Henri Chopin (1922-2008)

Les 9 saintes-phonies: a retrospective (1956-1983)

  1. Rouge (1956)
  2. Vibrespace (1963)
  3. Double Extension (1970)
  4. Hoppa Bock (1970)
  5. Jouissance des lévres (1983)
  6. 9 saintes-phonies (1984/1987)
  7. Voyage in California (1983), with Larry Wendt

Rouge (1956) - originally released in 1980 by Hundertmark
Vibrespace (1963) originally released in 1964 on OU #20/21
Double Extension (1970) - originally released in 1980 by Hundertmark
Hoppa Bock (1970) - originally released in 1980 by Hundertmark
Jouissance des lévres (1983) - originally released in 1983 by Artalect Editions
9 saintes-phonies (1984/1987) - first released here
Voyage in California (1983) - originally released in 1983 by Artalect Editions

Henri Chopin, les 9 saintes-phonies: a retrospective
(Amsterdam: Staalplaat STCD 070/Korm Plastics KP 4694, 1994).
Compliation curated by John Hudak, and contains an interview of Chopin done by Hudak in 1990, as well as essays about Chopin by Hugh Davies, Sten Hanson, Larry Wendt, and Nicholas Zurbrugg. There is Internet availability for this CD.

Beginning in the late fifties, Henri Chopin created on the tape recorder, multilayered works for 'vocal micro-particles' and 'buccal instances' which he called poésie sonore. One of the originals, Chopin has also been a primary supporter of sound poetry in the world since that time. He published the first review in France devoted to audiopoems as an art with his Cinquième Saison (nineteen issues from 1958 to 1961), and he did the first international review on sound poetry with his Review OU (thirteen issues between 1964 to 1972). OU was a unique assemblage of concrete poetry, manifestoes, objects of art, and records (eleven in all) containing the works of many of the major practitioners of electro-acoustic poetry of that period. He is also responsible in 1990 of getting poésie sonore in the Encyclopaedia universalis, the great French literary atlas.

While experimenting with visual poetry and other more traditional avant-garde forms, Chopin discovered the unique potentials of the tape recorder. With such a device, he reasoned, the poem no longer needed to be entombed within the confines of the page. He was not so much seeking the 'word made flesh' like some poets, but rather he was looking for the 'flesh which is sound': the poetic utterance stripped down to its bare essentials like the indigestible 'stone' from a piece of fruit. A rendered articulation which exists starkly, ready to blossom into a wild and tangled celebration of its own existence as an act of shear human power.

La Peur and Co. (1958-1979)

  1. Dynamisme integral (1966)
  2. Presence du Soleil (1971)
  3. Dentales soufflees (1979)
  4. La Peur (1958/1969

"La Peur and Co. (1958-1979)"
? Records/Edition Hundertmark, Germany, ?09, 2002
performed and recorded by H. Chopin

Poesie Sonore LP (1971-1982)

  1. Le Discours des Ministries

    premiere edition en 1961, Cinquieme Saison no. 13. Pour cet enregistement, realisation in Radio Cologne, 1971, voix de l'auteur

  2. A l'impossible nul n'est tenu

    Inedit, 1982. Studio et voix de l'auteur

  3. Jeux de presence

    studio et voix de l'auteur, 1980

  4. Une fete de microparticules vocales

    offerte a Francois Dufrene en juin 1982; Dufrene helas disparu le 12 decembre 1982. Studio et voix de l'auteur

  5. La Chanson des Papes

    Inedit, 1982. Jour des morts. Studio et voix de l'auteur

  6. La poesie sonore du plus loin que le verbe et toujours pour lui

    Inedit, 1982. A ma connaissance le seul manifeste sur le sujet. Studio et voix de l'auteur

  7. Le Fond de la Gorge

    Dedie a toute l'equipe de l'IPEM (Instituut voor Psychoacoustica en Elektroniche Muziek, Gent) et a ma femme. Il existe une version pour 4 pistes et 32 h.-p. Studio et voix de l'auteur, ensuite studio de l'IPEM, 1977,

HENRI CHOPIN "Poesie Sonore" Igloo, Belgium, IGL 013, 1983 Mixage final effectue au studio IGLOO-CARAMEL, fevrier 1983

Poesie Sonore Cassette (1972)

