Jean Piché Heliograms

Jean Piché Heliograms
In the late '70s, Québécois composer and video artist Jean Piché studied electroacoustic and computer music at Simon Fraser University under Barry Truax. It was during this time the material that surfaced as Heliograms was produced and recorded, using computer, digital synthesis and acoustic instruments. This music is some of the earliest to be crafted using digital synthesis in Canada, the bulk of it composed using Truax's POD digital interface. Originally released on the ill-fated Melbourne imprint out of Waterloo, this remarkable LP has been all but forgotten amongst the electronic music cognoscenti. The first two pieces are heavily textured and fluid, drone-based concoctions that hover over the ground in dense cloud formations. "Rouge" captivates with an elegant, Reich-ian minimalism, while the eponymous album closer is an elegiac slab of digital cascades. Heliograms is a remarkable piece of music and history; hopefully the reissue treatment prompts further investigation, exposing Piché as the innovator he is. (Digitalis)