156, London, UK, 1970


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