Pierre Schaeffer / Aug 14, 1910 - Aug 19, 1995

A true innovator, Pierre Schaeffer was the father of musique-concrete. Not a trained musician but an admirer of Luigi Russolo, Schaeffer sought to dispense with music theory early on and create a new experimental music that utilized found sounds, pitched turntables, manipulated & spliced magnetic tape, looping & sampling, noise & distortion and other revolutionary techniques that have been endlessly used by artists since.

He was Lee "Scratch" Perry, Christian Marclay, the Bomb Squad, Edgar Varese, Stockhausen and Pole before most of them were even born. You could also say that without Schaeffer's imagination the genres of electro-acoustic music, hiphop, noise, dub, disco and techno would not exist. He built a studio, sculpted freely improvised sound, worked with Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète (the GRMC), collaborated with Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, Xenakis and others.

He was a writer, composer, musicologist, sound engineer, playwright, opera composer, educator and an anti-nukes activist. Also impressively, he led a 500-man team to rescue victims of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. Let's thank him today for everything.

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