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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jean Dubuffet - "Expériences Musicales 1961" Vinyl (Jeanne Dielman)


I just finished reading a David Toop book called "Into the Maelstrom," regarding the history of improvisational music.  Toop listed two categories: those who are master of their instruments or the very least have a concept to go on as their platform to do such music, and there's the artist Jean Dubuffet.   Who is like a child, and more likely goes with the first thought is the best thought school in music (sound) making.  His "Expériences Musicales 1961" was originally released as four 10" albums in 1961.  With the assistance of the great Asgar Jorn (founder of COBRA and an early member of The Sitauationsts), he made these incredibly charming, yet at times horrifying sounds by using obscure string, percussion, and wind instruments, with the addition of piano.  Mostly instruments that came from the shop of Boris Vian's brother, Alain.  It seemed his shop specialized in instruments from all over the world. 



Both Dubuffet and Jorn were fascinated with the art of the outsider.  Meaning those who made art that is not part of the art academy or schooling.  A lot of the art was produced in various hospitals, and some were made by children.  Dubuffet had a term 'art brut' meaning "raw art."  Musically speaking, Dubuffet and Jorn's work has a mixture of vocal work from the Letterists, as well as at times sounding very African or Moroccan sounding.   Also I suspect that their use of the tape machine was not only to record their music, but is also an additional instrument, among the others. 



Easy listening it ain't.  Still, if you allow yourself be pulled in Dubuffet's world, it's incredibly pleasing aural experience.    For those who are conducting an inquiry into the sounds of the 20th century avant-garde, "Expériences Musicales 1961 is a must.