L’inénarrable Nout

Dominique Bassal

  • Year of composition: 2002, 09
  • Duration: 18:53
  • Instrumentation: 5.1-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9133019224


ISRC CAD500910173

  • 96 kHz, 24 bits

In the Egyptian mythology, Nut is the goddess of the sky. This piece metaphorically describes one single night, lived in an awakened state, gazing at the stars, which are in fact painted on Nut’s naked, dark body. But it is also a deep sleeping experience, complete with moments of euphoria, astral travel and confused, recurring dreams. The last 70 seconds are either a sudden sunrise in front of the observer, or the awakening of a parallel self.

Almost 90% of the source material used in L’inénarrable Nout have been directly created by a single Max/MSP patch in high-definition audio (96kHz / 24-bit). This virtual synthesizer is the result of a long collaboration with programmer Olivier Bélanger, and it pushes the concept of blending additive and frequency-modulation synthesis to the very limit of current computers. That synthesizer’s sounds, transformed through re-synthesis in some cases but mostly left untouched, are surprisingly well adapted to the arrangement and massive superimposition process. And to think that our ears have grown to tolerate the “intentionally” degraded sonics cultural trendsetters are peddling! The “less is more” commonplace commonplace hammered again and again in the skulls of generations of music students might be affected too…

[English translation: François Couture, vii-09]

L’inénarrable Nout [The Unspeakable Nut] was realized in stereo in May 2002 (a first superficial revision and the transfer to 7.1 were realized in December 2005) at the composer’s studio in Montréal, and premiered on 10 February 2006, during an ÉuCuE concert at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall of Concordia University, Montréal. The final versions (stereo and 5.1) were substantially revised in March 2009.




  • February 10, 2006, ÉuCuE XXIV: Concert 13, Salle de concert Oscar-Peterson — Campus Loyola — Université Concordia, Montréal (Québec)