Bernard Parmegiani

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Bernard Parmegiani
Parme IMG 0382.jpg
Parmegiani in 2004
Born(1927-10-27)27 October 1927
Paris, France
Died21 November 2013(2013-11-21) (aged 86)
Paris, France
OccupationComposer
Years active1964–2013

Bernard Parmegiani (27 October 1927 − 21 November 2013 [1] [2] ) was a French composer best known for his electronic or acousmatic music.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Acousmatic music is a form of electroacoustic music that is specifically composed for presentation using speakers, as opposed to a live performance. It stems from a compositional tradition that dates back to the introduction of musique concrète in the late 1940s. Unlike musical works that are realised using sheet music exclusively, compositions that are purely acousmatic often exist solely as fixed media audio recordings.

Contents

Biography

Between 1957 and 1961 he studied mime with Jacques Lecoq, a period he later regarded as important to his work as a composer. He joined the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in 1959 for a two-year master class, shortly after its founding by Pierre Schaeffer. After leaving his studies with Lecoq, he was first a sound engineer and was later put in charge of the Music/Image unit for French television (ORTF). There he worked in the studio with several notable composers, Iannis Xenakis, for example. [3] [4]

Jacques Lecoq was born in Paris. He was best known for his teaching methods in physical theatre, movement, and mime which he taught at the school he founded in Paris known as École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq. He taught there from 1956 until his death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1999.

Pierre Schaeffer French musicologist

Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician. His innovative work in both the sciences—particularly communications and acoustics—and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end of World War II, as well as his anti-nuclear activism and cultural criticism garnered him widespread recognition in his lifetime.

Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française business

The Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) was the national agency charged, between 1964 and 1974, with providing public radio and television in France. All programming, and especially news broadcasts, were under strict control of the national government.

While at ORTF Parmegiani produced music for numerous film directors including Jacques Baratier and Peter Kassovitz, and for A, a 1965 short film animated by Jan Lenica. He also wrote a number of jingles for the French media and the "Indicatif Roissy" that preceded every PA announcement at Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris until 2005. [3] [4]

Jacques Baratier Film director, Screenwriter

Jacques Baratier was a French film director and screenwriter. He directed 21 films. His film Goha won the Jury Prize at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. His 1962 film La poupée was entered for the 12th Berlin International Film Festival.

Peter Kassovitz is a French film director and scriptwriter.

<i>A</i> (1965 film) 1965 short film directed by Jan Lenica

A is a 1965 short film animated by Jan Lenica. It involves a writer tormented by a giant letter "A". He frees himself from the "A" only to encounter a "B". It began production in late 1965 and premiered at the Oberhausen Film Festival in February 1965.

Parmegiani composed his first major work, Violostries, for violin and tape in 1964 for a choreography performed for Théâtre Contemporain d'Amiens directed by Jacques-Albert Cartier. During a visit to America in the late 1960s, Parmegiani researched the link between music and video and on his return produced several musical videos, including L'Œil écoute, and L'Écran transparent (1973) during a residency at Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Germany. In the 1970s, he also became involved with live performances of jazz and performed with the Third Ear Band in London. [4] [5]

Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln is a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. WDR is a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions, ARD. As well as contributing to the output of the national television channel Das Erste, WDR produces the regional television service WDR Fernsehen and six regional radio networks.

Third Ear Band were a British musical group formed in London during the mid-1960s. Their line-up initially consisted of violin, cello, oboe and percussion. Most of their performances were instrumental and partly improvised. Nevertheless, their records for the Harvest label, Alchemy and Third Ear Band, achieved some popularity, after which they found some success creating soundtrack music for films.

At this time Parmegiani also started writing acousmatic pieces for performance in the concert hall: examples are Capture éphémère of 1967 which deals with the passage of time, and L'Enfer (1972), a collaboration with the composer François Bayle, based on Dante's Divine Comedy . [3]

François Bayle is a composer of Electronic Music, Musique concrète. He coined the term Acousmatic Music.

<i>Divine Comedy</i> Long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy is a long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

Parmegiani composed the music for Walerian Borowczyk's films Jeux des Anges (1964) and Docteur Jekyll et les femmes (1981), the soundtrack for the latter comprising cues Parmegiani re-arranged from his 1972 work Pour en finir avec le pouvoir d'Orphée.

Walerian Borowczyk film director

Walerian Borowczyk was an internationally known Polish film director described by film critics as a 'genius who also happened to be a pornographer'. He directed 40 films between 1946 and 1988. Borowczyk settled in Paris in 1959. As a film director he worked mainly in France.

<i>Docteur Jekyll et les femmes</i> 1981 film by Walerian Borowczyk

Docteur Jekyll et les femmes, also known as Blood of Dr. Jekyll, is a 1981 horror film directed by Walerian Borowczyk. The film is a variation on Robert Louis Stevenson's story Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and stars Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee, Howard Vernon, and Gérard Zalcberg.

In 1992 Parmegiani left the GRM and set up his own studio in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. [6] In April 2010 he sat on the jury at the sixth Qwartz Electronic Music Awards, a promotional project and support group for electronic music artists.

Parmegiani has been cited as a major influence by younger experimentalists like Aphex Twin, Autechre and Sonic Youth. [7] Works of his were performed at the All Tomorrow's Parties festivals in 2003 and 2008.

