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Luc Ferrari, "Dialogue Ordinaire avec la Machine/Sexolidad"

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cover imageThis album is yet another fine testament to the French composer’s genius; these pieces have bucketloads of creativity and depth to them despite being shelved for well over 20 years. Composed between 1982 and 1984, the first piece showcases Ferrari’s interest in tape collage work and sampling whereas the second piece is one of his less than traditional compositions for a traditional ensemble.

 

Elica

Luc Ferrari

Dialogue Ordinaire avec la Machine  translates to “Ordinary Dialogue with the Machine” and sees Ferrari and Yannick Gornet “in conversation with the machine.” Like many artists in the early '80s, they were experimenting with what the sampler was capable of. Their voices are cut up, processed and bounced across the audio landscape. Clanging rhythms and mechanical, atonal melodies run through the piece, each one sounding like a soundtrack to a 1960s Soviet cartoon about machines. The piece culminates with “Love Song with the Machine” where they explore the erotic possibilities of the machine (in a time long before the words “porn” and “computer” were synonymous) to an ever changing and persistent beat. The human voice is treated in a way to make it more machine-like as the piece (and the act of lovemaking) progresses; this is more musique organique rather than concrete.

On “Sexolidad,” Ferrari has captured his idea of sexual sensuality and anatomy in music. This was originally to be part of a larger suite along with “Comme une Fantaisie Dite des Réminiscences” (which was released on the album Piano-Piano on Montaigne) but Ferrari abandoned his plans for the suite. The pieces are linked but “Sexolidad” has a far bolder and dramatic sound than “Comme une Fantaisie...” thanks to the use of a 15 piece orchestra instead of a pair of pianos. Throughout “Sexolidad” Ferrari nods to Stravinsky; blocks of sound do battle with each other with the energy of the music threatening to spill over at any moment. There is an accompanying text to the music which Ferrari intended the listener to read during the piece but it works just as well without it (but obviously is a lot more fun reading the pervy Frenchman's words).

What always has and continues to draw me to Ferrari is his sense of playfulness combined with a superb ear for audio adventure and Dialogue Ordinaire avec la Machine/Sexolidad is a fine example. Both pieces demonstrate the fun of Ferrari and Dialogue Ordinaire in particular shows how he always embraced new technology in his own inimitable way. As I seem to finish off every Ferrari review I do, hopefully there are hours more of his work left unreleased. If Tupac and Muslimgauze can be such endless fountains of posthumous work, with any luck Ferrari will have equally a productive career now.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 28 June 2009 13:07  


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