Pierre Henry - Hugosymphonie / Gouttes d’eau

Hugosymphonie / Gouttes d’eau is the bonus disk that comes with the Pierre Henry Box set 3.0. It contains the single 21 minute title track. The first few minutes are characterised by the sounds of constant dripping of water. At first sparse light drops then moving on to louder denser clusters of drops. This continues up to about ten minutes at which point other sounds are added to the mix, low metallic drones and light percussive hit’s. The water sounds also begin to take on a much more abrasive and rhythmic tone, as they now seem to strike metal buckets and tins creating a sort of droplet percussion orchestra.

As the piece progresses many of the rhythms created by the falling water are replaced by actual percussive rhythms on a variety of objects, creating a wide range of sounds. Also some electronic sounds are also seen to appear at the back of the mix, augmenting the natural and percussive sounds. At around 16 minutes the electronic begin to take a greater role, unfolding into more prominent metallic sweeps and atmospheres. And the aggression of the water also steps up. Now waves of liquid and electronics and percussion swirl around with drips now morphing into gushes and tidal sprays of sound. One final flood and the sounds dribble away as if flushed down a plug hole. Interesting stuff, if not quite as engaging as some of the other long concrete work by Henry, this never the less acts as a great bonus to the box set.