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Pierre Henry - The Art of Sounds

1 customer review

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(Nov 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

In this documentary, we follow the founder of Musique concrete as he brandishes his boom on which 2 microphones are mounted in search of a sound in the Coulee Verte in Paris. As the journey unfolds, we are brought 40 years back to Bordeaux where people ar

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Pierre Henry
  • Directors: Eric Darmon, Franck Mallet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Juxtapositions
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000WPJ6NK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,670 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The Juxtapositions series of DVDs consists of documentaries of various modern composers. I enjoyed earlier installments about Mahler, Boulez, Kurtag, Carter, Messiaen and other composers that I was already acquainted with, but with this volume on Pierre Henry, I was entering uncharted territory. Pierre Henry was, along with his mentor Pierre Schaeffer, one of the inventors of musique concrete, that early electronic music created not by synthesizing sounds, but by recording them outside the studio and then painstakingly assembling them into musical works. In spite of the flirtation of many mid-century composers with the musique concrete scene, I think that fans of modernist classical music generally have little familiarity with musique concrete, and I hoped this documentary would help bridge that gap for me.

The main feature here is "Pierre Henry: The Art of Sounds" by Eric Darmon and Franck Mallet. We follow Henry as he puts on concerts and attends ballet rehearsals, and his thoughts on his music is a constant voice-over. Henry is a very eccentric figure, completely absorbed in his own explorations. He almost never speaks of any relationship with past composers or his contemporaries (except for Schaeffer).

My first question on hearing about Pierre Henry was, why is someone still pursuing musique concrete when sound synthesis had developed to the point where a composer could generate whatever sounds he wished. As the documentary opens, Henry explains that for him the magic of his work is precisely in freeing found sounds of their context and welding them into something new. Musique concrete for him is not an immature style that people had to make do with before sound synthesis, but a valuable aesthetic in itself.
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