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Reissue of this early computer music classic, recorded between 1977 and 1980 and one of the first albums to feature music produced almost entirely with digital synthesizers! Limited Vinyl Edition!
In 1982, a small Canadian record label specializing mostly in classical music released “Heliograms”. This was the first record by Canadian composer and video artist Jean Piché, and it was also one of the first albums to feature music produced almost entirely with digital synthesizers. But, due to an unfortunate turn of events, the label went bankrupt as soon as “Heliograms” was released, therefore relegating this essential piece of electronic music to obscurity.
Jean Piché recorded “Heliograms” between the years 1977-1980 during his time at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. The music on the LP consists of works for computer, digital synthesis and acoustic instruments, and most of it was composed using the POD Interactive Compositional System that Barry Truax had developed at SFU. The four compositions that make up “Heliograms” are often dense, harmonically rich pieces that slowly evolve through time. There is a strong use of tonality throughout which characterizes Piché’s work during this period. It echoes a fascination with the music of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Lou Harrison, placing it firmly in a minimalist approach to electronic music, alongside the contemporary work of American composer Laurie Spiegel, then working at Bell Labs.
The initial sounds that would end up constituting the bulk of “Ange”, the first piece on the LP, were created on the Systems Concepts Digital Synthesizer, also know as the Samson Box, during a residency at Stanford University, California, in the CCRMA facilities. The Samson Box was a powerful machine and the first of its kind. It was designed to synthesize complex musical events in real time using FM synthesis. As soon as Piché returned to SFU, he mixed all the tracks in a traditional analog studio and then proceeded to record the voice of Joanna Anonychuk, as well as his own voice, carefully blending these with the sounds generated with the Samson Box. The result is a striking oceanic drone of microtonal frequency waves shifting in and out of focus.

Jean Piché: Heliograms

Ange Jean Piché 11'48''
Lameralaube Jean Piché 11'28''
Helio / Rouge Jean Piché 21'40''

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