  1. Side A: Le Voyage Labiovelaire [August 1971] 11'42"
  2. Side B: Homage to Marcel Janco [September 1971] 7'08"

S Press, No. 22, 1971

The Body is a Sound Factory & Co. (1965-1981)

  1. Le discours de ministres (1965)
  2. La chanson du Parlement Europeen (1968)
  3. Beginning (1972)
  4. Les saccades boreales hurlantes (1974)
  5. Les raclements du Maelstrom (1973)
  6. Le corps est une usine a sons (1981)

Alga Marghen, Italy, 16vocson046, 2002
Only available in the 'Revue OU' 6LP set

Petit Livre Des Riches Heures Signistes Et Sonores D'Henri Chopin (1983-84)

  1. La Cavalcade Echeveléve (1983)
  2. Dialogue Désourds (1984)

The back cover gives the date as December 1986, but the label gives it as 1987.
Packaged in 16-page booklet which includes an introduction by Paul Zumthor (in French) and 8 typewriter poems by Chopin.

Alphabet et Glotte (1987)

  1. Alphabette et Glotte (1987)

"Alphabet et Glotte"
Hot Air, UK, Airmile 73, 1999, 7"

Dans Le Silence Lance L'Air (2001)

  1. Dans Le Silence Lance L'Air (2001)

"Dans Le Silence Lance L'Air"
Voix Editions, France, 2-9514799-13-1, 2001
01. Dans le silence lance l'air (2000)
audio-poeme No. 71
voix de l'auteur

Poesie Sonore CD (2003)

  1. déplacement hors tout, Mars 2003
  2. Les respirations festoyantes, mars 2003
  3. EX PLO (X)IONS (avant-première à Berlin), Janvier 2003
  4. Les souffles "agrippeurs" de la mer de Barents, avril/mai 2003

l'audio contre la délivrance
CD 2004 Artalect - France

La danse des tonneaux brisés (premier théâtre sonore du monde) (2003)

  1. Introduction pour une grande fête d'une bacchanale de tous les âges 3'10
  2. Sifflements et froissements sur le pacifique réel 9'51
  3. La danse des tonneaux roulants et brisés (bouche et voix exclusive de l'auteur) 37'

ERRATUM hors série#1
Henri Chopin
La danse des tonneaux brisés (premier théâtre sonore du monde)
production : end 2003
CD EM005 - edited by Erratum Musical and Joachim Montessuis 2004

Henri Chopin : la sonore (2005)

  1. Henri Chopin : la sonore
Radio France Culture
Henri Chopin : la sonore
24 05 2005

Par Frédéric Acquaviva
réalisation: Pierre Willer

Henri Chopin, né à Paris en 1922 nous reçoit depuis l'Angleterre où il vit et travaille activement, complétant ses déjà 60 livres publiés et sa centaine d'audiopoèmes (poésie sonore, dont il est l'un des pionniers, dès les années cinquante, élaborée uniquement avec les sons de sa voix et de son corps). En contrepoint de ce travail sonore, Henri Chopin réalise des milliers de dactylopoèmes avec sa machine à écrire remplaçant avantageusement le matériel ordinaire du plasticien.

Quelques témoins évoqueront aussi son indispensable travail d'éditeur, celui de la mythique première revue intermédia : la revue « OU », qui mêlait dès 1964, textes, sérigraphies et disques, des plus grands artistes internationaux

Avec :Henri Chopin, Arlette Albert-Birot , Jean-Luc Parant, Francesco Conz, Vincent Barras, Cozette de Charmoy, Michel Giroud, Michel Collet, Michel Tabanou, Hélios Sabaté, Jacques Donguy, Martine Saillard, Rodney Grey, Valentine Verhaeghe, Yvan Etienne, Marvin Sackner et la voix de Raoul Hausmann

La plaine des respirs (2007)

  1. Prologue: Les Souffles (11:08)
  2. La plaine des respires vivace comme il se doit (28:40)
  3. Finale: Les Répressions cassèes (20:02)

tochnit aleph 073 Latest works by legendary french sound-poetry pioneer Henri Chopin
(born 1922)
produced and recorded november 2003 - january 2004.
Mastered and cut june 2006 by Rashad Becker / D&M.
Edition of 491 Copies in gloss printed outer- and innersleeve,
with text by Henri Chopin (original french, plus attemps of english &
german translation)

