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3 CD Box Set: L'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Pierre Schaeffer, re-digitised and re-issued with newly discovered tracks.
Book and 3 x CDs: Solfege de l'Objet Sonore This book, accompanied by 285 tracks on 3 CDs of examples is a unique and indispensable resource work for all those interested in electroacoustic music. Examples by Parmegiani, Henry, Bayle, Xenakis, Luc Ferrari etc. illustrate Pierre Schaeffer's text.
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12 CD Box Set: Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Bernard Parmegiani on 12 CDs

Trevor Wishart - Globalalia/Imago

Trevor wishart - Globalalia/ImagoA re-issue of Globalalia which explores human speech and the syllables common to all, and Imago, which is constructed entirely out of the sound of 2 whiskey glasses being clinked together. Classic Wishart at his best!

Wishart writes: "In Globalalia, I wanted to use human speech, but focus on what we hold in common as human beings. Although the world’s languages contain many millions of words, these are constructed from a much smaller set of sounds, the syllables. I wrote to several friends asking them to collect voices from their local radio stations, and also recorded voices from TV stations via satellite dish, assembling sounds from 134 voices in 26 different languages. I then edited these into their syllables, ending with more than 8300 sources."

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour Kafka

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour KafkaA new release from Francis Dhomont, who in the opinion of many is the greatest living composer of electroacoustic music. This CD contains 3 studies which were the seeds from which many of his other works grew. Behind major works of the scope of … mourir un peu, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, and Forêt profonde, in these studies Dhomont experiments with the themes, tries out sound materials, and unveils glimpses of the final work. Dhomont at his best!

Denis Smalley - Sources - Scénes

Denis Smalley - Sources - ScénesrOne of our most popular titles is back in stock. Denis Smalley is one of the UK's best known composers of electroacoustic music, and this CD is a personal favourite of ours - definitely a desert island disc. The music is simply stunningly beautiful, the production and sound quality are as good as it gets. If you don't already have this CD, don't put it off any longer.
Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre MusicaleWe are fans of Bernard Parmegiani and so we now have all of his CDs in stock, including the newly released l'Oeuvre Musicale. If you don't know his music, we recommend that you make an acqaintence with it by listening to some clips and reading the comprehensive notes which we have on the site. Click here for links to his biography and all his CDs.
Pierre Hanry: Labyrinthe We now stock a selection of the best electroacoustic CDs from the GRM Catalog, both historic and new - Electroacoustic Classics from Pierre SchaefferPierre Henry Luc Ferrari and  Jean-Claude Risset are just some of the new offerings.

One of our most popular GRM titles is Pierre Henry's Labyrinthe - Pierre Henry says of Labyrinthe - "For the first time during my journey and ventures into the world of creation, I dreamt of a breath of fresh air deriving from the electronic realm." This CD is a real retrospective of this pioneer of electronic music.
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CD Details for Francis Dhomont: Sous le regard

Sous le regard Francis Dhomont
The 8 sections of this work by Dhomont were inspired by the writings of Ronald D Laing - the texts are borrowed from the 'Politics of Experience', 'Knots', and especially 'The Divided Self'.
In Stock
 Customer Reviews 
 Other Titles by Francis Dhomont 
 Audio Clips 
Track 1
Pareil a un voyageur perdu
Track 2
Track 3
Arrete! Arrete! Elle me tue
Track 4
Track 5
Le moi divise
Track 6
Citadelle interieure
Track 7
Track 8
Le message quand vient le soir
 Sleeve Notes 


“Each man in all men
All men in each man.”
(Jean-Paul Sartre)

I often wondered why I am so touched by Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, by Francis Dhomont, since in general, I feel little esthetic affinity with electroacoustic works. Perhaps because, beyond the musical proposition, it leads us into the abysses of human psychology and the depths of the divided self. It is explicitly inspired by the writings of the English specialist in schizophrenia. Ronald 0 Laing.

A program work, this poem by Dhomont is not ashamed of the musical genre to which it belongs: it tells a story, a slow descent towards madness. The title of at least three sections reveals an illustrative connection with Laing’s theory: Engloutissement (Engulfment), Implosion (Implosion). Petrfication (Petrification), and I have little doubt that Dhomont wished to give them musical equivalents: the murmuring of water, empty and obsessive octaves, sonorous ores.

