French experimental composer
Pierre Schaeffer (1910 - 1995) was a man of varied and outstanding accomplishments - an engineer, theorist, researcher, telecommunications pioneer, critic, essayist, musician and composer who developed Concrete Music. His impressions of Gurdjieff offer an exceptional convergence of heartfeel experience and literary merit.
“The Old Man and His Movements”, A Session of “Movements” - Pierre Schaeffer provides an exceptionally intelligent and heartfelt glimpse of his experience in Gurdjieff’s movements class.
By that time, Schaeffer had founded the Jeune France group, which had interests in theatre and visual art as well as music. In 1942, he co-founded the Studio d'Essai (later known as the Club d'Essai), which played an role in the activities of the French resistance during World War II, and became a centre of musical activity afterwards.
In 1949, Schaeffer met Pierre Henry, and the two founded the Group de Recherche de Musique Concrète (GRMC) which received official recognition from ORTF in 1951. They gave him a new studio, which included a tape recorder. This was a significant development for Schaeffer, who had previously had to work with turntables to produce his music. His continued experimentation led him to publish A la recherche d'une musique concrète (The Search for a Concrete Music) in 1952, which was a summation of his working methods up to that point.
Schaeffer left the GRMC in 1953, but reformed it in 1958 with Luc Ferrari and François-Bernard Mâche as the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM).
Schaeffer took a number of teaching posts, including an associate professorship at the Paris Conservatoire from 1968 where he taught electronic composition.