Drôles d’oiseaux

Francis Dhomont

Drôles d’oiseaux

  • Francis Dhomont
  • Year of composition: 1985-86, 2001
  • Duration: 14:51
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), GMEB
  • ISWC: T0030493323

To Françoise Barrière, Christian Clozier, Jean-Claude Leduc, and Valia and Patrick Lemoine

Fifteen years after I composed this purely electronic work — the only one I ever produced — I exhume it, as a curiosity. Invited to compose a work by the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB), I decided that as a guiding principle I would limit myself to the use of material generated by oscillators and other modules of the high-quality analogue synthesizer from the Charybde studio and to very few processing. I then added a number of elements produced at the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM) with the first version of the Synclavier.

But a more poetic image was guiding me, that of the forest as a magical symbol of our unconscious. This was my first foray into the “deep forest” that I had already been thinking about; in it a few reminders of that first effort can still be found.

Here is what I felt about it: “Today [artists] reveal the relativity of visible things; they express their belief that the visible is only an isolated aspect in relation to the universe as a whole, and that other, invisible truths are the overriding factors.” — Paul Klee, Berlin, 1920

Here are traces of luxuriance and dream-like exoticism, a bestiary of the imagination that does not hide its kinship with François Bayle’s Trois rêves d’oiseau, Roger Cochini’s Lullaby, and Ivo Malec’s Bizarra. It is the fantasy-universe of the comic strip, or the fantastic one of fairy tales (in which no menace is excluded): the fantasmatic landscape of signs.

[English translation: Tom Carter]

Drôles d’oiseaux [Strange Birds] was realized in 1985-86 at the GMEB studios and at the composer’s studio and premiered on June 12, 1985 as part of Synthèse, the Festival international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France). It was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Bourges (GMEB). The version heard here was reworked and abridged at the composer’s studio in 2001.


  • June 12, 1985, Synthèse 1985: Invention 4, Palais Jacques-Cœur, Bourges (Cher, France)