1Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 1: Like a Traveller Who’s Been Lost (1979-81, 83)7:55Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
2Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 2: Engulfment (1979-81, 83)7:48Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
3Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 3: Stop it. Stop it. She’s Killing Me. (1979-81, 83)7:19Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
4Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 4: Implosion (1979-81, 83)4:08Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
5Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 5: The Divided Self (1979-81, 83)6:22Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
6Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 6: Inner Citadel (1979-81, 83)7:38Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
7Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 7: Petrification (1979-81, 83)5:16Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
8Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, 8: The Message at the Coming of Night (1979-81, 83)4:15Francis Dhomont, RD LaingSous le regard d’un soleil noir
Sous le regard d’un soleil noir
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
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 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.
- 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)
Like a Traveller Who’s Been Lost
Foreign Reality. Threats. The Incarcerated Self. A Solitude Inhabited by Shadows.
First variations on the note
First Delirium. Exterior Intrusion. Denial. Mother/sea: liquid burial, filled, crevices, abysses.
A play on the rhythms (broad pulses) of ebb and flow (respiration?).
Stop it. Stop it. She’s Killing Me.
Anguish at the disappearance: the inexistence. Hallucinations. Destruction of self.
A play on rhythms (tight pulses). Intermodulation of sequences. Energetic contrasts. Polyphonic crescendo.
Reality Persecutes. Invasion and Opression. Withdrawal.
New variations on
The Divided Self
Division, fragmentation, fracture, fissure, crack. Double sense.
The struggle of
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.
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.
The Message at the Coming of Night
“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.