Varèse: Poême électronique 1958

First presented at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair with 425 speakers placed throughout the famous Philips pavilion, the placement of the speakers and design of the building gave the spectators a feeling of being housed within a concrete, silver seashell. A giant model of the atom hung from the ceiling and the sound & imagery premiered to standing room only crowds and I can only imagine was a complete mind-blower to all who witnessed the spectacle. Varese is considered to be the “father of electronic music”, Henry Miller described him as the “stratospheric colossus of sound.” When Philips (Philips electronic company) approached Le Corbusier to design a building for the fair, Le Corbusier said, “I will not make a pavilion for you (Philips) but an Electronic Poem and a vessel containing the poem; light, color, image, rhythm and sound joined together in an organic synthesis.”

The Philips Pavilion was designed by Le Corbusier and  (the architect – later composer) Iannis Xenakis. Modernizm!

One Response to “Varèse: Poême électronique 1958”

  1. urbangraffito says:

    Varese’s “Poeme Electronique” always leaves me somewhat speechless, Balint. Along with these accompanying images – doubly so.

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