Mise En Musique Du Corticalart De Roger Lafosse


The tracklist from this album includes Lévitation, Pénétration, Cortisouk, Electro-Genèse, Voyage, Sauts, Hellzapop, Limonaire and Fantasia. The live improvisation performance for this album was recorded in 1971, at Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris by French composer Pierre Henry, who was also the director of the work, using Roger Lafosse’s Corticalart Device. The researcher and musician Lafosse, founded the Corticalart Device in 1965 to facilitate the transcription of electric cortex waves into electronic signals for further raw manipulations. This experimental music concrete album was released in 1971, with technical realization by Groupe Artec with electroacoustic equipment from Apsome & J. Heuze. The illustration on the cover is by Christian Morin, originally printed in black and silver foil. The raucous blat-sound is an unrelenting analog free-electronic skree noise. Modern art is highly invested in the dream of unmediated musical/artistic expression, yet Henry directly attempts to locate a pure music flowing from the composers head that results in discordant sound rather than anything that can be immediately recognized as a ‘sensible aesthetic’ or a deliberate sonic interpretation of conscious thought. Instead it is the uncontrolled and discordant epiphenomena of precognitive neuromodulated chemical activity. As a musician, Henry’s head is covered in electrodes to capture Alpha waves of relaxation and inattention, beta waves of alertnesss and attention, and ‘artifacts’ created by eye movements. In 1973, Henry performed an hour-long Corticalart concert for a conference of neurophysicists in Marseilles.  The recording was released as Cortical Art III. Details are not known of any second Corticalart album.