Staccati en glisaando pour un voix (undated)

  1. Staccati en glisaando pour un voix (abc radio, australia), 26:40

Cantata for Two Farts & Co. (1997)

  1. Cantata For Two Farts And Juan Carlos I (11:48)

  2. Les Chuitantes Respirent (9:50)

  3. Throat Power (10:30)

  4. Vertigo Du Vertige (11:00)

Henri Chopin Cantata for Two Farts & Co. LP. Edition of 80 copies with new labels. Henri Chopin presents previously unreleased audiopoems as well as the reprint of two pieces from the Radiotaxi LP (the tracks taken from Radiotaxi are here presented for the first time mastered at the correct speed)

Les Mirifiques Tundras & Co. (1972, 1995)

  1. La Digestion (14:06), 1972

  2. Les Pirouettes Vocales Pour Les Pirouettements Vocaux (5:41), 1995

  3. Les Souffles Des Tempêtes (14:15), 1993

Edition of 830 copies. Die-cut sleeve

La Digestion was first recorded in 1972 at the author's studio in Ingatestone.

Les Pirouettes Vocales Pour Les Pirouettements Vocaux, Henri Chopin last audiopoem, was recorded at the author's studio in Paris in 1995.

Les souffles des tempêtes (Quadriphonic tape) was first recorded in 1993 at Fylkingen, Stockholm (Sweden). A stereo version was expressly produced for this edition. This audiopoem is dedicated "aux Suédois" (to Swedish people).

An Interview with Henri Chopin (April 3, 1972)

An interview with Henri Chopin and his family, recorded by Charles Amirkhanian and Carol Law at Chopin’s home in Ingatestone, Essex, on April 3, 1972. Chopin’s English wife Jean assists in translating from French to English during this discussion about Chopin’s early work, influences, and recent publications. Also joining in the discussion is Chopin’s daughter Brigitte who is also an artist. Henri Chopin was an active member of the French avant-garde from at least 1950 until his death in 2008. Chopin was a pioneer in the field of musique concrète and sound poetry being one of the first to recognize the potential for such creations when the first tape recorders became available to consumers. Chopin also published a magazine called “OU”, the premiere publication for visual or concrete poetry, from his home in England. “OU” also often included a record of sound poetry with each issue. Chopin died in 2008.

Various Tracks

1. La civilisation du papier (1975), 7:07

2. Extrême Tension (1974), 4:30

3. Henri Chopin | Définition des Lettres Suivantes (1975), 5:33

4. Henri Chopin | Audiopoems, Part 1

5. Henri Chopin | Audiopoems, Part 2

1. Rouge (1956)
2. Dynamisme intégral (1973)
3. French Lesson (1974)
4. Double Extension (1970), Voice: HC, electronic composition: Sten Hanson
5. Hoppa Bock (1970)
6. Pêche de Nuit (1957)
7. Tête á Tête (1971-73), Sten Hanson and Henri Chopin
8. L'Agrippe des Droits (1980), for Christian Clozier
6. "L'énergie du sommeil" Audio-poème (1965)

7. "Indicatif 1" Audio-poème (1962)

8. "La Fusée Interplanétaire" Audio-poème (1963)

9. "Sol Air" (1961-64)

10. "Le Corps": 1st Part "Déchirure de l'air" (1966)

11. "Le Corps": 2nd Part "Brisure du Corps" (1966)

12. "Le Corps": 3rd Part "Chant du Corps" (1966)

13. "2500, les Grenouilles d'Aristophane" (1967), 4'29

14. "La Fusée Interplanétaire" Audio-poème (1963), 2'12" (dedicated to E. Alleyn, announcement by Jean Ratcliffe-Chopin)

15. "Le Rire est Debout" (1969), 8'00"

16. "Le Soleil est mécanique" Audio-poem (1972) (Voice: Denis Chopin, Audio H. Chopin), 5'06"

17. "Lè Ventre de Bertini" Audio-poème (1967), 3'24"

18. "Les Mandibules du Déjeuner sur l'Herbe" (1971) (For Mr. and Mrs. Kaplan) 5'23"

19. "Mes Bronches" (1968), 5'48"

20. "Vibrespace" Audio-poem (1963), 8'51"

21. Petit Livre Des Riches Heures Signistes Et Sonores D'Henri Chopin: La Cavalcade Echevelee

22. Petit Livre Des Riches Heures Signistes Et Sonores D'Henri Chopin: Dialogue Desourds

16-page book and 7" single released 1987 by Jacques Donguy, a Parisian art dealer specialized in avantgarde and sound poetry. Booklet includes 8 typewriter poems and liner notes by Middle Ages historian Paul Zumthor. The 2 tracks belong to the Audiopoems series, Chopin's version of sound poetry. Presented in collaboration with Continuo.

