Model of a slaughter house, from the Tomb of Meketre, Southern Asasif, Thebes. Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty,
Amenemhat I, ca. 1991-1962 BC. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Pierre Larrieu – 17 Flashes de Musique Incidentale, 10inch mono LP, total time: 23mns, self-released, France, ca.1959–1962.
French composer and music director Pierre Larrieu (d.1964) started his carreer in the late 1920s. During the 1930s, he wrote song orchestrations for French singers Damia or Joséphine Baker, among others, as well as playing the Ondes Martenot accompanyment of the Burlesque show at the Folies Bergère cabaret in Paris – a menial work for many impoverished Parisian composers, like Pierre Boulez, for instance, later in the 1950s. Larrieu started composing film music in the late 1940s and was a renowned original soundtrack composer during the 1950s.
The 10inch LP “17 Flashes de Musique Incidentale” was self-released in the late 1950s, apparently as an early example of library music – like the title implies – to be used by professional film makers. The album consists of 17 instrumental tracks for small orchestra with Ondes Martenot accompanyment. These compositions include musique concrète sounds, tape loops and Theremin-like effects on the Ondes Martenot. While the first side features traditional string arrangements in the style of George Delerue, the B side consists of more original and varied compositions covering different needs of a film maker, like the African atmosphere of Flash #11, the glockenspiel of #13, the dog imitation on Ondes Martenot (!) of #15, or the menacing, ticking clock sound of #16. The entire Musique Incidentale project has similitudes with
Jean-Jacques Perrey’s Prélude au Sommeil (1957), George Delerue’s stage music Ici A Commencé L'histoire (1961), Maurice Jarre’s Lawrence of Arabia OST (1962), or Pierre Barbaud’s algorhythmic film music (Algorithme I and Les Abysses, 1963).
A favorite artist of ours is none other than contemporary painter and printmaker, Wayne Thiebaud. Thiebaud (1920-present) is known for his nostalgic still lifes, panoramic landscapes and colorful figurative works. Thought to have helped influence the Pop Art movement Thiebaud created works that focused on common place items, Americana, and mass culture. Here is his piece Salads, Sandwiches and Desserts (ca. 1962).