Photo en Une : John Cage, 1981 (©DR)

Perhaps it was easier one day. We called a spade a spade, music meant "organized" sound, and thus stood apart from the "disorganized", commonly known as noisiness. But the plot thickened in the early 20th century, when a new way of conceiving music was born: yes, it was now possible to overlay many noises and extract some harmonic consistency. Noise music, a symbol for a expired paradox was born, and with it the concrete music.


Author, in 1939, of the famous series of Imaginary Landscapes (listen right above), the American John Cage quickly became one of the main faces of the noise music, just as the French composer Pierre Schaeffer for concrete music in the 40s. Here is an excerpt from one of his most famous compositions, Etudes de bruits:

The development of electronic music instruments or other devices that produce similar sounds has become as a real gem for skilled composers, at the edge of the borders of music and noise. An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music, a huge collection in seven discs, compiled by the Belgian experimental music label Sub Rosa from 2002 to 2013, is covering the contemporary electronic music history from 1930 to today and trys to trace the history of this sonic exploration.

The entire collection is available as an online stream in shape of Spotify playlists (you must have a look at the program and download it for free here)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #1 avec John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, DJ Spooky, et Sonic Youth (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #2 avec Captain Beefheart, Percy Grainger, Sun Ra, et Alan R. Splet (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #3 avec Faust, Merzbow, et Carsten Nicolai avec Alva Noto (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #4 avec Gyorgy Ligeti, Steve Reich, et le Loop Orchestra (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #5 avec Pere Ubu, Dub Taylor, et Li Chin Sung aka Dickson Dee (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #6 avec Sachiko M, Pain Jerk, Henry Cowell, et Ultraphonist (Lien Spotify)

- An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #7 avec Tziga Vertov, Cabaret Voltaire, et Novi_sad (Lien Spotify)