Images nomades Francis Dhomont

Cover art: Inés Wickmann (Adagp)
  • Canada Council for the Arts

… as a master of his craft. The WholeNote, Canada

Thus, we have pure works without symbolism but also works full of metaphors in poetry, literature, psychoanalysis, etc. To Periodiko, Greece

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Images nomades

Francis Dhomont

Notices

Nomadic…

Nomadic [nomades, in French] are the following acoustic images through their movements across various stylistic and semantic fields.

This album consists of two very different parts of roughly the same duration. The first one features three abstract works, two of which are less than five years old. The second one culls short tribute pieces composed for musical anniversaries.

Part 1

The first three pieces all belong to my body of “abstract” works, unlike many of my compositions that fall under what I call the “figurative” category. By abstract, I mean works that have no other subject than music itself and which unfold solely along sonic criteria: rhythmical motifs; variations in density, intensity, material, shape; studies on how to occupy space; etc. They do not imply any metaphor. My figurative works, on the other hand, are those that are inspired by a non-musical theme, be it from poetry, literature, psychoanalysis, etc. These terms — abstraction and figuration — refer to those in use in the visual arts.

Phoenix XXI and Perpetuum mobile (Pluies fantômes) are twin pieces, two versions of the same project whose joint title could be Homozygotes (see Luc Ferrari), as they are developing the same accumulative, teeming materials, the sounds gathered in clusters, rainfalls — a consistent feature in my writing. The rehabilitation of pitches, of tones. Phoenix XXI is in stereo and rather contrapuntal, while Perpetuum mobile (Pluies fantômes) is an eight-channel piece and mostly harmonic. On this album, these two pieces are separated by Machin de machine, a fantasy inspired by Conlon Nancarrow’s rhythmical complexities.

Part 2

Ami-versaires: nine tributes to composers. These works often have a humorous tone and title tied to the camaraderie existing between the author and the individuals to whom these short pieces are dedicated. Many of these pieces quote, explicitly or implicitly, a well-known work by the dedicatee.

Francis Dhomont, Avignon [English translation: François Couture, ix-20]

Remerciements

Thanks to Gilles Gobeil for his listening skills and superior technical collaboration; to Inés Wickmann for her sensibly relevant comments; and to Annette Vande Gorne and François Bayle for their acousmatic complicity.

Francis Dhomont, Avignon [English translation: François Couture, ix-20]

Some recommended items

In the press

  • Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, no. 108, March 1, 2021
  • David Olds, The WholeNote, no. 26:5, February 7, 2021
    … as a master of his craft.
  • Antonis N Frangos, To Periodiko, January 16, 2021
    Thus, we have pure works without symbolism but also works full of metaphors in poetry, literature, psychoanalysis, etc.
  • Piergiuseppe Lippolis, Music Map, January 15, 2021
    Images nomades is another collection of small gems of electroacoustic music, made by one of the masters of the genre: a valuable work for all fans of these sounds.
  • Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no. 272, January 1, 2021
    8/8

