Old Music And A New Record Label
2017-06-13 14:19 by Wally
I’m excited to share some music that is very special to me. It’s a compilation that I curated of super rare and never-before-released recordings by a musical hero of mine, Jean-Jacques Perrey (1929-2016).
This release focusses on Jean-Jacques’ playing of the French proto-synthesizer, the Ondioline, an unusually expressive electronic instrument with a ventriloquist’s variety of “voices”.
Jean-Jacques was the world’s sole virtuoso of the Ondioline in the ‘50s and ‘60s. He used it extensively on classic records like The In Sound From Way Out! (with Gershon Kingsley in 1965), and his work with it remains a remarkable document of one man’s exploration of this unique musical instrument.
I visited Jean-Jacques at his home in Switzerland a number of times, and I felt blessed to find that a man whose music had brought me so much joy was also an incredibly warm-hearted and inspiring human being in-person. He was a unique spirit, with a special cosmic way of seeing the world, and I miss him dearly. But I'm buoyed when I think that his music will continue to transmit his inimitable charm to many new listeners over time.
While getting to know Jean-Jacques I was delighted to discover that there was a great deal of brilliant music that was either very rare or entirely unreleased from his many years of prolific recording. Some of it was as effervescent and playful as his better-known work, but some of it exhibited a different sense of yearning, playing with colours contrasting starkly with the boisterous electronic pop that was his signature.
I hope this compilation displays the great breadth of feeling that I think Jean-Jacques committed to record throughout his early years. It’s a love story of sorts, between Jean-Jacques and his “first love”, the Ondioline, an instrument he played so sensitively and with such exquisite mastery.
I hope you take the time to listen, and find some of the inventiveness, depth, and range of eclectic wonders that I’ve found in Jean-Jacques’ music.
The compilation is called Jean-Jacques Perrey et son Ondioline and it's the first release on a new archival record label I’ve set up called Forgotten Futures. Through this label I plan to explore the work of other pioneering performers, composers and inventors of unique musical instruments, across a series of releases.
This first one is very personal for me, and I dedicate it to my spiritual grandfather Jean-Jacques with thanks for so much inspiration over many years. I know you’re smiling up there, you pioneer of the stars.