LCMF presented the UK's first major retrospective of the music of Bernard Parmegiani, the legendary French electro-acoustic composer who died in November 2013. For this series we took over a 20,000 sq ft former carpet factory near Brick Lane.
Parmegiani's rich body of work, spanning nearly 50 years, stands as among the most important in electronic music, influencing generations of artists within the academy and beyond it.
Colleagues from the renowned Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) were among those diffusing his music through the MAAST (Music & Audio Arts Sound Theatre) system of 32 loudspeakers (courtesy of the University of Kent), rendering his music in vivid sonic detail and demonstrating what Parmegiani meant when he said sound was "like a living being".
Alongside his acclaimed acousmatic pieces such as La Création du Monde and Dedans dehors, the three-day series featured guest performances from artists touched by Parmegiani's broad influence, including Florian Hecker, Rashad Becker, and Vessel.
Bernard Parmegiani (1927-2013)
Parmegiani initially trained as a mime, a practice he often drew on when describing his music. It was Pierre Schaeffer who, in 1961, convinced him to start composing. In Schaeffer's musique concrète, the building blocks of composition were not notes and rests, but recordings. Pieces were created through collage and the transformation of acoustic sounds on tape. It was this technique that Parmegiani developed so expansively from the 1960s onwards.
While Parmegiani found himself at the centre of Schaeffer's GRM, he also led a parallel career, composing for film, television, and even for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport:
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