Étienne O’Leary, Musiques de films (1966-1968)
Étienne O’Leary’s filmography consists of three experimental films completed in Paris between 1966 and 1968. Day Tripper, Homeo (aka Homeo: Minor Death: Coming Back from Going Home) and Chromo Sud constitute a cinema of resistance. These brutally personal and subversive films form a body of work with few precedents.
O’Leary’s contribution to underground cinema is not limited to the introduction of a new cinematographic language. The potency of his oeuvre resides in three unsettlingly evocative soundtracks that he composed himself. This music is now available on vinyl for the very first time.
TNZR050: ÉTIENNE O’LEARY, MUSIQUES DE FILMS (1966-1968)
Format: LP, 180 gr – Limited edition
Étienne O’leary: Music
Marie-Douce St-Jacques: Artwork
“Le voyageur diurne (aka Day Tripper)” – Excerpt
“Homeo (aka Homeo: Minor Death: Coming Back From Goin’ Home)” – Excerpt
“Chromo sud” – Excerpt
“O’Leary was a Canadian phonic plunderer some years before John Oswald raised the practice to a fine art. On DAY TRIPPER, sounds of a piano interior are intercut with a collage of time-locked samples from records of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Dionne Warwick, The Who and Nancy Sinatra. Harmonium looms large on the other two tracks, reedily droning and fluttering away, outside of any recognizable musical genre. It follows O’Leary’s impulse, embellished sporadically with quivering electronics, percussive ringing, distorted and slowed down speech.The resulting music is unique and precarious. This is the etch sound of a particular historical moment, when received expectations and constraints were dissolving – a time of new and unpredictable singularities.” – Julian Cowley (The Wire)
“Eye-opening issue of film-maker Étienne O’Leary’s raw, cut-up, often plunderphonic tape-music scores to his seminal 60’s experimental shorts … if you dug the Arthur Lipsett “soundtracks” lp, Raymond Dijkstra’s barrel-organ wheeze or Badouin Oosterlynck’s prepared piano & slown-down sound-poetry … or even if you’re just a regular ‘ol fan of raw, arbitrary tape-collage music, this is pretty much the bee’s knees ; highly recommended !!!” – Keith Fullerton Whitman (Mimaroglu Music)
“Stunning archival presentation of collected soundtrack work from experimental film-maker Etienne O’Leary. Profoundly alien, absolutely singular, an amazing out of nowhere historical find and easily one of the reissues of the year. Can’t get enough of this one – highly recommended!” – David Keenan (Volcanic Tongue)
“L’histoire qui nous est racontée est cryptée, fantômatique. La musique (très) expérimentale d’Etienne O’Leary donne vie à un théâtre sonore énigmatique. On cherche les clés dans notre mémoire subjective : Nico s’accompagnant à l’harmonium sur l’album The End, les vrilles électroacoustiques de Bernard Parmegiani, la fiction radiophonique La Guerre des Mondes réalisée par Orson Welles en 1938… Ces clés ouvrent bien des portes, peut-être entre-t-on alors dans un autre état de conscience.” – Eric Deshayes (Néosphères)
“The story behind this jewel is worth the price of audio admission alone. Étienne O’Leary is a Québécois experimental filmmaker and musician whose flame fired up in the late ’60s when he produced a trio of shorts while living in Paris. On top of handling all aspects celluloid, he laid down the very weird beats that acted as the movies’ soundtracks, a maddening and truly eerie array of found sounds, cuts and starts, pastiches, instrumental passages and popular song snippets (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Nancy Sinatra, The Who, Dionne Warwick). Must be heard to be believed. File under electro-acoustics on acid.” – Steve Guimond (The Hour)
“The Montreal-born Etienne O’Leary escaped Quebec’s Quiet Revolution to partake in the burgeoning underground cinema of late-60s France. Unique to his filmmaking trade was Etienne’s self-taught abilities to compose soundtracks to his films, using primarily a tape recorder, harmonium, and prepared piano. The resulting control over image and sound allowed O’Leary to realize the dense, suffocating atmosphere of his “diary films”; transparent cut-ups, sharp drags of visceral sexuality, and the wrenching drone of his harmonium are constants during O’Leary’s exposition.” – Aaron Levin (Weird Canada)
“The overall sound of these soundtracks can be qualified as abrasive, even aggressive, but then again that would not be right. You can feel the seeds of a personal revolution being at work, starting to grow into bright yellow flowers shadowing the sun, but only to lead you into believing that life can be picked into film or music. This release is welcomed as a major piece of a historic puzzle, being assembled by a generation of artists trying to make sense in their own origins.” – Frédérick Galbrun (Foxy Digitalis)
A DVD of Étienne O’Leary’s films can be ordered by contacting l’Institut pour la coordination et la propagation des cinémas exploratoires: ICPCE.