Étude aux Chemins De Fer [Railway Study] (by Pierre Schaeffer)
The first of the studies that Pierre Schaeffer created, and perhaps the most famous of them.
About the Piece
Étude aux Chemins De Fer (In English: Railway Study) was the first of the ‘Five Studies in Sound’ that Pierre Schaeffer created, and perhaps the most famous of them.
Pierre Schaeffer took his recording equipment to the local railway depot, and recorded the trains shunting about in the sidings.
He then took the recordings back to the studio and used Pitch Shifting This refers to the changing of the pitch in either direction. Traditionally pitch shifting went hand in hand with the change of speed of a tape recorder. pitch-shift , Time-StretchingA manipulation in which the Duration of a sound is altered. Time stretching can be used to make sounds longer or shorter.time-stretching, LoopTo loop a sound is to continuously repeat it. looping and EditingThe process of selection, cutting, layering and ordering through which elements are combined and polished in the creation of a final work.editing to turn his recordings into an exploration of the sounds that he had captured.
Back in 1948 Schaeffer had to make all of his recordings onto vinyl disks (like LP records).
About the Composer
Pierre Schaeffer worked as a radio technician for the French national radio and whilst working there began to experiment with recorded sounds.
In 1946 he convinced the radio station to develop a studio and research group to properly investigate recorded sounds. This group later became the GRM (Musical Research Group)a group of composers and researchers working to experiment and explore sounds. With studios at Radio France in Paris (the national French radio station).GRM (Musical Research Group).
He made his first solo compositions in 1948, the ‘Five Studies of Sounds’.
Pierre Schaffer made many further musical works and wrote extensively on the subject of creating music with recorded sounds. His ideas have influenced many, many composers who followed him. He was one of the first people to recognise that the EnvelopeThe shape of a sound over time.envelope of a sound can greatly affect the way that it is heard.