Creel Pone Pierre Henry “Prismes” (France) CP133 CDr
Personally, I’ve long been puzzled by the “Corticalart III” title ; was there a “Corticalart II” that we somehow missed? Lo and behold, here it is, in the form of a “Second” concert utilizing the system, again done in collaboration with Bernard Bonnier, assembled at the Studio Apsome then presented as part of a “Spectacle of Cybernetic, Spatio-Lumina-Dynamics” staged by Nicolas Schöffer & Alwin Nikolas at the Hamburg Opera in February 1973 under the banner “Kyldex I.”
I’ve seen the single “Prismes” excerpt show up on a few compilations of Henry’s era work, but the complete performance remains one of Henry & Bonnier’s most sought-after sides. Recorded a full two years after “Mise en Musique” (but only 7 months prior to “Corticalart III”) this takes a comparably nuanced approach to working with the system. While yes, the opening pulse-width grind of “Ouverture” is straight out of “Mise en Musique’s” playbook, the stereo-heavy electronic twang of “Sirène” is a rising swarm of tightly-controlled high-end synthesizer fury that drops out into a distant prepared-piano block.
The extremely minimal pointillism of “Continuum” wraps rattled percussion & sly oscillator pings into an inter-channel riddle. “Crépidance” clearly shows Bonnier’s involvement (the constant kick-pulse & tape-echo chime are clear links to his later “Casse-Tête”) & the two-part “Facettes” drops an incredibly dense Musique Concrète miniature before continuing in the mould of rising, hysteresis-heavy brainwave-induction before the zappy, aberrant pan-laws of “Manèges” close out the side.
Both “Crescendo” & “Perpetuum” (ditto, raw brain-wave inductions sustained in a thick morass of discordant overtones, then further ultra-minimal iterations) build up to the main-event of the title-track - 15 minutes of sublime rise / fall tactics, impeccably assembled waves of over-lapping automations & low, growling figures cut with almost imperceptible slices of taped-sound, erupting into a honey of a tape-speed munge-out. Of the three “Corticalarts,” this one definitely shows the most range & prowess (don’t get me wrong - I do love the brutal bludgeoning of “Mise” & the washed-out room-whirr of “III”) - amazing it’s taken Mr. P.C. C.P. so long to sort out the missing installment of this incredible trilogy.
Previously, Mr. P.C. C.P. had the wise idea to replicate the two “Corticalart” Pierre Henry titles, considered by many as the most wild & woolly amongst the French Musique Concrète...
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