Electronic- / Electroacoustic music series
Jean-Claude Eloy born 75 years ago, in 15th June 1938. Because in this show I present the following musics.
Jean-Claude Eloy – Shânti (Paix / Peace)
The name of Jean-Ctaude Eloy is not one you’II often encounter in thumbnail sketches of French e!ectroacoustic music: he’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as Schaeffer, Henry, Ferrari and others. Born in Rouen in 1938, Jean-Claude Eloy was fortunate enough to come from the last generation to be educated under those formidable French modernists, Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen, and young enough to be buffeted along on the tide of innovations from Gielen and Boulez’s post-Darmstadt aesthetics to the 1960s/70s electronic revolution of Pousseur and Stockhausen. This double-CD set sets restore one of Eloy’s most celebrated 1970s works to print, and reveal him as a herald of Noise, a prodigious maximalist, a sculptor in time.
Shânti (Peace) (1972-73, for electronic and concrete sounds), was completed in 1974. „Shânti” was hailed by the press as a major even as it was revealed at the Festival of Royan in 1974, then after is revival at the Autumn Festival of Paris that same year.
Its composition follows a spell in 1972-73 when he was invited by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Dr. Wolfgang Becker, the then Art Director and Executive Manager of the famous WDR (Westdeautscher Rundfunkt) studio in Cologne, Germany to the WDR Studios. After waiting for years and first exile to the United States, Eloy finally had the opportunity to express himself in the field of electro-acoustics.
Prior to that point Eloy had mostly been composing terse orchestral work in the post-Darmstadt idiom, but he hit Cologne right at that productive and slightly feverish period when Stockhausen was bolting his electronic music to notions of orientalism and One World mysticism.
In this time Eloy was invited to perform the piece on various contexts: the Americas (1975-77: United States, Brazil, and Canada), Asia (1976-78: Japan, Indonesia, and Hong-Kong), Europe (1975-78: the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium) – it seems was right on board. This was an era of high-endurance, process based art, from the endless film essays of Michael Snow to the droneworks of La Monte Young and Tony Conrad; not forgetting the Buddhist-inspired early work of Eloy’s compatriot Eliane Radigue and the extended electronic odysseys of Can and Tangerine Dream.
At over two hours, Shanti is an omnivorous feast, with Eloy gorging himself upon ail the principal electronic music techniques of the time: tape looping, oscillators, potentiometers and a mind-boggling array of filtering equipment. He called it a meditation, but it is a much more active meditation than the proto-Ambient sludge you so often get with analogue synthesis; a muggy, ever changing cumulus of laminar sound: a recurring theme like a groggy calliope or a far-off Messiaen organ study: the penetration of human voices – political rallies, terrace chants, Sri Aurobindo, Mao.
The term „meditation music” triggered many conflicting comments including positive ones („… le tus say that Shânti belongs to those very rare works that change you after listening them. You are not exactly the same before and after.”- Gerard Mannoni, Le Quotidien de Paris, 1974). Others, wondering at the strong sound presence of the piece, consider such aspect as hardly helpful to their own meditation… Let us be clear: „what meditates” here („that” who meditates) is composer. He is the one who takes you on his journey and guides you through his work like in a classic romantic symphony. As a listener you are invited to follow „his” meditation… The composition is the meditation.
The version presented on this album is in keeping with the version performed in 1974 („expanded” version containing a part of completed at the WDR studio in 1973), later digitalized at the WDR studio in 1990s (on ADAT) and revised in 2001 on personal computer after the landmark studio unfortunately had to close at the turn of the century under the WDR’s new management. That unwarranted decision was not technologically founded as the studio equipment were not outdated!
„Shânti” paved the way for Eloy and guided him towards these so-called great „frescoes” (sound and noise poems; dialectics between concrete and abstract sources; temporal structure extensions, etc.) to became one of his signature works: „Gaku-no-Michi” (1977-78); „Yo-In” (1980); „Anâhata” cycle (1984-86), etc.
1. Jean-Claude Eloy – Shânti (Paix / Peace) (2010, 2 x CD, Hors Territoires – HT 05-6) CD1
I – Partie D’Ouverture
1. Les Foules De La Mémoire
2. Son De Médiation
II – Partie D’Extentsion
5. Interview (Aurobindo / Mao)
2. Jean-Claude Eloy – Shânti (Paix / Peace) (2010, 2 x CD, Hors Territoires – HT 05-6) CD2
III – Partie Centrale
1. Mantra Des Étoiles
IV – Partie Finale
3. Vagues Lentes, Boucles De Feux
4. Contemplation Aux Enfants *
You can listen here (beginnings from 0:10):