Jean Dubuffet – Musical Experiences


Released on Ilhan Mimaroglu’s pet record label Finnadar in 1973, this is renowned visual artist Jean Dubuffet’s chance to clank, saw and blow his way around a huge variety of acoustic instruments. He also uses tape manipulation extensively – well either that or he’s worked out how to play sax honks, prepared piano and assorted bizarre scraping noises simultaneously.

Dubuffet’s stated aim was to put himself “in the position of a man fifty thousand years ago, a man who ignored everything about western music and invents a music for himself without any reference, without any discipline, without anything that would prevent him to express himself freely and for his own good pleasure”. In other words, he makes an enthusiatic, demented and highly dynamic racket. Mr D. must also must have been a bit of a out jazz fan, I reckon, given how close some of these pieces are to the Ayler/Braxton/Incus/BYG sounds of yore.

According to the liner notes, the eight pieces on this record were originally released on six 10″ LPs each in an edition of fifty numbered copies. That’s rare for ya!

Unfortunately, the pop charts weren’t ready for this creation and Dubuffet had to resign himself to cranking out paintings and sculptures. Shame.

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  • This was a gem of an LP in the music library at Califorina Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) that I discovered when in school there in the late seventies. The cover was almost more influential than the music/sound/noise it contained. I appropriated part of that artwork for a little flyer for a text/sound poetry and music performance by the duo Folk Hunters (myself and Arthur Jarvinen) at the George Sand Bookstore in 1979. Through the fog of memory I recall Finnadar had other great releases.

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