Skip to main contentSkip to audio controlsSkip to footer

Nuit noire

Michel Chion

Programme notes
In memory of American writer Philip K Dick (1928-1982)

Nuit noire (Black Night) is a nightmare, made up of a series of descents into different levels of dreaming, uneasiness and terror. But it could also be a wakeful night, a sleepless night of anguish leading up to death.

As in my other ‘monodramas,’ Le prisonnier du son or La Tentation de saint Antoine, Nuit noire centers around a single character who endures this nightmare. But in this piece, the anonymous hero can only be heard in moans, groans and sighs, and never emits a clearly articulated sound.

Nuit noire was fashioned from Nuit, the last and longest movement of Diktat, a piece produced in 1979 at the Groupe de musique expérimentale de Marseille (GMEM). This movement was later modified at the GRM studios to create an autonomous work under this new title.


Nuit noire was realized in the studios of the GRM and of the GMEM. The work premiered in concert on March 24, 1986, as part of the Ina-GRM’s Cycle acousmatique, at the auditorium of the Maison de Radio France in Paris (France).


  • March 24, 1986, Cycle acousmatique 1986: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)
  • Composer(s): Michel Chion
  • Year of composition: 1979-85
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0030516314
  • Duration: 22:14
  • ISRC: CAD509310680