Review

Stéphane Roy, Computer Music Journal, no 22:2, 1 juin 1998

The other cycle, Les dérives du signe, includes four works Novars, 1989; Chiaroscuro, 1987; Météores (Meteors), 1989; and Signé Dionysos (Signed Dionysus), 1986, rev. 1991. These pieces make subtle play on the ambiguity generated by shifts in meaning. We find here misappropriations of pre-existing musical sources in Novars and Chiaroscuro, the synaesthetic transfer of the sensations of speed and kinetic energy in the morphological shapes of the sound materials in Météores and the clouding of the paths that lead from natural sounds to novel, artificial sounds in Signé Dionysos.

It is evident that Mr. Dhomont has a predilection for musical eyeles. Their themes allow us to understand some of the aesthetic concerns he has wanted to explore in his art. Throughout his treatment of these subjects, however, Francis Dhomont has never tried to preseribe any specifie way to listen to his music. Indeed, there is a perpetual concern in his music to encourage different listening strategies: formal, referential, programmatic, and so on. He has even tried to create unity between those diverse dimensions that can shape the musical work during the listening process. The program note Points de fuite serves as evidence of that fact:

Audition/reading on many Ievels:

1. Technical (kinetic study: glides in tessitura, mutations of masses, of densities; modifications of timbre; energetic eruption/dispersion; spatial mobility).

2. Impressionistic (encounters, crossings, fusion of heterogeneous events which carry similar connotations; trajectories, velocities, displacements; the near and the distant; the passage)

3. Symbolic (flight: running away; departure, wandering, lapse obliteration. The horizon, Kafka: Disappearing America).

4. Ad libitum…

To sum up, in these four CDs covering almost two decades of achievement, Francis Dhomont offers us acousmatic works of real substance that transcend very well the technological orientation implied by such music. When we listen to these pieces we discover many things about music, and something of its breathtaking vertigo.

When we listen to these pieces we discover many things about music, and something of its breathtaking vertigo.

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