In a follow up to the previous Jean Jacques Perrey memorial post, I’d never heard his album/piece “Prélude au Sommeil”. Ian Fondue posted this excellent list of the greatest electronic albums of the 1950’s and 1960’s (listeners to the podcast and mixes would already be familiar with many of these, I was quite surprised at how many I’d actually tracked down and heard) and this was featured on it.
It’s amazing, the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘sublime’ are overused but there aren’t any other words to match it, really. He invented ambient in 1957, as an aide for psychiatric institutions and hospitals to help people sleep (well before Max Richter got on the bandwagon) hence being called “Prelude to Sleep.” It’s played on the Ondioline, and reminds me of the bagpipe music I heard in Scotland, the Pibroch laments except more dreamy and happier. Alpha states, indeed. But it is tinged with a wistful sadness, now he’s gone.
And you can buy this as a MP3 or WAV via Trunk Records (I subscribe to his list so kicking myself I didn’t get this sooner) as part of his 50p specials, so no excuses, really.