"Music, the art of behavior […] Eight minutes of folk music say more about an unknown people than a hundred pages of notes and writings. [It is] the most revealing psychological document. "
Music is central to Henri Michaux’s aesthetic explorations. Through music, the artist was able to connect with the present moment and achieve deep states of meditation. As a result, he would often engage in pictorial activities to the sound of music.
His taste in music ran along two main lines: non-western folk music, which he came into contact with during his travels and helped him discover new rhythms and instruments; and contemporary minimalist, serialist, noise, and concrete music, developed by composers such as Alban Berg and Karlheinz Stockhausen, whom he admired.
Michaux shared the rhythms of Eastern and African music with his friends, as well as traditional, religious, and tribal melodies from many regions across the globe. Important composers and artists of the time were part of his close circle, including painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet, to whom he gave many recordings.