Review

Randall Smith, The WholeNote, no. 7:5, February 1, 2002

Recollecting a sonic spirit that has evolved over 50 years of imagining, visioning and sensing, Francis Dhomont’s new CD Cycle du son takes us back to the roots of an unusual art form and returns us to the here and now, intact and enlightened. We are summoned by the jolt, forced to hear the distinctive characteristics of musique concrète of old before being led confidently into the present. After all, the first composition Objets retrouvés is a memorial to one of the inventors of the medium, Pierre Schaeffer.

Collectively the four compositions included here provide a sonic history of acousmatic art. The classic sounds are intertwined and juxtaposed with new inventions providing a palette of rich colours and dynamic tones.

Francis Dhomont, who divides his time between his native France and Canada, delicately weaves a kaleidoscope of sound objects, evolving fluidly and freely through a maze of juxtapositions and contrasts. From the waves of an ocean to the ripple created by a single drop of water he dramatically takes the listener through an experience that is both terrifying and serene. Dhomont’s skillful resources do not end with capturing the sound abjects themselves, however; even with such complex and dynamic sound material his attention to pitch relation and form leaves one firmly convinced of his mastery.

If I were asked to recommend a single CD to introduce one’s ear to the world of musique concrète, I would say Cycle du son. What Pierre Schaeffer revolutionized in France, Francis Dhomont continues to explore to new heights and this is a CD about which I can say without reserve, everything works.

If I were asked to recommend a single CD to introduce one’s ear to the world of musique concrète, I would say Cycle du son.

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