Swiss composer Pierre Marietan’s "action musicale" Roses des Vents is an extremely sought-after record – a 1987 private press of 300 copies, and 230 of those were irreparably damaged and had to be removed from circulation after Pierre spilled coffee over them (probably). Truth be told I’d never heard of Roses until this reissue materialised, but listening now I realise its not just scarcity that gives the bouquet its fragrance. It's a lovely record, plain and simple, considerably more immediate and pleasurable to listen to than its academic/concrete context and trappings would lead you to expect. Still, if track titles like ‘Horse paddock environmental sounds’ don't stir your loins, avoid. Very handsomely packaged 2LP gatefold set with a 16pp booklet featuring new notes by Marietan.
"An ‘action musicale’ crafted from materials gathered over six years by the Swiss composer and his team of sound engineers, acousticians and musicians — members of the Groupe d’Étude et Réalisation Musicale (GERM) he had founded in 1966 — in villages and towns scattered across France, starting in 1982.
"The radiophonic voice of Ana de Carvalho poetically announces each scene: a vegetable market, interviews with villagers about their surroundings, braying animals, the hubbub of a train station. The intention is to enable ‘the possibility to ignore the sources to only listen to what the sound, in itself, is able to say, what is characteristic to its rapport with music.’ Various instrumentalists respond to these different sound-worlds.
"Originally issued privately in 1987 in a run of 300, this limited edition is a terrific debut release by Mana, beautifully gatefold-sleeved, with a sixteen-page, risograph, A5 booklet, including a new text by Mariétan, and photos."
MANA001 | First edition | 300 copies | UK | 2017 | 2LP + 16pp A5 booklet