Thursday, May 22, 2008
Varèse's “Poem Electronique” is fifty years old this year. It was premiered at the World Fair in Brussels in a pavillion especially designed for the exhibition by Le Corbusier
The Famous architect had to fight long & hard to have Varèse's work performed in his design. For the composer it represented a culmination of his idea’s & his attempts to capture sounds not generated by traditional instruments.It was his only completely electronic piece. In this day & age where anyone can compose quality music in their homes it is hard to imagine how futuristic & alien it must have sounded to the ears of Fifties Europeans.
The piece was played through a series of 417 speakers strategically positioned around Le Corbusiers pavillion where it was heard by an estimated two million people. When the Fair closed for good the building was torn down & only a stereophonic recording of Varèse's work remains today.
Varèse's music features an emphasis on timbre and rhythm. He invented the term "organized sound", His use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the "Father of Electronic Music"