About the Artist
Dhomont studied under Ginette Waldmeier, Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger.
In the late 40s, in Paris (France), he intuitively discovered with
magnetic wire what 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.
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.
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec has recently awarded
him a prestigious carreer grant. In 1999, he was awarded five first prizes
for four of his recent works at international competition (Brazil, Spain,
Italy, Hungary and Czech Republic). In 1997, as the winner of the Canada
Council for the Arts Lynch-Staunton Prize, he was also supported
by the DAAD for a residence in Berlin (Germany). Five-time winner at the
Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France)
the Magisterium Prize in 1988 and 2nd Prize at Prix Ars Electronica
1992 (Linz, Austria), he has received numerous other awards.
is the editor of special issues published by Musiques & Recherches
(Belgium) and of Électroacoustique Québec: lessor
(Québec Electroacoustics: The Expansion) for Circuit (Montréal).
Musical coeditor of the Dictionnaire des arts médiatiques (published
by UQAM), he is also lecturer and has produced many radio programs for
Radio-Canada and Radio- France.
1978, he has divided his time between France and Québec, where
he has taught at the Université de Montréal from 1980 to
1996. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC, 1989)
and a Founding Member (1986) and Honorary Member (1989) of the Canadian
Electroacoustic Community (CEC). Great traveller, he participates in sevral
now focuses on composition and theory.
The Acousmattitude of Francis Dhomont
is immediately attractive about Francis Dhomont, fortunately, apart from
appearances, is that he posses nothing of the Cloven Viscount, the Italo
Calvino hero whose two halves, misfortune and kindness, scatter along
the way loss mixed with consolation. If that story has a happy endingwhere,
after a duel, both halves of the mini viscounts re-emerge as one reharmonized
entityand if this fable comes to mind at this moment it is because
of a profound tendency towards this dichotomy characteristic of todays
composers, to which some do not escape, either by perverted coquetry
slandering and vituperating contemporary art while being in it themselvesor
by naive proselytismdiscrediting their work by making an irremediable
gap between the ambition of their discourse and the aesthetical result.
the case of Francis Dhomont, the process is out of the ordinary. We have
with him the interesting double union of a composer whose work is constant
with consistent quality, varied but with unity of style, colored but with
great coherence. And, as a bonus, he is a teacher who produces numerous
quality good students, devoted to listening to others and thinking about
their discourse, a constant mover and continuous analyst of the theories
of an art which remains experimental, who encourages an art allowing as
much musical as human exploration, both abundant qualities of this composer.
each half may exist without the otherone nourishing the otherwe
can explain this remarkably balanced case of acousmattitude
Bayle, Paris, June, 23rd, 1991
Listening to the Ineffable, A Cycle of Depths (2)
profonde belongs to a group of works inspired by psychoanalytic thought:
the Cycle des profondeurs (Cycle of Depths), comparable to my Cycle de
lerrance (Cycle of Wanderings) (IMED 9107; IMED 9607).
Cycle of Depths is presented, in its current form, as a diptych of which
this disc constitues the second part; the firstpart is an oldest composition,
Sous le regard dun soleil noir (Under the Glare of a Black Sun)instigated
by the work of Bristish psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Ronald D Laing
which constitutes another empreintes DIGITALes compact disc release (in
coproduction with the Ina-GRM) [IMED 9633].
form nevertheless remains open and will perhaps be augmented by a third
part (thus, a project-in-progress) devoted to the works of Kafka guided
by the writings of Marthe Robert.
is a very old preoccupation of mine, this meeting of the imagination adhering
to the psychology of depths and the mental images projected
by acousmatic art; what more appropriate, in fact, than this very language
for staging, musically, these fantastical representations?
resources of a morphological vocabulary and its most adventure some associations
which the alchemy of the studio permitsprocure for the acousmate
a power of auditory suggestion capable of expressing the inexpressable
in one case as in another, it is about exploring the domain of archetypes.
Dhomont, Montréal, October 1996
profonde (1994-96) | 58m32s
Chambre denfants (Childrens Room); À lorée
du conte (At the Edge of the Tale); Chambre interdite (Forbidden Room);
Il cammin di nostra vita; Les enchantements de limagination (The
Enchantments of Imagination); Antichambre (Anteroom); La muraille dépines
(Wall of Thorns); Chambre de ténèbres (Room of Darkness);
Forêt furieuse (Furious Forest); Musique de chambre (Chamber Music);
Sortilèges (Spells); Chambre de lumière (Room of Light);
Fantasme, mode demploi (Fantasy, Directions for Use)
To my mother
profonde (Deep Forest) is an acousmatic melodrama, based on Bruno Bettelheims
essay The Uses of Enchantment (Alfred A Knof/Random House, New York 1976),
of which this is the third version; an extensively modified version, almost
double in length compared to earlier versions. Forêt profonde is
a work that has accompanied me for the past fifteen years, and its final
production required more than two years.
thirteen years after Sous le regard dun soleil noir, Forêt
profonde also derives its inspiration from a psychoanalytic reflection.
An adult reading of children tales that moves between the memory of my
naïve wonder and the discovery of its secret mechanisms. This hesitating
between two ages perhaps presents the risk of failing to reach either
one; but it is nevertheless possible for the magical intuition of childhood,
that always sleeps in us with one eye open, to revive buried revelations,
and for the rational mind to delight in deciphering, under the manifest
content of this universal unconscious, the logic of its latent content.
is a listening on three levelsnovelistic, symbolic, musicalmore
disconcerting no doubt, but more active than an unidimensional listening.
human journey of Bruno Bettelheim, whose thoughts are behind this star
shaped course, interferes, for obvious reasons, with these old stories
that confront us with questions on our time.
guided tour of the childhood soul, which is nothing more than a return
to the initiatory worldboth cruel and reassuringof fairy tales.
profonde comprises 13 sections, of which the 6 Rooms (sections 1, 3, 6,
8, 10 and 12) constitute transit periods/areas, secret passages of sort,
between the seven thematic sections (sections 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13).
These Rooms contain little or no text.
of the 13 sections borrows a brief element, a colour, an atmosphere, from
the 13 Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) op. 15 from Schumann, as a
tribute to this pathetic composer, engulfed in the depth of his forest.
wish to thank Inès Wickmann Jaramillo for offering me a poetic
Colombian sound recording, and Beatriz Ferreyra for allowing me in such
friendly manner to borrow a short but colorful excerpt from her Petit
Poucet magazine (1985).
profonde was commissioned by the French government and by the Ina-GRM
(Paris). A bursary from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (category A)
was awarded for the composition of the work. Most of the materials and
the treatments were obtained through the Syter (real-time sound synthesis
system) at the Ina-GRM, and the piece was produced at the composers
private studio in Montreal. The present version was premiered on June
8, 1996 during a concert presented by ACREQ (Association pour la création
et la recherche électroacoustiques du Québec) at Usine C
in Montréal. The two first versions were premiered respectively
in Paris on May 16, 1994 during the Cycle acousmatique Son-Mu of the Ina-GRM,
in the Salle Olivier-Messiaen of the Maison de Radio-France (Paris, France),
and on September 1st, 1995 at the Futura Festival of Acousmatic Art in