Editor’s Corner

David Olds, The WholeNote, no. 26:5, February 7, 2021

I suppose the best place to start is with old friends. During my tenure as host and producer of Transfigured Night (1984-1991) at CKLN-FM, I became interested in the field of electronic music, to the extent of becoming a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC). On a trip to Montréal in 1986, for a conference that led to the establishment of that national organization, I met and became friends with a number of movers and shakers in that rarified field, including Jean-François Denis, who went on to found the internationally renowned empreintes DIGITALes (electrocd.com). At time of writing, the Montréal-based label has 171 releases featuring the most distinguished practitioners of electroacoustics, acousmatics and musique concrète from around the world. While at CKLN, I commissioned radiophonic works from a dozen composers, one of the most successful of which was Figures de la nuit / Faces of the Night by Francis Dhomont. Since the late 1940s working with magnetic wire recorders in Paris – one of the first exponents of what Pierre Henry would later call musique concrète – Dhomont has been a pioneer of electroacoustic composition, and has worked exclusively in fixed media (ie magnetic tape and its digital progeny) since the 1970s. From 1978 until 2004, Dhomont split his time between France and Québec, where he taught for 16 years at the Université de Montréal. I am pleased to see, as witnessed by the recent CD Images nomades (IMED 20167), that at the age of 94 Dhomont is still active in his studio in Avignon, France. This release includes three recent works – a particular favourite is Perpetuum mobile (Pluies fantômes) – plus a cycle of [9] shorter tributes to friends and colleagues such as composers Bernard Parmegiani and Jonty Harrison he calls Ami-versaires – composed between 2002 and 2020. This and the dozen or so discs of Dhomont’s music available from empreintes DIGITALes confirm him not only as a pioneer in the field, but also as a master of his craft.

… as a master of his craft.

Review

Antonis N Frangos, To Periodiko, January 16, 2021

Ο μονόφθαλμος Γάλλος συνθέτης ηλεκτροακουστικής μουσικής Francis Dhomont ηχογράφησε πρόσφατα το έργο “Images nomades” το οποίο αποτελείται από δυο μάλλον διαφορετικά στιλιστικά μέρη ιδίας χρονικής διάρκειας: το πρώτο αποτελείται από τρεις παλιότερες abstrait δουλειές, το δεύτερο αφιερώνει τα εννιά κομμάτια του σε αντίστοιχες μουσικές επετείους διαφόρων συνθετών. Υπάρχουν κατά κάποιο τρόπο «ρυθμικά μοτίβα» -διαφοροποιήσεις στην πυκνότητα και την ένταση του ήχου που συγκεντρώνεται σε clusters, με ακούσματα βροχής και με αναμόρφωση της τονικότητας και των αντηχήσεων. Ούτως, έχουμε καθαρά έργα χωρίς συμβολισμούς αλλά και έργα γεμάτα μεταφορές στην ποίηση, τη λογοτεχνία, τη ψυχανάλυση κτλ.

Thus, we have pure works without symbolism but also works full of metaphors in poetry, literature, psychoanalysis, etc.

Recensione

Piergiuseppe Lippolis, Music Map, January 15, 2021

Images nomades, appena uscito per Empreintes DIGITALes , è il decimo album in studio di Francis Dhomont, artista francese e figura di riferimento a livello non soltanto nazionale per la musica elettroacustica e acusmatica, così come per musique concrète e computer music. Images nomades si compone di dodici brani: i primi tre sono lavori definiti “astratti” dallo stesso autore, perché la musica, nella sua forma più pura, è oggetto e scopo della produzione stessa, mentre i successivi nove sono tributi a colleghi, con tanto di citazioni più o meno implicite ai loro lavori. Ad aprire sono le evoluzioni di Phoenix XXI, i cui suoni convergono idealmente verso un centro, come spinti da una forza centripeta, e le ritmiche fantasy di Machin de machine, ispirata dalle produzioni di Conlon Nancarrow. La prima parte è completata da Perpetuum mobile, parte dello stesso progetto di cui l’opener fa parte, ma segnata da un incedere decisamente più armonico e melodico di Phoenix XXI. La parte successiva, invece, è trascinata dalle allucinazioni di Happy New Half-Century, Adrian, con i suoni che evocano il rumore di una sirena, Petit souper magazine, il cui disordine trova una soluzione solamente nel finale, e la successiva Le flux des sons, vibrante e scandita dallo sfrecciare incessante di alcuni elementi musicali, prima di un completo riassorbimento nel tessuto principale. Images nomades è un’altra collezione di piccole chicche di musica elettroacustica, realizzate da uno dei maestri del genere: un lavoro prezioso per tutti gli appassionati di queste sonorità.

Images nomades is another collection of small gems of electroacoustic music, made by one of the masters of the genre: a valuable work for all fans of these sounds.