Pierre Schaeffer

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Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer (14 August 191019 August 1995) was a French composer, writer, broadcaster and engineer most widely recognized as the chief pioneer of musique concrète. His writings are often concerned with his development of the genre as well as the theoretics and philosophy of music in general.

Sourced[edit]

  • Something new has been added, a new art of sound. Am I wrong in calling it music?
    • The Liberation of Sound: An Introduction to Electronic Music (Prentice-Hall edition, 1972)

Literary works[edit]

Sound is the vocabulary of nature.
  • I do not want to heap coals of fire on anyone's head, but I would like to advise those who keep the living thought of the dead hidden away in cardboard boxes, to pass on as quickly as possibly such explosive material, whose only legitimate heir is the whole world, that is to say, my neighbor.
    • The Old Man and His Movements (Times Press, 1964)

Interviews[edit]

  • I was horrified by modern 12-tone music. I said to myself, 'Maybe I can find something different... maybe salvation, liberation, is possible.'
    • Pierre Schaeffer: an Interview with the Pioneer of Musique Concrete (Records Quarterly magazine, vol. 2, n° 1; 1987)
Barbarians always think of themselves as the bringers of civilization.
  • Barbarians always think of themselves as the bringers of civilization.
    • Pierre Schaeffer: an Interview with the Pioneer of Musique Concrete (Records Quarterly magazine, vol. 2, n° 1; 1987)
  • Sound is the vocabulary of nature... noises are as well articulated as the words in a dictionary... Opposing the world of sound is the world of music.
    • Pierre Schaeffer: an Interview with the Pioneer of Musique Concrete (Records Quarterly magazine, vol. 2, n° 1; 1987)
  • People who try to create a musical revolution do not have a chance, but those who turn their back to music can sometimes find it.
    • Electronic Musician magazine, December 1986
  • Music has to do with sounds, so we need to find them somewhere and it is preferred to find musical ones. You have two sources for sounds: noises, which always tell you something — a door cracking, a dog barking, the thunder, the storm; and then you have instruments. An instrument tells you, 'la-la-la-la.' Music has to find a passage between noises and instruments. It has to escape. It has to find a compromise and an evasion at the same time; something that would not be dramatic because that has no interest to us, but something that would be more interesting than sounds like Do-Re-Mi-Fa...
    • Electronic Musician magazine, December 1986
  • We live in an age dominated by the problem of limits. We are witnessing the end of progress. We have reached the saturation point. Are we going beyond these limits? Are we going to take the risk? There is much work to do to maintain the planet.
    • Interview (Television) with Michel Polac - August 1, 1987 ("The Summers of the Right to Reply")

Quotes about Schaeffer[edit]

  • A plural man with a singular career, he has managed to warn, surprise, shock, and invent.
    • Official statement of the Institut national de l'audiovisuel from the English language version of "Polychrome Portraits 14: Pierre Schaeffer" (INA, 2009)
  • In the world of Pierre Schaeffer, experimentation and entertainment were synonymous; any division between the avant-garde and the everyday simply did not exist.
    • Adrian Dannatt, OBITUARY:Pierre Schaeffer (The Independent, Thursday, 31 August 1995)

External links[edit]

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