Pierre Henry (born 9 December 1927) is a French composer, considered a pioneer of the musique concrète genre of electronic music.


 [hide*1 Biography


Pierre Henry was born in Paris, France, and began experimenting at the age of 15 with sounds produced by various objects. He became fascinated with the integration of noise into music. He studied withNadia BoulangerOlivier Messiaen, and Félix Passerone at the Paris Conservatoire from 1938 to 1948 (Dhomont 2001).

Between 1949 and 1958, Henry worked at the Club d'Essai studio at RTF, which had been founded by Pierre Schaeffer in 1943 (Dhomont 2001). During this period, he wrote the 1950 piece Symphonie pour un homme seul, in cooperation with Schaeffer; he also composed the first musique concrète to appear in a commercial film, the 1952 short film Astrologie ou le miroir de la vie. Henry has scored numerous additional films and ballets.

Two years after leaving the RTF, he founded with Jean Baronnet the first private electronic studio in France, the Apsone-Cabasse Studio (Dhomont 2001).

Among Henry's works is the 1967 ballet Messe pour le temps présent (Dhomont 2001), a collaboration with choreographer Maurice Béjart that debuted in Avignon (Rubin 2001,[page needed]). In 1970 Henry collaborated with British rock band Spooky Tooth on the album Ceremony (Rubin 2001, 308).

Composer Christopher Tyng was heavily inspired by Henry's "Psyché Rock" when writing the theme to the popular animated cartoon show Futurama. The theme is so reminiscent of the Henry's song, it is considered a variation of the original (Cohen 2001).


Musique sans titre
Concerto des ambiguities mit Klavier
  • 1952 Erste Filmmusik in musique concrete für Jean Gremillons Film Astrologie
  • 1953 Orphèe 53, Experimentaloper für die Donaueschinger Musiktage, erstes Bühnenstück in musique concrète (zusammen mit Pierre Schaeffer)
  • 1955 Arcane (Ballett)
  • 1956 Haut voltage (Ballett)
  • 1959 Coexistence
  • 1960 La noir a soixante
  • 1962 Le voyage (Limelight Records)
  • 1963 La Reine Verte (Ballett)
  • 1967 Messe pour le temps présent (in Zusammenarbeit mit Michel Colombier)
  • 1968 L’apocalypse de Jean (Die Apokalypse des Johannes) mit gesprochenen Text
  • 1969 Ceremony (with Spooky Tooth)
  • 1971 Nijinsky, clown de dieu (Ballett)
  • 1973 Machine Danse
  • 1973 Kyldex I (kybernetisches Ballett)
  • 1975 Futuriste, zur Erinnerung an den italienischen Futuristen Luigi Russolo
  • 1979 La Dixième Symphonie, Hommage an Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 1986 La Dixième Symphonie De Beethoven
  • 1990 Le livre des morts égyptien (Das ägyptische Totenbuch)
  • 1997 Interieur/Exterrieur


  • French director Jérémie Carboni is filming a documentary on a story of musique concrète including Pierre Henry (Anon. n.d.).
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