"Chronophagie 'The Time Eaters'" LP, Album, Vinyl, 1969 (Columbia Masterworks)
1. Side 1
2. Side 2
1. Chronophagie 1 (Jean Guerin, tabla; Teddy Lasry, flute)
2. Chronophagie 2 (Aude Cornillac, voice; Teddy Lasry, flute and bass violin)
This work was issued a few times in at least the USA and France:
* The Wild Sounds of New Music Columbia Masterworks BTS 17, USA. 17.5cm.1 contains a 1'30" excerpt of Chronophagie. A promotional only record that includes excerpts from other Masterworks recordings like Riley, Partch, Reich, Nancarrow.
* Arion 30 U 060, France. 30cm4
* Arion 30 U 060, France. 30cm. first edition has a different cover than that above
Notes by Francois Baschet from the Columbia issue:
My brother Bernard and I want to make a synthesis of the following three elements:
""We make shapes and objects with which music can be produsce manually--that is, without electricity or electronics. Therefore, anyone can play on them. Beginnings in 1954 were difficult. In our attempts to synthesize new form and new sound, music people said 'this is no music.' Sculpture people said 'this is no sculpture.'
""Acoustical laws are precise--some families of shapes are good, some bad. We have to develop metal or plastic surfaces that can be compared to sails....The structures also have to be strong, some of them have been played on by more than 150,000 people, including children. Thus, we try to combine the aesthetic with the functional.
We feel that in our present-day, computer-card civilization, the public must find new ways of expression. In our performances, whenever it is possible, we invite the public to play. Reactions are very diverse. I encountered some people in a Scandinavian museum watching others playing with the instruments. 'Are you looking at the structures?' I asked. 'No,' they said. 'We are watching the public. We have never seen so many Scandinavians so happy without being drunk.'
Hearing this without reading the liner notes you think it's acoustic instruments (Tabla, Flute, Bass Violin) with electronics. That is not the case whatsoever. the instrument is actually sculptures made by François Baschet who often worked with his brother Bernard and the composer Jacques Lasry. The sculptures work as a visual art work, but also are instruments, and often when shown in public, the audience can play or make noise on these beautiful sculptures.
Lasry's compositions are similar in the vein of Pierre Henry but again done on Baschet's sculptures. These metal or plastic sculptures are strong, in that they need to interact with viewers including children, not known for their gentleness. I don't know how the music is composed, but I suspect that it's not improvised. There is an arrangement, and I feel that space and sounds convey a relationship that is controlled by the participants or the composer. Voice and flute (Tedd Lasry) match perfectly with the sound sculptures.
Similiar not to Harry Partch's music, but in the theory of building instruments that also serve as a sculpture or artwork in itself. There is a great deal of eccentricities in Partch's aesthetic and music. Lasry and the Baschet brothers are not outside artists. Perhaps because one is American and the others are French that separates their aesthetic but not their art. "Chronophagie" is a beautiful piece of work. Also, I have to note that this vinyl album (in excellent condition) sounds incredible on my stereo system. The room becomes part of the sculpture. Time and space even work on a piece of vinyl.
Jacques Doyen & Jacques Lasry - UbuWeb Sound