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Electroacoustic works present a particular problem in terms of conservation. It is an art form which is not only descendant from phonographic recording and its derivatives, but also dependent on them for its existence. But it does not possess within itself the means of its own preservation. In the recording industry in general, in addition to scores, the original recordings are preserved in conditions which are often ideal, from a museological point of view.

They are restored with the most meticulous attention, and using appropriate playback equipment. In comparison, electroacoustic works are deprived of such conditions, and their decline often begins the moment the works leave the composer’s studio.

The electroacoustic work is conserved on supports that are sometimes used, inadequate and in a condition that would horrify any archivist, until a time at which — by accident or by chance — someone notes that without immediate intervention the work will be lost. This was in fact the case for the works of Pierre Schaeffer, which were originally recorded on acetate, briefly available on LPs, and then more or less abandoned for a number of years. The publication of a 3-CD edition of Schaeffer’s works (on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of musique concrète) is only a partial solution to the problem: the works included on Pierre Schaeffer « L’œuvre Musicale » were produced from unspecified sources and the sound quality is very poor.

Produced with the financial participation of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Patrimoine canadien      Gouvernement du Canada


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Projet d’archivage Concordia (PAC) Communauté électroacoustique canadienne / Canadian Electroacoustic Community