Ensemble InterContemporain - Ensemble
The Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort - Ensemble
The Ensemble InterContemporain was recorded January 10 & 11, 1984 at IRCAM, Paris.
The Barking Pumkin Digital Gratification Consort was recorded during the three-month period thereafter at The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen.
Having recorded some works with a large orchestra in January 1983, in January 1984, Frank Zappa arranged for some of his chamber works to be performed by Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, a 16-piece group. "The Perfect Stranger," "Naval Aviation In Art?," and "Dupree's Paradise" were given this treatment, and the four remaining tracks are the product of Zappa's music synthesizer, the Synclavier. As usual, Zappa's "serious" works are rhythmically interesting and make for challenging listening. Originally released on LP on the classical Angel/EMI label, this album was reissued on CD on Zappa's Barking Pumpkin label in 1992, at which time he resequenced it.
Tracks 1, 2 & 4 are performed by the Ensemble InterContemporain, conducted by Pierre Boulez. Tracks 3, 5, 6 & 7 are performed by The Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort. The Ensemble InterContemporain includes: Pierre Boulez (conductor); Lawrence Beauregard, Sophie Cherrier (flute); Lazlo Hadady, Didier Pateau (oboe); Alain Damiens, Paul Meyer (clarinet); Jean-Marie Lamothe (bassoon); Antoine Cure, Jean-Jacques Gaudon (trumpet); Jerome Naulais, Benny Sluchin (trombone); Gerard Buquet (tuba); Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Alain Neveux (piano); Frederic Stochl (acoustic bass); Vincent Bauer, Michel Cerutti, Daniel Ciampolini (percussion). Ensemble InterContemporain recorded at Ircam, Paris, France on Janurary 10-11, 1984. Includes liner notes by Frank Zappa. Half of THE PERFECT STRANGER features works by Frank Zappa conducted by Pierre Boulez utilizing his Ensemble Intercontemporain orchestra and recorded in Paris. The other half is Zappa himself under the moniker of the Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort. He refers to the album in its entirety as seven dance pieces. Each of these instrumental pieces embodies an accompanying story and occasional sound effects (or simply non-traditional instrumentation). These works are modern in a way which is decidedly not modern today; that is to say, they celebrate notions of atonality, angularity and episodic construction which resonate with the heady experimentation of the first few decades of the twentieth century. Edgar Varese, Charles Ives, and even bits of Stravinsky clearly found a comfortable home in Frank Zappa's heart and mind.