Luc Ferrari - Presque rien No. 1 Le Lever du jour au bord de la mer
  Year :   1970
  Location :   France
  Worktype :   Composition
  Materials:   tape, field recording
  Info :   unspecified

  Work Details  
  For David Grubbs at least, it represents a new genre in contemporary music of that time, which he calls Sound Art as opposed to Music Composition... Was it a different compositional approach for you? I wanted to be a radical as possible, and take it to the limit in terms of using natural sound, by not including any artificial, sophisticated sound at all. Once Id done Presque Rien N° 1 I didnt need to be that radical anymore. Theres one landscape, a given time, and the radical thing is precisely that it s just one place at one specific time, daybreak. What s nice about the Presque Riens is that you really notice the things you hear, and eventually there s a moment where sounds stand out more than they normally would. I went everywhere with my tape recorder and microphone, and I was in this Dalmatian fishing village, and our bedroom window looked out on a tiny harbour of fishing boats, in an inlet in the hills, almost surrounded by hills-which gave it an extraordinary acoustic. It was very quiet. At night the silence woke me up-that silence we forget when we live in a city. I heard this silence which, little by little, began to be embellished... It was amazing. I started recording at night, always at the same time when I woke up, about 3 or 4am, and I recorded until about 6am. I had a lot of tapes! And then I hit upon an idea-I recorded those sounds which repeated every day: the first fisherman passing by same time every day with his bicycle, the first hen, the first donkey, and then the lorry which left at 6am to the port to pick up people arriving on the boat. Events determined by society. And then the composer plays! (Smiles) I m free, I play with freedom... I think it s good to have a really strong concept-and then to forget it. If not, things can pass you by... You have to listen to your intuition. How was the work received? Very strangely! It was badly received by my GRM colleagues, who said it wasn t music! (Laughs) I remember the session where I played it to them in the studio, and their faces turned to stone... I was quite happy, because I thought it wasn t bad at all. It was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for their famous Avant Garde series. It had some success in the States, probably because it came out at a time when people were into plans-séquences... They probably recognised it as being along those lines. Warhol s films, for example. Minimalism. Ferrari in interview with Dan Warburton. Accessed 15.11.06 from