The decision to assemble a boxed set titled Luc Ferrari, l’œuvre électronique [Luc Ferrari, Electronic Works], defining the word electronic in the widest sense possible, meant bringing together an essential part of the composer’s work: tape music without any classical instruments.
From Étude aux accidents (1958) to Arythmiques (2003), the 31 works in this compilation will help the listener to discover all the facets of his art based on “captured” sounds. He tried and tested all the different techniques of studio work: brilliantly elaborated electroacoustic works, radiophonic story-telling or Hörspiele, which he particularly relished, or other semi-improvised works.
This editorial choice is not a way of drawing a hierarchy between on the one hand so-called mixed music (with instruments), which he excelled at, and on the other hand the type of music published here, which only includes recorded sounds. On the contrary, what we aimed to do was to show the strong links he drew between natural sounds and the way he scored them. On this subject, Pierre Schaeffer often talked of the necessary balance between sounds and musicality. The power of recorded sounds alone (voices, landscapes, strange sounds, everyday scenes, etc.) without formal mastery is not enough to hold the listener’s attention for long.
From that point of view, each work of Ferrari’s is a discrete lesson in music. Ferrari was always very lucid when he claimed that a composer was a little like a “journalist” who, through his compositions, witnessed the state of the world while at the same time creating a work of art.
This is another aspect of this edition: as we listen and in filigree, half a century unfolds before us. A committed artist bears witness to technological progress, political awareness, reports and crucial encounters. More than an essential compilation, this boxed set reflects the personality of a diverse, inventive and extraordinarily musical man.
Daniel Teruggi / David Jisse, 2008