Review

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

In a related vein, composer Monique Jean’s L’adieu au s.o.s. (A farewell to S.O.S) explores a similar technical world, and a contrasting expressive voice. The difference between the two composers is that while both are capably occupied with frenetic and colourful textures, Jean is more likely than Dhomont to extend further into quiet, into a concentrated, multi-faceted stasis. Francis Dhomont’s materials tend to be clipped in a quick, bright inhalation at the end of a phrase, while Jean allows her materials to settle, to breathe a touch longer. In the accompanying liner notes, Jean herself outlines aspects of this difference in writing that in Danse de l’enfant esseulée, the form “develops around the idea of the stoppage of time, or more precisely, its suspension… that of a momentary pause of sound, as much filled with tension as are points of suspension, inconclusive.” While her music explores similar sonic terrain as other acousmatic composers, Jean’s unhurried approach through her chosen sourdscape and greater than usual comfort level with softer dynamic levels are an integral part of her individual voice. While her colleagues may have equal or superior technical skills in the electroacoustic music studio, her attention to the subtleties separates her work from the crowd.

… her attention to the subtleties separates her work from the crowd.

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