La disparition

Christian Calon

  • Year of composition: 1988
  • Duration: 20:46
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Yul média
  • Commission: GMEM, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T0705101070


ISRC CAD509010002

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

To Ghislaine

“I perceive in its whole a vast convulsion that brings the global movements of beings into play. It goes from the disappearance (la disparition) in death to this voluptuous fury which may be the sense of the disappearance.”

Georges Bataille

“What is going to rise comes from ancient times.”

Jean-Luc Godard

Rooted in this work lies the desire to hear those multiple and deep voices, that now belong to what we call History, rise together in one song.

Through the sometimes violent embrace of sound materials, as distant and far away as our great music can be from the traditional music of other civilizations, one will recognize this vain desire to break the wall of silence, of the erasure, of the disappearance.

Sadly ethnocentric would be such an act, if one had not learned along the way to cancel this distance, understanding that these now silent voices were then moved by the same force as today’s artist, that is of being the intercessor; then against the power of the spirits, now for the freedom of the individual.

The orchestral and heterophonic quality which can define stylistically this work has been reached by following this compositional method: from the sound materials of environmental and musical origin (Beethoven, Große Fuge, op 133, traditional music of Africa, Melanesia, the Far-East) short Elements have been extracted. These sound elements were broken down into Fragments, then spatialized and assembled to form Families. These related-sounds families were transformed and accumulated into Clouds. These clouds of multiple materials were finally mixed to form the Starry Wheel through which, hierarchical connections are then made possible in all directions.


La disparition was realized from July, 1987 to April, 1988 at the studio of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), France, and at the composer’s studio. The work premiered on June 17, 1988 at the Jardin des Vestiges, Marseille, France. A commission of the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM), the work received support from the Canada Council [for the Arts] (CCA). La disparition was awarded the 2nd prize at the NEWCOMP International Computer Music Competition (Boston, USA, 1988) and was selected to represent Canada at the 1989 World Days of Music of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM).



  • June 17, 1988, Concert, Jardin des Vestiges, Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, France)