Excellent reminder of Grisey’s monumental work that still stands as a great musical achievement. Take time and listen to all six parts – it’ll take a little less than 2 hours, but it’s quite an experience!

Articulate Silences

Gérard Grisey’s manifesto as a composer was as unassuming as it was transformative: “music is made with sounds, not with notes.” Whilst this simple statement may initially appear somewhat aphoristic, Grisey’s observation represents a subtle, yet pertinent, repositioning of compositional approach. It was from this starting point that the French composer began to mine the depths of texture and harmony contained within individual sounds. In developing what is now termed “spectral music”, Grisey created an innovative, yet strikingly lucid and accessible, compositional style, simultaneously eschewing the occasionally esoteric tendencies of the European avant-garde as well as minimalism’s increasingly post-modern nature.

Grisey’s largest ever undertaking, Les espaces acoustiques was composed sporadically in the period from 1974 to 1985 and remains perhaps the fullest realisation of his musical vision. In composing the piece Grisey undertook detailed analyses of sound spectra. These are the unique combinations of frequencies that manifest themselves as timbre…

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