50 years on – an appreciation of Edgard Varèse


Fifty years ago today, the man known as the father of electronic music died at the age of 81.

Edgard Varèse is frequently held up as a torch-bearer, a composer whose originality was startling even in the age of Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Webern. Varèse provided the blocks from which many composers, electronic or otherwise, have taken their lead.

Given that Arcana takes its lead from a Varèse piece, it is only right we mark the composer in this way. And so, over the last two months of this year, we will embark on an appreciation of Varèse, get to know his works better, and try to understand why his was such a visionary mind.

To do that we will benefit hugely from your involvement, so if you have any thoughts about Varèse, any appreciations you want to offer, or indeed if you want to join in the listening, then just get in touch – editor@arcana.fm

It promises to be quite a voyage of discovery! And to kick things off, here is his Poème electronique: