Henri ChopinHonest, I swear this is Sequenza21, not the obituaries. But this is otherwise (and unfairly) likely to pass unnoticed in our usual music-blog land: Henri Chopin, one of the pioneering figures in sound poetry, passed away in France on January 3rd.

Born in 1922, he was one of the great explorers of a poetry that favored supremacy of the voice — in all its manifestations — over the “tyranny” of the word. An early adopter of tape recorders and the same electronic studios European composers were at work in, and for many years an active publisher of magazines that disseminated many of the leading voices of the 50’s, 60’s and &70’s, his influence on a whole generation of avant-garde poets and musicians was strong (though largely unheralded over here). Even though officially labeled a poet, Chopin’s work was just as much a kind of music.

A generous free sampling of his recordings are kept on their own page at UBUweb, and a bit more is to be had at Erratum.org.

One Response to “And one more…”
  1. davidcoll says:

    i’ve been listening to a lot of this stuff on ubu- for anyone thats into musique concrete, like pierre schaeffer, you really should look at chopin’s stuff- i think because its “officially” poetry its overlooked, but very quickly its clear theres a lot that composers can learn from it- and in either case its interesting because he was realizing this stuff in the same studios as schaeffer, so the tools used to create sound are used in other interesting ways, in my opinion often because its less weighed down by musical notions, whatever i mean by that…