Francis Dhomont | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Francis Dhomont

Francis Dhomont. Composer, teacher, b Paris 2 Nov 1926. He studied in Paris with Ginette Waldmeier, Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger. From 1944 to 1963, he composed for instruments and for voice, attempting to reconcile modality and atonality.

Dhomont, Francis

Francis Dhomont. Composer, teacher, b Paris 2 Nov 1926. He studied in Paris with Ginette Waldmeier, Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger. From 1944 to 1963, he composed for instruments and for voice, attempting to reconcile modality and atonality. During this first creative period, he took part in several concerts with the group Triptyque in Paris.

Dhomont's first electroacoustic endeavours with a steel wire recorder date from 1947, coinciding with Pierre Schaeffer's first experiments with musique concrète. In 1951, he left Paris for the south of France (Provence) and in 1963 he set up his own electroacoustic studio and devoted himself to acousmatic composition (that is, sound with invisible or unseen sources). Founding member and president (1975-9) of the festival Musiques-Multiples in Saint-Rémy de Provence, he was invited in 1979 to be a guest researcher at the University of Montreal. Since 1978, he has worked for the recognition of acousmatic thought, composition and performance practice. Almost unknown in Canada in the early 1980's, these notions have gained acceptance throughout the country, particularly in Quebec.

Dhomont's works are focused within the electroacoustic medium and reveal his interest for spectro-morphological effects and sound/sense ambiguities. Prominent among his works are Syntagmes (1975), Mais laisserons-nous mourir Arianna? (1979), Sous le regard d'un soleil noir (1981), Points de Fuite (1982) and Chiaroscuro (1987), which all received prizes at the Concours international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France). He has won the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition five times and received their Magisterium prize in 1988. He has also won the Tape Music Competition of Brock University (1985), the International New Music Composers Competition (New York 1987, Miami 1988), the second International Tribune of electroacoustic music in Stockholm (1988) and was laureate at the Prix Ars Electronica 1992 (Austria).

Dhomont has received many commissions, namely from Les Événements du Neuf (Chiaroscuro), the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) (Chroniques de la lumière, 1989) and the Banff Centre Arts (Espace/Escape, 1989). A list of his works appears in Q/Résonance and Q/Résonance Addendum (Montreal 1988, 1989). Three of his works were released in 1990-91: 'Thème de la fuite' from ...mourir un peu (4-ACM 37), Qui est là? (empreintes DIGITALes IMED-9904), and Chroniques de la lumière (UMMUS UMM-101). His electroacoustic music compositions often narrate stories through music and interpret literature such as the fairy tales presented in Forêt profonde (1996) that are based on Bruno Bettelheim's work.

Dhomont has authored several articles and papers on esthetic issues that have given rise to important philosophical debates on the evolution of electroacoustic music.

In 1988, he edited the issue 'L'Espace du son' (The Space of Sound) of the journal Lien. He has also edited special issues published by Musiques & Recherches (Belgium), Électroacoustique Québec: l'essor (Quebec Electroacoustics: The Expansion) and Circuit. Dhomont co-edited the Dictionnaire des arts médiatiques and has written for several journals including CONTACT! The Journal of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, The WholeNote and Composer to Composer.

For most of his life Dhomont has divided his time between France and Quebec. While in Quebec he taught at the University of Montreal from 1980 to 1996. He has lectured to a variety of audiences and created radio programs for Radio-Canada and Radio-France.

In addition to numerous international awards, Dhomont has received a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and in 1997 won the Canada Council for the Arts' Lynch-Staunton Prize. Jalons won Disc of the Year-avant-garde, electroacoustics at the 2003 Prix Opus Gala, an award that recognizes Quebec concert artists.

Dhomont is an associate composer for the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers and was a founding member (1986) and is now an honorary member (1989) of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community.


Francis Dhomont, 'Compte rendu sur le guide des objets sonores de M. Chion,' CUMR, 5, 1984

'À BON "ENTENDEUR", SALUT ou l'héritage de la musique concrète,' Revue musicale, 394-7, 1986

'Espace, image acoustique et problématique de la diffusion acousmatique,' GUIDE Diffusion! (Montreal 1988)

'Parlez-moi d'espace, navigation à l'ouïe: la projection acousmatique et éditorial,' Lien, 1988

'L'espace du son.' Musiques & Recherches. LIEN 1988, Reissued: LIEN 1998-11. 1988

'But is this music?' GUIDE >convergence (Montreal 1989)

'Vous avez dit acousmatique?' Vice-Versa, Mar 1990

'Le Postmodernisme en musique: aventure néo-baroque ou nouvelle aventure de la modernité?' Circuit, vol 1, No. 1 [1991]

'L'espace du son 2' Musiques & Recherches, LIEN 1991-10. 1991

'Électroacoustique-Quebec: L'essor' Circuit, vol. 4 no 1-2. Circuit CIRC 04_1-2 1993


Mouvances-Métaphores. empreintes Digitales. IMED 9107/08, Reissued: IMED 9607, IMED 9608. 1991

Cycle de l'errance [Cycle of Wanderings]. empreintes Digitales. IMED 9607, Reissued: IMED 9107/08. 1996

Les dérives du signe [The Drift of the Sign]. empreintes Digitales. IMED 9608, Reissued: IMED 9107/08. 1996

Forêt profonde [Deep Forest]. empreintes Digitales, IMED 9634. 1996

Sous le regard d'un soleil noir [Under the Glare of a Black Sun]. empreintes Digitales IMED 9633. 1996

Frankenstein Symphony. Asphodel. ASP 0978. 1997

Cycle du son [Cycle of Sound]. empreintes Digitales. IMED 0158. 2001

Jalons [Milestones]. empreintes Digitales. IMED 0365. 2003

Selected Compositions

Cité du dedans. Liminaires; Foules; Noir. Créée en juin 1972.

Assemblages. 1972

Asie. 1975

Puzzle. 1975

Espaces sonores pour des textes de Jean Tortel. Radiophonic piece. 1976

La liberté ou la mort. Incidental music. 1976

Cathédrale d'images. 1977

À cordes perdues. 1977

Transits élémentaires. 1983

Les traces du rêve. Film soundtrack, Les traces du rêve by Jean-Daniel Lafond, NFB. 1986

Voyage dans le voyage. Extrait de Simulacres: un autoportrait. 1991

Previews. 1994

CPH Pendler Music. Commande du Studio Delta P, La Rochelle (France). 1997

L'air du large. Commande du Studio Delta P, La Rochelle (France). 1998

Ricercare. Commande du Studio Delta P, La Rochelle (France).1998

Glank-50. Bottoms up: Happy 50th Birthday Jonty. 2002

Here and There. Commande de New Adventures in Sound Art. Toronto. 2003

Voyage-miroir. 2004