Soundcheck Review

Philip Clark, The Wire, no. 220, May 1, 2002

Canadian electroacoustic composer Francis Dhomont offers a 50 minute cycle of pieces paying tribute to musique concrète pioneer Pierre Schaeffer. Describing the opening piece as a “funeral march”, Dhomont shapes a paraphrase out of material from the latter’s Étude aux objects. AvatArsSon draws a trajectory between Schaeffer and those composers he has influenced, including Xenakis, Stockhausen, Berio and Luc Ferrari. The third piece suggests a connection between Schaeffer and the 14th century French composer Guillaume de Machaut. This being a cycle, the final section, Phonurgie, draws all the various strands together. Dhomont’s piece is superbly crafted and does everything an electroacoustic composition should, but is that really enough?

Dhomont’s piece is superbly crafted…