Jean-François Laporte

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 26:11
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium


“Ritual sound formula given by a master to a disciple, in Hinduism and Buddhism. Its recitation has the power to introduce the spiritual influence that corresponds to it. It allows to enter the game of the vibrations that constitute Universe, according to the Hindu cosmology, and to participate in the direction of their energy. The symbol takes here the form of a sacrament of communion with the cosmos.”

J Chevalier, A Gheerbrant, Dictionnaire des symboles (Dictionary of Symbols)

Living in the post-industrial era, we are invaded and submerged daily by this sonic realm filled with these omnipresent sounds which I call Mantras. To be a Mantra, a sound must possess certain qualities: it must have a fairly long duration, it must be a periodical sound or repeat itself in a cyclical manner, the progression of the sound events must take place almost imperceptibly, and finally it must have some kind of influence on our energy (even if we don’t always notice this).

Here are some examples of Mantras: the sound of a refrigerator, the sound of automobiles on the highways (and the similar phenomenon in cities), the noise of the machines which are an integral part of our daily working life, etc.

It’s in this spirit that I composed Mantra, a twenty-six minute track produced with the sound of a machine, a cooling compressor for skating rinks. Mantra is a work in which the great compositional characteristic is a unique sound take. All the timbal transformations were produced during the sound take, with no further manipulations added in the studio afterward.

[Translated from the French by Dominic Audy.]


  • May 13, 1997, Concert, Faculté de musique — Université de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)