Latest from Francis Dhomont : … et autres utopies



Utopian, these aural mirages surely are — not in the political sense of the Ideal City, but in the etymological sense of ou-topos: belonging to no specific location, except for imaginary territories; creatures of illusion and, in this case, sound. These aural “non-lieux,” these chimeras of perception, resulting from treatments and made from unlikely parts that are loosing their identity, stripped off of any audible source, are fictional beings born out of a dreamer’s nomadic invention.

Also utopian are — haven’t it been said often enough? — these sonic structures attempting to avoid traditional music codes, disregarding their imperatives, and offering a stream of mental images to our psyche. However, do we really have to be reminded of all these things that we know so well? Certainly, for in these cybernetic times, is there anything more necessary than the reality of utopia?

So, here are five fantasies to be listened to with eyes closed; in sequence, they dream up sound in space, mankind’s revolt against its own nature, a few light phenomena, a symbolic journey, and the tumultuous manifestations of exaltation.

dhomont1Here and There was realized in 2003 in the composer’s studio in Montréal. The work was premiered by David Eagle and Darren Copeland on May 11, 2003 during Open Ears, 4th Festival of Music and Sound in Kitchener (Ontario). Here and There was commissioned by New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) in Toronto with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Here and There was awarded First Prize at the 5th Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Musicale Elettronica Pierre Schaeffer (Pescara, Italy, 2005) and was recorded on the disc 5°/4° Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Musicale Elettronica Pierre Schaeffer.

The present version is a stereophonic reduction; although the spatial variations are less obvious, the essence of the work remains space itself.

Dhomont4Francis Dhomont studied under Ginette Waldmeier, Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger. In the late 40’s, in Paris (France), he intuitively discovered with magnetic wire what Pierre Schaeffer would later call “musique concrète” and consequently conducted solitary experiments with the musical possibilities of sound recording. Later, leaving behind instrumental writing, he dedicated himself exclusively to electroacoustic composition.

An ardent proponent of acousmatics, his work (since 1963) is comprised exclusively of works for tape bearing witness to his continued interest in morphological interplay and ambiguities between sound and the images it may create.

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