**250 copies** Over the last decade or so, the venerable Italian imprint, Alga Marghen, has done incredible work supporting the legacy of the seminal French electroacoustic composer, Luc Ferrari, issuing numerous releases of previously unavailable works. With this striking discography already behind them, earlier in 2021 they dropped the double LP Labyrinthe de Violence, and now they’re back with more, this time appearing on their sub-imprint Planam. Expanding upon the territory first unfurled by the stunning 2006 collaboration, Et tournent les sons, the double LP, “…Et Après”, delivers a treasure-trove of archival material created by Ferrari and Ensemble Laborintus, sometimes with the involvement of eRikm, culminating as a masterful rendering of electroacoustic music that rests at the juncture of radical electronic and experimental chamber music. It’s an absolutely stunning accomplishment, illuminating the towering creative heights reached by Ferrari during the last years of his career.
Within the histories of electronic music, musique concrète, and electroacoustic sound, Luc Ferrari is a legend; a visionary who emerged as a pioneer of each of these experimental fields. Initially trained as a classical pianist under Alfred Cortot, Olivier Messiaen, and Arthur Honegger, following a meeting with the composer, Edgard Varèse, in 1954, Ferrari shifted his path toward the developing medium of electronic music, co-founding, four years later with Pierre Schaeffer and François-Bernard Mâche, the legendary Parisian studio and collective Groupe de Recherches Musicales.
Like many of his peers, and arguably to the greatest degree of them all, Ferrari saw avant-garde and experimental music as holding great potential for direct social impact, regarding it as a music of the people, activating arching collaboration, rather than something to be produced for a stuffy concert hall. In his own words, “To free music from the constraints of style and aesthetics; to free the arts from the abstraction to train him for comprehensible actions; to be rather a craftsman of imagination.” It is this remarkable energy and spirit, fostered in youth and lasting until the end of his life, that lays at the foundation of his work with Ensemble Laborintus and eRikm, first encountered via Et tournent les sons, issued by Césaré in 2006, roughly a year after the composer’s death.
Ensemble Laborintus was a chamber music ensemble, named in homage to Luciano Berio, that was active between 1993 and 2014, and counted Hélène Breschand (harp), César Carcopino (percussion), Sylvain Kassap (clarinet), Franck Masquelier (flute) and Anaïs Moreau (cello) as its members. Focused on working in close collaboration with living and active composers, confronting current technologies, and improvisation as a means to offer voice to contemporary music, they worked closely and fruitfully with Luc Ferrari during 2003 and 2004, at times joined by eRikm, the moniker of French musician, composer and visual artist, Eric Matt, widely celebrated for his collaborative work with Ferrari, Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, and numerous others.
Bristling with stunning dances of acoustic and electronic sound, “…Et Après” - collecting a full two LPs worth of material - presents the final unreleased work that Ensemble Laborintus created in collaboration with Ferrari, Bonjour, comment ça va?; as well as an homage to the composer, composed by Sylvain Kassap; a new rending of his work À la recherche du rythme perdu, created under the supervision of Brunhild Ferrari for harp and percussion; a work composed by Hélène Breschand, L, for flute, clarinet, cello, harp, percussion & fixed sounds. This double LP also includes as a 'bonus' the realization of Ferrari’s À la recherche du rythme perdu, recorded live by Hélène Breschand and eRikm in 2019.
As sum total, “…Et Après” is a wonderful final testament to the spirit of Ferrari, brought to life by his friends and collaborators. On the day of his death, he was intended to meet Ensemble Laborintus to play his work Archives sauvées des eaux, leaving this album as a stand-ins for that unrealized event. Across its two sides, the ensemble, in addition to different configurations of its members (+ eRikm), renders a startling immersion of sound and perfectly channels the spirit of the great composer, creating an album of creatively visionary and technically virtuosic sounds.
A celebration of life and a vessel of carnal joy, gracefully weaving the concrete character of sound into a poetic topology, at the root of “…Et Après” is the simple and pure pleasure of hearing and feeling. Absolutely incredible from start to finish, and unquestionably among the most challenging, exciting, and engaging albums we’ve heard all year, “…Et Après” is late Ferrari, plus a great deal more, at its absolute best. Issued on vinyl by Planam and available for distribution in only 250 copies, it can’t be missed.