Limited edition LP with 24-page booklet.
The lost masterpiece Les Éphémères by the self labeled ‘sound painter’ Knud Viktor (1924-2013) now sees its first ever release by Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology – 40 years after it was conceived. Viktor’s pioneering work – his Images Sonores – are composed of field recordings of insects, animals and his surroundings. His only earlier releases, the much sought-after Images and Ambiances from 1972, were re-issued by Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology in 2017 to great critical acclaim.
A finished master tape and even a complete cover layout for Les Éphémères was found in Viktor’s archives after he passed away in 2013. The phenomenal piece was originally commissioned by the French radio station France Musique in 1977. The twenty short ‘sound images’ of Les Éphémères were originally b roadcast as vignettes i n-between other radio programs. Working with Allo la Terre, the association in charge of the estate of Knud Viktor, we at Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology are thrilled to finally be able to release this central and evocative work.
The story of Les Éphémères:
From the middle of the 1970’s Viktor began composing almost exclusively for four channels. He invented his own intuitive quadraphonic mixer – the Tetramix – to realise his spatial visions for his Image VI – The Lubéron Symphony, and from then on worked with quadraphonic sound, thus making the release of his works difficult. Les Éphémères is close in time and also holds close ties to The Lubéron Symphony, which Viktor considered his magnum opus. Perhaps most strikingly is the shift in the way he uses the recordings of insects, birds and animals in both The Lubéron Symphony and Les Éphémères: Often untreated and clearly recognizable, the field recordings leave the inherent melody and rhythm of the animal sounds to sing for themselves, layering recordings to create simple and elegant sound images. In two of the twenty pieces Viktor’s own voice blends with the animals, as he recites two poems. (…)