Parisian “Exposition Universelle” @120

In 1889, 120 years ago tomorrow, the Exposition Universelle world fair opens in Paris.


At the Exposition (see photo), the French composer Claude Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music, performed by an ensemble from Java. David Toop, a modern musical critic, denotes Debussy’s experience at the fair to mark the start of an ambient music. Toop (see previous  post) expounds upon Debussy’s importance in his 1995 exegesis on ambient sound, Ocean of Sound.