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Pierre Henry / Michel Colombier: Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart (Henry / Colombier, 1965–1968)


“Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart (The Electronic Jerks of the Mass for the Present Time and Musique Concrètes for Maurice Béjart)” is a compilation album that contains previously released works by Pierre Henry, a French composer known as a pioneer of musique concrète.


All the tracks in this compilation were composed for the ballets by French choreographer Maurice Béjart.

This compilation was released on LP by Philips in 1968.

The first CD of this album was released by Philips in 1997.

“Messe Pour le Temps Présent (Mass for the Present Time)” (1967) is a collaboration with French composer and arranger Michel Colombier.

The ballet “Messe Pour le Temps Présent” was first performed by Ballet du XXme Siècle (Ballet of the 20th Century) at the Festival d’Avignon in 1967.

The musical composition was created by fusing electroacoustic music with dance music in the rock style called “jerk”. Henry created the electroacoustic parts by editing and processing metal sounds, electronic sounds, and the sounds of tubular bells and Moog synths as materials. The instrumental parts were created by Colombier.

“Messe Pour le Temps Présent” is a groundbreaking work that developed techniques like sampling and cut-up in the field of electronic music.

This work has been revalued in the context of club music and techno since the 1990s. The album “Métamorphose – Messe Pour Le Temps Présent” released by FFRR in 1997 features the remix versions of this work by William Orbit, Fatboy Slim, Coldcut, Dimitri from Paris, and others.

The most famous piece of this work is the track No. 2 “Psyché Rock”.

“Psyché Rock” was used in the film “Z” (1969) directed by Costa-Gavras.

Fatboy Slim’s remix version of “Psyché Rock” was used in the film “Mean Girls” (2004) directed by Mark Waters.

This compilation contains the first full release of “Messe Pour Le Temps Présent” including prologue.

In addition to “Messe Pour le Temps Présent”, this compilation includes three musique concrète works by Henry: “La Reine Verte (The Green Queen)” (1965), “Le Voyage” (1968), and “Variations pour Une Porte et Un Soupir (Variations for a Door and a Sigh)” (1967).

Track Listing

Messe Pour Le Temps Présent

  1. Prologue – 1:35
  2. Psyché Rock – 2:47
  3. Jericho Jerk – 2:26
  4. Teen Tonic – 2:40
  5. Too Fortiche – 2:44

La Reine Verte

  1. Marche Du Jeune Homme / La Reine Et Les Insectes – 8:50
  2. Rock Électronique – 3:32

Le Voyage

  1. Le Couple – 6:55
  2. Fluidité Et Mobilité D’un Larsen – 9:49
  3. Divinités Paisibles – 9:26

Variations pour Une Porte et Un Soupir

  1. Balancement – 1:13
  2. Chant 1 – 0:27
  3. Éveil – 1:24
  4. Chant 2 – 1:29
  5. Étirement – 0:58
  6. Gestes – 1:39
  7. Comptine – 1:31
  8. Fièvre 1 – 2:24
  9. Gymnastique – 2:15
  10. Fièvre 2 – 2:29