LUC FERRARI

Cellule 75

(Tzadik) Used CD $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

The title track “tampers with the percussive function of the instruments and plays with instrumental role-switching and layering,” notes All Music Guide. “It opens with simple, repeating melodies provided by pianist Chris Brown and percussionist William Winant, backed by a humming machinery ambience. Layers and notes get added onto successive loops, until the phrases become relatively lengthy and complex. After establishing this theme and structure, the variations begin, as the piano switches to soloing, referencing parts of the theme out of different layers, and usurping the phrasing of the other electronic sounds present. The piece is a continuous buildup of musical layers, imperceptibly segued into the beginning’s stripped-down simplicity, from which the process starts again, but never turns out the same. After continually playing with the expectations of the close listener, it appropriately closes with several false stops. The second piece begins with slowly turning loops overlaying small electronic swells that pan between channels. This turns into an electronic atmosphere that’s a seeming precursor to the ‘space’ of ’90s space rock bands, followed by a repeating of the opening form, this time with vocal samples. The panning continues, echoing from side to side, while newly added electronic sounds rise out of the center. About halfway through the piece, Ferrari switches briefly to saxophone and water sounds, providing organic contrast to all of the electronic construction.” From 1998

LUC FERRARI

Cycles Des Souvenirs

(Bôłt - BRPOP03) CD $13.50

Dutch maverick conceptualist Rinus van Alebeek interprets the music of the well-known French-Italian tape music composer. As van Alebeek says, he doesn’t make music, and is in fact a writer who abandoned traditional literature and its confines, in favor of “writing” with the cassette recorder. “It is an example of his unique sonic approach to documentary reportage,” supposes our friend at The Sound Projector, “A compelling suite ... which layers together several half-familiar domestic and everyday sounds, along with half-whispered narrating voices, suspending everything in a fluid and open-ended mix…. [C]learly … not ‘composed’ in any normal sense of the word … it unfolds [naturally] and you have no clear idea where it is going, or what to expect next.” The third release in Bôłt’s Populista series of radical reinterpretations of historical music, curated by Michał Libera.

LUC FERRARI

Far-West News (1998-99) Episodes Two and Three

(Blue Chopsticks) Used CD $4.00

The core of these recordings, made during a trip across the American Southwest, presents speech-oriented audio snippets — conversations with acquaintances, stops at restaurants and shops, inquiries for directions, tacky Hollywood tours — overlaid and mixed in with tapes of passing automobiles, airplanes flying overhead, minimal electronic tones, disquieting reverberations, and what sound like brief distorted tumbles of synthetic percussion.

LUC FERRARI

Interrupteur / Tautologos 3

(Blue Chopsticks) Used CD $15.00

First recorded by EMI in 1970 and never released in the US prior to this 1999 CD issue on David Grubbs’s label, “Interrupteur (For 10 Instruments)” and “Tautologos 3 (For 11 Instruments)” both depart from the animation and activity of Ferrari’s piecee from the ’50s and ’60s. The former is “an orchestral stasis point that begins to move,” notes All Music Guide. “In the stillness created by the strings, time becomes one long block…, [against which] various timbres and textures rub…, creating muted colors and shades…. [C]hance actions (flurries of woodwinds or brass, a shriek from an errant viola, etc.) … cannot help but to move against that which is already unmoving and therefore deconstruct it…. [C]yclic in nature and [using] a limited scale of notational devices…, [the latter, with its] standard orchestral instrumentation…, electric guitar, and magnetic tape, is … hypnotic … [and] maddening. The [short] musical ‘cycles’ … [move] forward and backward…. During the editing and mixing process, Ferrari manipulated and spliced tape to create other cycles to overlay over the original compositions….The result … drifts and drones its way into the listener’s consciousness and changes right at the point where familiarity is established.” Sealed

LUC FERRARI

Les Arythmiques

(Blue Chopsticks) Used CD $9.00

A starting point of one of the final works by Ferrari is representing in sound the jolt of electricity that had been sent across his heart to treat his arrhythmia. Vaguely terrifying, crackling jolts Les Arythmiques into life and reappears throughout to interrupt the regular beeps of an EKG, the distant tolling of a church bell, and even more distant sounds resembling birds. Enforced rest of a patient immobilized looms over the small repertoire of concrete sounds, examined with a disorienting repetitiveness and ultimately moving beyond the hospital room by delving into an archive of memory.

LUC FERRARI

Presque Rien

(INA-GRM) Used CD $15.00 (Out-of-stock)

“Recorded and released over a period of thirty-one years, the four collected works here offer a telescopic cross-section of Ferrari’s far-reaching oeuvre, ranging from the subtly faithful, non-diegetic documentation of a Dalmation fishing village waking … to the altered reality of nocturnal field recordings meshed with ultra-fine electro-acoustic processing and his hushed commentary in the more dramatic composition…, through a stormy intro and voyeuristic, augmented serenity, and a journey to the old town of Ventimiglia, Italy…. A surreal, vivid and psychedelic experience.”