Pierre Marietan - Rose Des Vents 2xLP


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Label: Mana

Our Review

Originally commissioned by the French government in 1981 and released in a private press in 1987, Pierre Marietan's Rose Des Vents is an inimitable blend of field recording, psychoacoustics, sound art and serialist composition. Swiss by origin, Marietan studied composition with Boulez, Pousseur and Stockhausen before moving to France and founding the Groupe d'etude et realisation musicales (GERM) in 1966. Over the next several years, Marietan's interests gradually centered around the study and preservation of urban sound environments, providing the impetus for the project that became Rose Des Vents.

Marietan conceived of Rose Des Vents - idiomatic French for "compass rose" - as an evolving series of site-specific actions and recordings, rooted in the sonic environments of a number of small villages in the Val d'Oise around Paris. Spending up to a week in each of these towns, Marietan recorded the sounds of daily life - barges, trains, birds, carillons, children at play - and later mixed these with studio recordings of brief melodic phrases, largely played on saxophone and keyboard, as well as snippets of synthesizer and electronics. The result cuts the sonics of quotidian chance with elegant compositional restraint. While Rose Des Vents finds its closest analogues in the recordings of Alvin Curran and Luc Ferrari, Marietan's work retains a sense of singularity as it captures the uncanny nature of everyday life and its disarmingly moving acoustics. Mana Records' welcome reissue contextualizes Marietan's work with reflections from the artist as well as a wealth of contemporaneous documentation and ephemera. Truly unlike anything you've ever heard!