Silence radieux

Bernard Fort

  • Year of composition: 2000-02
  • Duration: 21:16
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T0043508253


ISRC CAD500317300

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To my children

The first aim of Silence radieux is to stimulate mental images, to suggest on a poetic level. The title implies music written piano, a calm mood, a confident listen. This piece is an attempt at expressing a lively, active and serene inner silence.

Most of the sound materials in Silence radieux (Radiant Silence) are taken from a sound recording realized during a long walk on a snow-covered mountain, in an area that was particularly quiet. The same route recorded in the summertime provides complementary acoustic images.

From regular footsteps, two elements emerge simultaneously: a tempo, steady and strong, but also this sound matter that is so specific to crunching snow, the kind that gives way under the foot, that you can guess the thickness of simply by the sound it makes.

The same place, in the middle of summer, offers ‘warm images’ filled with bird songs and insect sounds. Happy images, large and lively, the opposite of the feelings of solitude, silence and interiority conjured up by the snowy landscape.

Silence radieux attempts the meeting between figurative images and an abstract sound world drawn from work sessions on Syter (at the Ina-GRM) during the composition of L’impatience des limites. Precisely detailed sounds with dull, moving timbres relating to no specific point in space.

Therefore Silence radieux wants to extract abstract material that runs just below the surface of the realistic sound image. Whenever the walk (and thus the regular tempo) is interrupted, the composition work shifts to abstract developments of materials ‘induced’ from the sound or the meaning. Open spaces inlaid into a closed space, superimposition of sound impressions, new meaning emerging from opposite situations.

[English translation: François Couture, ix-03]

Silence radieux was realized between 2000 and ’02 in the studios of the Groupe musiques vivantes de Lyon (GMVL) and premiered on 15 June 2002 at the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). It was commissioned by the Ina-GRM.


  • June 15, 2002, Multiphonies 2001-02: Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)