Psychedelic art to go with some quirky 1960s music by Pierre Henry

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I was reading the obituary for the French composer Pierre Henry, and it caught my attention because it described him as “abandoning notes in favor of ambient noises manipulated in surprising ways.” When I hear music described like this, I need to hear it in order to better understand why it’s “surprising.”

Henry had been composing music since the 1950s, so of course there’s no way to quickly get a sense of his music when his career spanned more than half a century. But I did find one example here which I decided to share for a couple of reasons: one, because it’s an example that allows one to hear some of his sound effects, such as crashing sounds, beeps, and at one point, something that sounds like a car’s ignition, all incorporated into a sixties-style sound (this song from 1967 titled “Teen Tonic” was a collaboration between Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier). The second reason is the visuals: check out the psychedelic art that accompanies the track – my guess is that the video’s imagery was created by someone other than Pierre Henry, but it’s certainly a good match for the music!

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