As a matter of fact, when looking at it closely, Laing’s work calls for a musical extension. Of course, here we are dealing with theoretical books, where plays on words quickly become ‘sound inanities’ (as Rimbaud would have said) ; in fact the composer does not fail to make the most of them : “I’m an in divide you all” (“I’m an individual”), And in Knots, Laing has translated in a quasi poetic fashion the complex strategies of his patients :

“it hurts Jack
to think
That Jill thinks he is hurting her
by (Jim) being hurt
to thinkthat she thinks he is hurting her
by making her feel guilty
at hurting him
by (her) thinking
that he is hurting her
by (his) being hurt
to think
that she thinks he is hurting her
by the fact that

da capo sine fine"

The musical terminology which concludes this text is significant. In a long six page development (“If it’s not me it’s mine / If it’s mine it’s not me [...]“), Laing himself felt the musical resonance of his works, or at least the world which he had recreated. In order to reinforce the vertigo that soon seizes the reader, he adds : “poco a poco accelerando al fine,” and in the very middle, alludes to “an enharmonic change.” In the same text, the conditional if (si inFrench) becomes obsessive alliteration :did it inspire — with the contamination of Wozzeck — the si — the note now (inFrench, si is both the conjunction ‘if’ andthe note B natural) — around which Dhomont has organized his work? The composer in any case, did not yield to the facile temptation of a repetitive type o fmusic and succeeded in translating an unbearable mental world into an original sound work.Of course, it might be interesting to experiment and listen to the musical component of the work without the text quotations which punctuate it, in order to know whether, by itself it is able tosuggest the inner world of the schizophrenic. Dhomont conceived Soleil noir, with its Nerval-like title borrowed from the delirious ramblings of a patient, Julia, and with deliberately audible sentences, as a balanced dosage of sounds and text where the music acquires a precise meaning thanks to the words, and where the words acquire their tragic and experienced resonance thanks to the music.

There lies the eminent virtue of Soleil noir: it makes us share in an immediate manner the anxiety, the anguish, the solitude of the schizophrenic : a new ‘unin-habitable space.’ it makes us share his distress and his despair. Dhomont’s music presents us with the sonorous image of an inaccessible world and convinces us of its reality. There is, of course, a paradox since, and Laing said it himself “I cannot experience your experience or vice versa.” On the other hand, the composer tells us : ‘I have you listen to the experience that I believe they have,’ and we believe that he tells the truth. Because, with his own musical means, he achieves the same goals as Laing who, by relying on the remarks of his patients and, despite the existentialist conception of incommunicability, presents us with an inner snapshot of this mental world Illusion ? Perhaps. We will never know. In fact, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir reaches us through something more essential. Program music did we say? Yes, but just like the symphonic poems of Liszt took hold of the heroes of Goethe, Byron and Shakespeare. and provided Faust, Mazeppa and Hamlet with their full mythic dimension, Dhomont takes hold of the post-Freudian man, and from the specific case of schizophrenics, constructs a more general myth through which the 'normal’ man discovers his own schizoid traits. Today as in the romantic era, but in different terms, the divided self is the self of the double man.

This electronic poem therefore fits in a very precise musical tradition, but at the same time utilizes the resources of a contemporary language. I recognize in it the narrative efficiency of the Requiem of Chion and the classicisim of De natura sonorum by Parmegiani : I mean that Dhomont has not deployed the whole gamut of the GRM hardware store, but has used with the utmost economic organization, the only sound combinations necessary to his purpose, therefore making it most efficient. Beyond schizophrenia, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir tells us about ourselves, about the terrifying solitude that faces everyday man, as if we were sitting at the deepest end of a cavern, only capable of looking straight ahead.But we are the cavern.

Montreal, 1982-1996


In relation to the original recordingissued in 1982 (INA-GRM 9109 dh), this new edition of Sour le regard d’un soleil noir (Under the Glare of a Black Sun) is part of a more ambitious group of works,comparable to my Cycle de l’erra ore (Cycle of Wanderings) (IMED 9107; IMED 9607).all of which are inspired by psychoanalytic thought: the Cycle des profondeurs (Cycle of Depths). This cycle is presented, in its current form,as a diptych of which this disc constitues the first part ; the second part is a recent composition, Foret profonde (Deep Forest) — instigated by the book The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelbeim — which serves as another empreintesDIGITALes.compact disc release (in coproduction with the INA-GRM) [IMED-9634].

This 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. It is a very old preoccupation of mine, this meeting of the imagination adhering to the ‘psychology of depths’ and the mental images projected by acoustmatic art ; what more appropriate, in fact, than this very language for staging, musically, these fantastical representations ? The resources of a morphological vocabulary and its most adventuresome associations — which the alchemy of the studio permits — procure for the ‘acousmate’ a power of auditory suggestion capable of expressing the inexpressable unconscious. Furthermore, in one case as in another, it is about exploring the domain of archetypes.

