Maxime Pascal conducts Pierre Henry's Dracula

An electroacoustic experience with Le Balcon

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Augustin Muller — Computer music direction

Florent Derex — Sound engineer

Le Balcon

Maxime Pascal — Conductor

Program notes

If Pierre Schaeffer was the theoretical father of musique concrète in the 1950s, Pierre Henry was the movement's artistic father. Known for his Messe pour le temps présent (Mass for the Present Time), choreographed by Maurice Béjart, Henry set out to create a complex sonic object capable of inciting listeners to imagine a sort of theatre that was both horrifying and exultant. In 2002's Dracula, ou la musique troue le ciel (Dracula, or Music Pierces the Sky), he transposed sections and motifs from Wagner's famed tetralogy over the backdrop of a vast auditory spectrum, mixing diabolical laughter with the sounds of galloping horses and hurried footsteps, cawing birds, storms and sirens. Like Wagner in his Ring cycle, Bram Stoker's Dracula was, for Henry, an "extraordinary investigator of unfathomable sensations."

The musicians, composers, arrangers, and sound engineers that comprise the collective Le Balcon add their own unique colors to this "dreamlike landscape." While the nearly 20 musicians in the orchestra, directed by founder Maxime Pascal, breathe new life into Wagner's pages, Pierre Henry's innovative soundscape is diffused by 30 loudspeakers placed throughout the great hall of the Athénée in Paris. Let yourself fall under the spell of Wagnerian enchantments in this fiendish electroacoustic whirlwind!

A closer look: composers and works

Augustin Muller

Othman Louati

Pierre Henry

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