Review

Paul Steenhuisen, The WholeNote, no. 8:10, July 1, 2003

Anyone interested in electroacoustic and acousmatic music in Canada is already familiar with the empreintes DIGITALes label and its catalogue of excellent artists and CD’s. Jalons and L’adieu au s.o.s. are no exception.

Jalons (meaning "milestones") is a collection of more obscure, less performed works from Francis Dhomont’s output between 1985 and 2001. A master of the acousmatic field he sowed and cultivated, Dhomont is also a sensitive recycler, recontextualizing and reworking the sound materials he carefully kneads. Some sources tire (the water sounds, the requisite footsteps, etc.), while others sparkle (the strings in Un autre Printemps, and the guitar-based timbres of En cuerdas). These are sounds we know, materials we hear or confront every day in the natural world, here explored in great depth. From John Cage we learned to the extreme that every sound can be music, and from Dhomont we learn that every sound is a doorway to elsewhere, an ambiguous and mysterious portal. Experts will recognize the software and processes employed on the sounds - the trademarks, icons, and (at worst) clichés of the style - all the while remaining appreciative of the special care taken by the artist, and the attentiveness of his compositional ear.

Dhomont is also a sensitive recycler, recontextualizing and reworking the sound materials he carefully kneads.

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