Montreal, October 1996


1. Pareil a un voyageur perdu.. (Like a Traveller Who’s Been Lost);
2. Engloutissement (Engulfment);
3. Arrete! Arrete! Elle me tue) Stop it.Stop it. She’s Killing Me);
4. Implosion
5. Le mo! divise (The Divided Self);
6. Citadelle interieure (Inner Citadel);
7. Petrification (Petrification);
8. Le message quand vient le soir (The Message at the Coming of Night)

Ronald C Laing (and also: Plato, Kafka, and Buchneri). texts
Pierre Louet Maritne Forget, Arthur Berigeron, voices

To my sons and their mother

It is a question here of a ‘particular form of human tragedy.’ A space for onto-logical insecurity, the loss of reality, the dissolution of the being and the explod-ing of personality, where a universe of implacable confinement is constructed ;that of schizophrenia. It is not a question of scientific thought. The ‘clinical commentaries’ thatserve as landmarks throughout the work — these comments of a therapist/coryphaeus (although not devoid of tenderness) — only serve to introduce the distance, using few caesurae that will spare pathos from the pathetic. and in regard to ourselves, voyeurism. It is the poetic reading of a text not designed as a poem, but whose images impose by the weight of the message and the decisiveness of the words. I have also chosen intelligibility, only provoking semantic parasites as an echo of the apparent verbal perplexity. the obscure terrain of delirium. Sous le regard d’un soleil noir is the history of a shipwreck; the hallucinated derivation across an obsessional landscape where the note B natural is the obsessed character, the tonic axis that binds together the eight sections. A veriitable ostinato, ‘Invention on one note’: the memory of Wozzeck stands out, the symbol of a man who, according to Jacques Orillon, “drowns himself in the lake because he has arrived at the point of social and interior inexistence from which there is no possible return.” Perhaps however, the successful voyage consists, as Esing proposes, in going from the exterior towards the interior, from life towards the ‘experience’ of death, from movement to immobility... ... then to travel the path in the opposite direction to encounter an existential renaissance. The eight sections of the work were inspired by reading the work of the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Ronald 0 Laing. The texts are borrowed (with the generous permission of the author and Editions Stock — French translation byClaude Elsen) from the French translations of the three books The Politics of Experience, Knots, and — especially — The Divided Self.

[1] LIKE A TRAVELLER WHO’S BEEN LOST 7:57 Foreign Reality. Threats. The Incarcerated Self A Solitude Inhabited by Shadows. First variations on the note B natural Appearance of ‘pivotal elements.’ Breakdowns
[2] ENGULFMENT 7:48 First Delirium. Exterior Intrusion, Denial. Mother/sea : liquid burial, filled,crevices, abysses. A play on the rhythms (broad pulses) of ebb and flow (respiration ?).
[3] STOP IT. STOP IT. SHE’S KILLING ME 7:21 Anguish at the disappearance ; the inexistence. Hallucinations, Destruction of self. A play on rhythms (tight pulses). lnterrmodulation of sequences. Energetic contrasts. Polyphonic crescendo.
[41 IMPLOSION 4:13 Reality Persecutes, Invasion and Opression. Withdrawal. New variations on B natural a ‘fixed’ paramerer Dynamic modulation of numerous materials by the piano (announced at the beginning of the previous section ard confirmed in the next).
[5] THE DIVIDED SELF 6:23 Division, fragmentation, fracture, fissure, crack. Double sense,The struggle of B natural in narrow ‘clusters.’ Profusion of materials, polyphonic Piano-swirling.
[6] INNER CITADEL 7:39 Denied reality. Distortion of Elsewhere, Icy terror. The Subterranean Labyrinth. ‘Here’ and ‘there.’Amplification of fthe pivotal elements. Anecdotal sounds. False loops: unfaithful repetitions. Agressive accentuation of the upper spectral regions.
[7] PETRIFICATION 5:17 Catatonic ; “There is now only a vacuum where there was a person” ‘Invention’ on the preceding sections. A chronologic racapitulation of the strong moments, but degraded. and amorphosized, scratched. Traces of Wozzeck Superposition of durations in decreasing progressions.
[8] THE MESSAGE AT THE COMING OF NIGHT 4:20 “No one penetrates there, not even with the message of a death. But you, you are seated at your window and, in your dream, you call out the message at the coming of night.” Return of sequences, figures and objects from sections 1 and 2in different relationships: modified listening perspectives.

Francis Dhomont
Montreal, 1982
(Presentation text from the original disc release.)

The original version of Sous le regard d’un soleil noir was produced in 1979-80 in the studios of the Faculty of Music of the Universite de Montreal and during November/December 1981 in the studio of the INA-GRM (Paris, France) for the sixth section, Citadelle interieure (Inner Citadel), which was added to the initial version, Sour le regard d’un soleil noir was premiered February 3, 1981, at the Universite de Montreal and was presented at the 11th Bourges International Festival of Experimental Music (France) on June 14, 1981. Section 6, Citadelle interieure was a commission from the INA-GRM (Paris, France). The composition of this piece was made possible by an artistic creation grant from the Music Section of the Minister of Culture and Communications, (France, 1979) as well as the amiable invitation from the Faculty of Music of the Universite de Montreal. Sour le regard d’un soleil noir was awarded the 1st Prize in the Electroacoustic Program Music category at the 9th International Electroacoustic Music Competition in Bourges (France, 1981).

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