Awards

His music has won awards, among them prizes from the Académie du Disque Français in 1979, SACEM in 1981, Les Victoires de la Musique in 1990, and the Prix Magister at the Concours International de Bourges in 1991. [5] In 1993 he was awarded the Golden Nica Award at Prix Ars Electronica for Entre-temps composed the previous year. [8]

List of Compositions

Related Research Articles

Musique concrète is a type of music composition that utilizes recorded sounds as raw material. Sounds are often modified through the application of audio effects and tape manipulation techniques, and may be assembled into a form of montage. It can feature sounds derived from recordings of musical instruments, the human voice, and the natural environment as well as those created using synthesizers and computer-based digital signal processing. Compositions in this idiom are not restricted to the normal musical rules of melody, harmony, rhythm, metre, and so on. It exploits acousmatic listening, meaning sound identities can often be intentionally obscured or appear unconnected to their source cause.

<i>Orpheus in the Underworld</i> Opéra bouffon by Jacques Offenbach

Orpheus in the Underworld and Orpheus in Hell are English names for Orphée aux enfers, a comic opera with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed as a two-act "opéra bouffon" at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, on 21 October 1858, and was extensively revised and expanded in a four-act "opéra féerie" version, presented at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris, on 7 February 1874.

Luc Ferrari French composer

Luc Ferrari was a French composer of Italian heritage and pioneer in musique concrète and electroacoustic music.

Acousmatic sound is sound that is heard without an originating cause being seen. The word acousmatic, from the French acousmatique, is derived from the Greek word akousmatikoi (ἀκουσματικοί), which referred to probationary pupils of the philosopher Pythagoras who were required to sit in absolute silence while they listened to him deliver his lecture from behind a veil or screen to make them better concentrate on his teachings. The term acousmatique was first used by the French composer and pioneer of musique concrète Pierre Schaeffer. In acousmatic art one hears sound from behind a "veil" of loudspeakers, the source cause remaining unseen. More generally, any sound, whether it is natural or manipulated, may be described as acousmatic if the cause of the sound remains unseen. The term has also been used by the French writer and composer Michel Chion in reference to the use of off-screen sound in film. More recently, in the article Space-form and the acousmatic image (2007), composer and academic Prof. Denis Smalley has expanded on some of Schaeffers' acousmatic concepts. Since the 2000s, the term acousmatic has been used, notably in North America to refer to fixed media composition and pieces.

Michel Chion is a French film theorist and composer of experimental music.

Gilbert Amy is a French composer and conductor.

Yves Prin is a French composer and conductor of classical music.

Jean Derome Canadian musician and composer

Jean Derome is a French Canadian avant-garde saxophonist, flautist, and composer. A prominent figure in the Montreal musique actuelle scene, Derome has been a member of experimental, jazz, and rock groups, and has appeared on over 30 albums, including seven solo albums. He has written scores for over 30 films and co-founded Ambiances Magnétiques, a Canadian musical collective and independent record label.

Annette Vande Gorne Belgian composer

Annette Vande Gorne is a Belgian electroacoustic music composer currently living in Ohain, Belgium.

Elio Martusciello Italian musician

Elio Martusciello is an Italian experimental music composer and performer, principally on guitar and computer. He has studied photography with Mimmo Jodice and visual art with Carlo Alfano, Armando De Stefano and Rosa Panaro. He is a self-taught musician/composer and teaches "electronic music" at Conservatory of Music, Napoli, Italy. His compositional aesthetics are derived from acousmatic issues, but in addition to acousmatic composition he composes for instruments and live electronics, sound installation, multi-media works, audiovisual art and computer music improvisation. He currently lives in Napoli, Italy.

Guy Reibel is a French contemporary classical music composer. Made his musical studies at the Conservatoire de Paris. Trained under Olivier Messiaen. He is a pioneer of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales with Pierre Schaeffer, François Bayle, Luc Ferrari, François-Bernard Mâche, Iannis Xenakis, Bernard Parmegiani, Marcelle Deschênes. He has also collaborated with French public broadcasting stations like France Musique and France Culture. He is also cited as the conceptualizer of the Omni.

Christian Zanési French composer

Christian Zanési is a French composer.

Patrick Ascione French composer of electroacoustic and acousmatic music

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Denis Dufour Composer, music educator and artistic director

Denis Dufour is a composer of serious music.

Nicolas Vérin is a French composer and professor of music. His many influences, from jazz to electronics, from American to French music, give him an unusual style, apart from the main trends of French contemporary music, combining energy and subtleness.

Marcel Frémiot was a French composer and musicologist.

References

  1. "Mort du compositeur Bernard Parmegiani, un des pères de l'électroacoustique". Libération (in French). Agence France-Presse . Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  2. Suzana Kubik (22 November 2013). "Bernard Parmegiani est mort" (in French). France Musique . Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 "Parmegiani, Bernard". Grove Music Online . Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 August 2010. (Subscription required)
  4. 1 2 3 Bernard Parmegiani discography at Discogs
  5. 1 2 "Bernard Parmegiani – Biography". Société de musique contemporaine du Québec . Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  6. Bernard Parmegiani, profile at IRCAM (in French)
  7. "Dusted Reviews: Bernard Parmegiani – Chants Magnetiques". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  8. "Bernard Parmegiani – L'Œuvre Musicale En 12 CD (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved 25 August 2010.