Sous le regard d’un soleil noir (Download) Track listing detail

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Year of composition: 1979-81, 83
  • Duration: 51:31
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Ina-GRM (section 6: Citadelle intérieure)
To my sons and their mother

It is a question here of a ‘particular form of human tragedy.’ A space for ontological insecurity, the loss of reality, the dissolution of the being and the exploding of personality, where a universe of implacable confinement is constructed: that of schizophrenia.

It is not a question of scientific thought. The ‘clinical commentaries’ that serve as landmarks throughout the work — these comments of a therapist/coryphaeus (although not devoid of tenderness) — only serve to introduce the distance, using few caesurae that will spare pathos from the pathetic, and in regard to ourselves, voyeurism.

It is the poetic reading of a text not designed as a poem, but whose images impose by the weight of the message and the decisiveness of the words. I have also chosen intelligibility, only provoking semantic parasites as an echo of the apparent verbal perplexity, the obscure terrain of delirium.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir is the history of a shipwreck: the hallucinated derivation across an obsessional landscape where the note B natural is the obsessed character, the tonic axis that binds together the eight sections. A veritable ostinato, ‘Invention on one note’: the memory of Wozzeck stands out, the symbol of a man who, according to Jacques Drillon, “drowns himself in the lake because he has arrived at the point of social and interior inexistence from which there is no possible return.”

Perhaps however, the successful voyage consists, as Laing proposes, in going from the exterior towards the interior, from life towards the ‘experience’ of death, from movement to immobility…

… then to travel the path in the opposite direction to encounter an existential renaissance.

The eight sections of the work were inspired by reading the work of the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Ronald D Laing. The texts are borrowed (with the generous permission of the author and Éditions Stock — French translation by Claude Elsen) from the French translations of the three books The Politics of Experience, Knots, and — especially — The Divided Self.


The original version of Sous le regard d’un soleil noir [Beneath the Glare of a Black Sun] was produced in 1979-80 in the studios of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal and during November/December 1981 in the studio of the Ina-GRM (Paris, France) for the sixth section, Citadelle intérieure [Inner Citadel], which was added to the initial version. Sous le regard d’un soleil noir was premiered February 3, 1981, at the Université de Montréal and was presented at the 11th Bourges International Festival of Experimental Music (France) on June 14, 1981. Section 6, Citadelle intérieure was a commission from the Ina-GRM (Paris, France). The composition of this piece was made possible by an artistic creation grant from the Music Section of the Minister of Culture and Communications, (France, 1979) as well as the amiable invitation from the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal. Sous le regard d’un soleil noir was awarded the 1st Prize in the Electroacoustic Program Music category at the 9th International Electroacoustic Music Competition in Bourges (France, 1981). The recorded voices are those of Arthur Bergeron, Marthe Forget, and Pierre Louet.


Premiere

  • February 3, 1981, Concert, Faculté de musique — Pavillon Marguerite-d’Youville — Université de Montréal – Local 1020, Montréal (Québec)
  • March 28, 1983, Premiere of the final version: Cycle acousmatique 1983: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de la radio, Paris (France)

Awards

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 1: Pareil à un voyageur perdu

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 7:55

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612310

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Foreign Reality. Threats. The Incarcerated Self. A Solitude Inhabited by Shadows.

First variations on the note B natural. Appearance of ‘pivotal elements.’ Breakdowns.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 2: Engloutissement

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 7:48

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612320

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

First Delirium. Exterior Intrusion. Denial. Mother/sea: liquid burial, filled, crevices, abysses.

A play on the rhythms (broad pulses) of ebb and flow (respiration?).

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 3: Arrête! Arrête! Elle me tue.

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 7:19

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612330

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Anguish at the disappearance: the inexistence. Hallucinations. Destruction of self.

A play on rhythms (tight pulses). Intermodulation of sequences. Energetic contrasts. Polyphonic crescendo.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 4: Implosion

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 4:08

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612340

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Reality Persecutes. Invasion and Opression. Withdrawal.

New variations on B natural, a ‘fixed’ parameter. Dynamic modulation of numerous materials by the piano (announced at the beginning of the previous section and confirmed in the next).

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 5: Le moi divisé

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 6:22

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612350

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Division, fragmentation, fracture, fissure, crack. Double sense.

The struggle of B natural in narrow ‘clusters.’ Profusion of materials, polyphonic. Piano-swirling.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 6: Citadelle intérieure

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 7:38
  • Commission: Ina-GRM

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612360

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Denied reality. Distortion of Elsewhere. Icy terror. The Subterranean Labyrinth. ‘Here’ and ‘there.’

Amplification of the pivotal elements. Anecdotal sounds. False loops: unfaithful repetitions. Agressive accentuation of the upper spectral regions.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 7: Pétrification

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 5:16

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612370

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Catatonic: “There is now only a vacuum where there was a person” — Ronald D Laing, The Divided Self

‘Invention’ on the preceding sections. Achronologic recapitulation of the strong moments, but degraded, anamorphosized, scratched. Traces of Wozzeck. Superposition of durations in decreasing progressions.

Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 8: Le message quand vient le soir

Francis Dhomont / RD Laing

  • Duration: 4:15

Stereo

ISRC CAD509612380

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“No one penetrates there, not even with the message of a death. But you, you are seated at your window and, in your dream, you call out the message at the coming of night.” — Kafka, An Imperial Message

Return of sequences, figures and objects from sections 1 and 2 in different relationships: modified listening perspectives.

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