March 04, 2009
Jean-Jacques Perrey (born 1929) is a French electronic music producer and is an early pioneer in the genre. He is best known within the sphere of popular music as a member of the influential duo Perrey & Kingsley.
He was studying medicine in Paris when he met George Jenny, inventor of the Ondioline. Quitting medical school, Perrey travelled through Europe demonstrating this keyboard ancestor of the modern synthesizer. At the age of 30, Perrey relocated to New York, sponsored by Caroll Bratman, who built him an experimental laboratory and recording studio. Here he invented "a new process for generating rhythms with sequences and loops", utilising the environmental sounds of "musique concrète." With scissors, splicing tape, and tape recorders, he spent weeks piecing together a uniquely comique take on the future. Befriending Robert Moog, he became one of the first Moog synth musicians, creating "far out electronic entertainment".
In 1965 Perrey met Gershon Kingsley, a former colleague of John Cage. Together, using Ondioline and Perrey's loops, they created two albums for Vanguard Records — The In Sound From Way Out (1966) and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations (1967). Perrey and Kingsley collaborated on sound design for radio and television advertising. Perrey returned to France, composing for television, scoring for ballet and continuing medical research into therapeutic sounds for insomniacs.