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Henri Chopin (1922-2008) was one of the most significant and influential avant-garde, sound and concrete poets of the second half of the 20th century. In his work as a sound poet, he was an early practitioner of a complex vocal art which he described and defined as poésie sonore , in which he used his voice, a microphone, and elementary "home" recording technologies to manipulate a vast tapestry of sounds with his compositions. As poet, painter, graphic artist and designer, typographer, independent publisher, film-maker, broadcaster and arts promoter, Chopin's work was a barometer of the shifts in European media between the 1950’s and the 1970’s.
His publication and design of the iconic audio-visual journals Cinquième Saison and Revue OU between 1958 and 1974 contained vinyl-recordings as well as texts, images, screen-prints, and multiples. It brought together contemporary international writers including such artists as members of Lettrisme and Fluxus groups, Jiri Kolar, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tom Phillips, Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs and many others. He also brought back the work of survivors from earlier generations of experimental poets such as Raoul Hausmann and Marcel Janco to present their work to a fresh audience. There is no doubt that he is a leading protagonist, accelerator, and incubator for the second half of the 20th Century avant-garde and experimental audio art.
VOD is exceptionally proud to present two box-sets of Henri Chopin’s work spanning from 1955 to 1991: with Box 1 (VOD1.1-1.7) covering his official stand-alone releases and with Box 2 (VOD1.8-13) covering all his other contributions to vinyl and tape productions as well as unreleased recordings. Both boxes come with a nicely illustrated 52-page booklet and texts in French and English by Vincent Barras, Marc Matter, Larry Wendt and Henri Chopin’s daughter, Brigitte Morton.