Cacophonic / UK / 2019
Undoubtedly one of the most influential experimental and electroacoustic musicians, Pierre Schaeffer is also credited as being the father of the theory of musique concrete as well as later name coining the term itself. Having found a job in 1936 at Radiodiffusion Française (later Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française or RTF) as an engineer, Scaeffer developed a newly found interest in music and with the blessing of his superiors made the most of his access to the Radiodiffusion Française studios, utilising his abilities as an engineer to experiment with sound whilst collaborating with musicians and composers that passed through the station’s hallowed doors.
In 1942 Schaeffer and influential theatre director, producer and actor Jacques Copeau founded the Studio d’Essai (renamed Club d’Essai in 1946) as part of RTF in order to experiment with radiophonic techniques. Drawing on the works of French filmmaker, critic and novelist Jean Epstein, Schaeffer would occupy his time and his mind with the manner in which sound recordings “revealed what was hidden in the act of basic acoustic listening” and in 1948 formally set about his research in ernest - the results of which were presented as a series of studies known as Cinq études de bruits (Five Studies of Noises) during a concert in Paris.