Spatial Sound

Poème Électronique (1958/2016)

Edgar Varese, Paul Oomen

As part of Points On The Curve, Edgar Varese’s seminal Poème Électronique was re-created and interpreted in by 4DSOUND founder Paul Oomen, which was part of an initiative between 4DSOUND and ZKM to explore how modern technologies and approaches can bring new facets of key archival works to light, whilst suggesting new directions for composing within the medium moving forward.

Poème électronique is an 8-minute piece of electronic music by composer Edgard Varèse, written for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The Philips corporation commissioned Le Corbusier to design the pavilion, which was intended as a showcase of their engineering progress. Le Corbusier came up with the title Poème électronique, saying he wanted to create a ‘poem in a bottle’. Varèse composed the piece with the intention of creating a liberation between sounds and as a result uses noises not usually considered ‘musical’ throughout the piece.