Francis Dhomont is Canada’s electroacoustics master. Founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), he has won many distinctions around the world (five-time winner at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition).
His new record contains only one work, Forêt profonde (Deep Forest), which runs for 58:32. Written between 1994 and 1996, it is the second part of a “Cycle of Depths,” started with Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, another recent release on empreintes DIGITALes [IMED 9633].
“Forêt profonde is an acousmatic melodrama, based on Bruno Bettelheim’s essay The Uses of Enchantment” (Francis Dhomont, liner notes). The work comprises 13 sections that alternate from instrumental to narrative phases. Texts are taken from Christian Andersen, Bruno Bettelheim, Dante, the Grimm brothers, Arturo Parra, Charles Perrault, Shakespeare, and are narrated by various voices in various languages. The constant motion created by these exchanges allow the composer to avoid monotony while creating an atmosphere both magical and disquieting. I would not hesitate to call it a CHEF D’ŒUVRE. Subtle and profound for the initiate, it remains listener-friendly for the new ears. In fact, Forêt profonde is a very good starting point for who wants to acquire a taste in the arts of electroacoustics. And if you think you do not like this kind of music, maybe this is the record that will change your mind! A serious candidate for my ‘Best Records of 1997’ list!