François Bayle: “Grande Polyphonie 2” (1974)
From the album Vibrations Composées / Grande Polyphonie
Along with Bernard Parmegiani, Luc Ferrari, and others, François Bayle was one of the foremost composers of the Groupe de Recherche Musicales (Musical Research Group) in the years following the departure of founder Pierre Schaeffer. Bayle was director of the GRM from 1966 to 1997, during which time he created a large body of works under the rubric of musique acousmatique or “acousmatic music.” Among his many contributions to the art form is the Acousmonium, an orchestra of loudspeakers designed to give the composer control of the spatial distribution of sound in playback (known as diffusion). Bayle is still composing as of this writing.
Bayle’s music is typically more harmonically conscious than most electronic art music. While many of his colleagues throw out harmonic considerations in order to develop an “art of noises” more or less freed from the pitch dimension, Bayle uses harmonic tension in a manner wholly distinct from traditional notions of tonal centers. (In this respect he could be compared to György Ligeti, who frequently pursued similar ends in the domain of instrumental and vocal music.) Consonance and dissonance fluctuate in cloud-like agglomerations, coexisting in a true dynamic equilibrium, unlike the fixed match of preordained harmony that is Western tonality.
Characterized by a strangely compelling fusion of lush, almost psychedelic timbral excess with an acute sense of form and proportion exemplifying the proverbially French aesthetic of clarté, Bayle creates a sound-world teeming with birdsong-like electronic twitters, bells, gongs, and all manner of resonant bodies joined together in a joyous, childlike clangor.
Bayle in front of the Acousmonium
Played 122 time(s).
August 06, 2010, 10:00am