Tracks 1, 2 from the LP "Futura Poesia Sonora" (Cramps Records, Milan)

Track 3 from the LP "Fylkingen Sound Text Festival: 10 Years" (Fylkingen Records, Sweden)

Tracks 4, 5 from the CD "Audiopoems" (?, Records 05, 2001)

Track 6 from OU 23-24

Tracks 17, 8 from OU 26-27

Track 19 from OU 28-29

Tracks 10, 21, 12 from OU 30-31

Tracks 13-20 from OU Review

Tracks 21-22 presented in collaboration with Continuo.

Vocal Waves

Since the end of the 50's, Henri Chopin, an explorer in the new recorded sound poetry field, has never ceased, through his own work as well as through his publishing activities (the magazine Cinquième Saison from 1959 to 1963, then the magazine with record OU from 1964 to 1974) to defend the electronic explorations of the voice and the body, the grain of the voice, the vocal texture, the vibrations of the larynx, the labial snaps, and the hiss; first with the aid of the tape recorder, then, starting from the early 70's, by working in the best electronic music studios in Europe (Atelier de création of Radio France, the Fylkingen Studio in Stockholm, the WDR Studio in Cologne, and recently in Australia ... ). A path extending from the exploration of the resonance of words, in 1956, to the new sound form of 1994, in collaboration with a cybernetic musician at Ircam, Marc Battier.

Henri Chopin opens new ways by going beyond the separation between music and language, and he discovers the infinite chant, the fantastic yard of the mouth and the corporal noises with the aid of new electronic machines: a new conscience of space thanks to astro-physicians and biologists. A new, as of yet unknown culture, is born with the aid of the new means. Varèse had long before foreseen this exploration, defining it as necessary. An explorer of a terra incognita, of an infro- and ultra-poetry of pure energy that goes beyond language, Henri Chopin introduces the primary poetry, in the sense of Novalis, that is poetry as energy, the primary planetary poetry of the corporal space. At the some time as his research into sonority, he gives letters another form through his typewriter poems, which find their best expression in the recent, wonderful work titled Les riches heures de l'alphabet, put together in collaboration with his friend Paul Zumthor, an expert in the Middle Age period.

Michel Giroud

(text published in Revue et Corrigée n. 23, Grenoble, March 1995)

(translation: Andrea Cernotto)



Le Corpsbis & Co

The title given to this collection of sound poems of Henri Chopin is quite representative of its contents. All these audio-poems, composed between 1983 and 1992, propose a much wider and more formal definition of poetry than the traditional one. They also represent the apex of Chopin's activities spanning over a period of forty years. He has made researches in several fields voice recording techniques, sound spatialisation and publishing, with the magazines Cinquième Saison and OU, which for more than ten years, since 1963, was the only publication to report the current developments of sound poetry and to include phonograph records featuring previously unpublished works by Burroughs, Gysin, Novalk, de Vree, Heidsieck, Dufrêne and all the other poets devoting themselves to this new art form.

Issue nr. 26/27 of the magazine featured, among others, Raoul Hausmann, a leading figure of the Berlin Dada movement who, in 1918 produced some phonetic poems as spoken translations of his own poems affiches, which were composed exclusively of letters from the alphabet. It is not surprising that Chopin had an interest in the negation of the traditional patterns proposed by Hausmann's phonetic poetry and he acknowledges

Dadaism's decisive role in taking to its limits the objectivity of the individual, as started by the Romantic Movement and developed by the Symbolists.

Though Chopin is far from Dadaism's paralyzing nothing because his poetry is a research on man's existential problems, an investigation on the relations between body, sound and space and not just an expression of one's subconscious, as it deals with the several levels of the poetic process in which intellect and emotion are no more separated.

The dynamics of the kinetic qualities, of p