One of the first albums to made almost entirely with digital synthesizers will be rescued from obscurity this June.
This June, Oklahoma-based experimental label Digitalis Recordings will reissue Heliograms, an early electronic album by the Canadian artist Jean Piché.
These days Piché is a video artist and professor at Université de Montréal, but 30 some odd years ago he was a student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where he recorded Heliograms. Lauded as one of the first albums composed almost entirely with digital synthesizers, the record consists of four droning sessions of tonal exploration, each lasting more than ten minutes.
According to a press release, Piché laid the groundwork for the album using a Systems Concepts Digital Synthesizer, sometimes known as the Samson Box, during a residency at Stanford University in California, then mixed the album in an analog studio back in Vancouver, mixing in recordings of his own voice and the voice of Joanna Anonychuk. He worked on the record from 1977 through 1980, and released it in 1982 on Melbourne, a small classical and avant-garde label. Melbourne went bankrupt soon after the release, relegating Heliograms to relative obscurity. The reissue has been remastered from the original tapes and cut to vinyl at Dubplates & Mastering. It will be available exclusively on vinyl.
Digitalis will release Heliograms on June 11th, 2012.