Études pour Kafka (CD) Track Listing Detail

Premières traces du Choucas

Francis Dhomont

  • Year of composition: 2006
  • Duration: 15:00
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA , et Musiques & Recherches

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
To composer Hans Tutschku and our friendship

Premières traces du Choucas [First Traces of the Jackdaw] is a second preliminary work for Le cri du Choucas, a long work in progress about Franz Kafka’s world, works, and character.

“Kavka” is the Czech word for “jackdaw” (“choucas” in French), a kind of crow whose image adorned the storefront of Hermann Kafka, Franz’s father. The title came from the strong animal symbolics found in the works of Kafka: a deep, solitary, never-empathic, often-muted cry one can hear in each one of his novels and tales, even in the slightest fragmentary story. As for the capital C attributed to “Choucas” in my title, it confirms the presence of a proper noun.

No text yet in these Premières traces du Choucas, but you will find sonic research on and an impressionistic approach to the Kafkaian themes highlighted in the writings of Marthe Robert.

[English translation: François Couture, i-09]


Premières traces du Choucas was realized in 2006 at the composer’s studio in Avignon (France) and was first premiered on October 21, 2006 during the 13th International Acousmatic Festival L’Espace du son (Brussels, Belgium), then on November 2, 2006 — the composer’s 80th anniversary — during the Akousma (3) festival at Monument-National’s Studio Hydro-Québec in Montréal. Premières traces du Choucas was co-commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), and Musiques & Recherches (Belgium). Premières traces du Choucas was awarded the Pubic Prize at the 7th Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’07, Brazil) and was finalist for the “Premiere of the Year” at the 11th Prix Opus 2006-07 of the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM).


Premiere

  • October 21, 2006, L’Espace du son 2006: Concert portrait Francis Dhomont, Théâtre Marni, Brussels (Belgium)

Awards

Brief an den Vater

Francis Dhomont / Franz Kafka

  • Year of composition: 2005-06
  • Duration: 17:02
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: ZKM

Stereo

  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Brief an den Vater is the first preliminary work for Le cri du Choucas, a long work in progress about Franz Kafka’s world, works, and character.

Of course, this work is about the famous letter Franz Kafka wrote to his father in November of 1919, a letter he never mailed. From his long indictment, I have only used a few sentences, selected because they sum up what Kafka held against his father in explicit terms, and mostly because they translate the deep worries of the writer, the mold that gave him his shape, and, as a result, the substratum of his literary topics.

For over twelve years now, I have been working on a long work entitled Le cri du Choucas, about this author and his writings. So what has this “letter” turned into? I am surprised at the hybrid thing before me, both music and Hörspiel, that contains sounds, words, ideas, pictures, and that seems to eschew any regular classification. I might as well file it alongside my ’essays.’ However, this piece is most of all a preliminary study for Le cri du Choucas.

One word about the sound materials: other than the voice of actor Martin Engler (narration in the foreground), the sound materials were mostly obtained from the voice of the German composer Hans Tutschku, either as vocalizations or transformed into pure sonics. Kafka’s gritty and ruthless lament called for rough, tentative, and unseductive sound materials. So I decided to take a chance.

[English translation: François Couture, vi-09]


Brief an den Vater was realized in 2005 at the composer’s studio in Avignon (France) and premiered on 12 February 2005 during the trans_canada festival in the ZKM_Kubus of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM) in Karlsruhe (Germany). This work was commissioned by ZKM. Thanks to Martin Engler (recorded narration), Hans Tutschku, Ludger Brümmer, and Götz Naleppa.


Premiere

  • February 12, 2005, Francis Dhomont, diffusion • trans_canada: Topographies • Topographien • Topographies, ZKM_Kubus, Karlsruhe (Germany)

À propos de K

Francis Dhomont

  • Year of composition: 2006
  • Duration: 21:37
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: French State (Music Office)

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

À propos de K, obviously about the literary world of Kafka, is the third installment in that series of preliminary studies to Le cri du Choucas, a long work in progress about Franz Kafka’s world, works, and character.

There is no text in À propos de K, but a musical journey inspired by the Kafkaian topics revolving around the writer — guilt, his father, asceticism, solitude, illness — and often intertwined with the themes of his works — dual personalities, the Law, Judaism, celibacy — and the writing itself, extensively shaped by the processes contributing to the developments of dreams: “My talent for portraying my dreamlike inner life has thrust all other matters into the background […]” (Diaries 1910-1923: August 6, 1914, Kafka).

[English translation: François Couture, vi-09]


À propos de K was realized in 2006 at the composer’s studio in Avignon (France) and premiered on November 11, 2006 during a Ina-GRM concert celebrating the 80th birthday of the composer at the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de Radio France in Paris (France). It was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) — in 2007.


Premiere

  • November 11, 2006, Multiphonies 2006-07: Portrait anniversaire, 2, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de la radio, Paris (France)

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