What our staff has to say: “Always love a comp that unearths things you barely knew existed. There are a few other examples of children making electronic music pre-1982, usually relating to some type of school program. This particular release collects recordings from a number of recordings on the French I.C.E.M. label (a label formed to release records meant to assist teachers.). Part weird electronics, part inept clanging folk music. Lots of fun! Nothing more experimental than kids making noise!” – Jon
Includes 20-page booklet. France, early sixties: the Mouvement de l’École moderne is in full bloom. Relying on the experiments and writings of its founder, the educationist Célestin Freinet, this consortium of teachers is about to give empirical evidence proving that another approach to music in school can be fruitful. With its pragmatic, anti-authoritarian tack, the method that Freinet was already developing in the 1920s held children in respect, giving them confidence and autonomy. Freinet very soon started to put his principles into practice, experimenting in person a series of innovating techniques that would become emblematic: removing the rostrum, reorganizing the classroom, encouraging cooperation, developing activities such as school printing or inter-school correspondence… As the wish to encourage free expression was central in the Freinet philosophy, arts and crafts were given more importance at school; in this regard, singing and music had a part to play, just as much as writing or drawing. While classrooms filled with a joyful jumble of sound-making objects (springs, bottles and basins, dismantled piano frames, drums, bamboos and the first DIY electronics), singular forms of music started ringing out: wild improvising, delicate a-cappella singing, clanks and dissonant string hammerings, basic experiments with magnetic tapes, evanescent folk songs… Between 1962 and 1982, recordings collected from schools everywhere around France were compiled on dozens of vinyl records. Mostly destined to teachers and friends supporting or gravitating around the Mouvement, these short-format records documented the evolution of practices and approaches: catchy headings such as “Musique libre” (free music), “Recherches sur la voix” (vocal experiments), “Musiques concrètes” (concrete music), “Musiques électroniques” (electronic music) or “Musiques d’ailleurs” (music from elsewhere) are particularly telling. And the music that could be heard on these groundbreaking records was the work of pupils from small towns in Lot-et-Garonne, Oise, and Alpes Maritime — not exactly the archetypal privileged children benefitting from an upper-class economic and cultural background… Rather, children from rural schools with a single classroom, and sometimes, atypical or struggling children oriented towards the so-called “classes de perfectionnement.” Liner notes in English and French.
Features: Frederic Chanu, Paul et Jean Paul avec Tambour, Classe de perfectionnement, C.E.G de Douvres la Delivrande, Nadine Perron, Enfants de 9 à 1à ans, Olivier, Dédé avec Gaby à l’Ariel, Sandrine Lanoux et Pascal Panizut, FP1 à l’école normale de St Germain en Laye, Anne Krikorian et Andrea Debret, Lionel Tasquier, Genevieve Marty, Gerard, Marc, et Roger 9 ans, Isabelle et Christain, Dominique Colas, Bernard, Une équipe de jeunes enfants, Jean, Patrice, Hervé, Jean-Paul, Monique, Club de danse de l’école, and Enfant inconnu.