Musique Concrete

Musique Concréte has roots firmly grounded in an analog history with Pierre Shaefer’s development and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s popularization of the art. These men are not the only ones to manipulate sounds to create a musically artistic expression and become famous for it. György Ligeti also utilized the unusual sonic art in much of his work. Mr Ligeti is especially known for his association with Stanley Kubrick and his work on various pieces in the soundtracks of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “The Shining” and “Eyes Wide Shut”.
            Overall, I am not a big fan of Musique Concréte in and of itself, but I believe it can make a VERY effective tool when used in conjunction with theatre, moving pictures, or as ambient music for other visual presentations. For any of us who have watched either “The Shining” or “2001: A Space Odeyssey”; we know the effect of the underlying Ligeti soundtracks in particularly tense, confusing, anxious and terrifying moments. Those examples alone verify the effectiveness as Musique Concréte as an artform in and of itself, but I believe it is more effective when used in conjunction with visualization.
            György Ligeti’s composition "Glissandi", is probably his most famous Musique Concréte piece, maybe even more well known in art and music circles than his pieces associated with Stanley Kubrick films. Personally, I find the music interesting, but not overly successful in imparting much feeling, other than a sense of space aliens possibly being in the area, and a sense of disjointedness or wrongness. To me, it just doesn’t seem right.

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