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axet remperimos te

Dominique Bassal

Programme notes

There has been an accident on the main line of history, and the entire Antiquity was lost. The dream of the Masters of the Universe came true before its time: we skipped directly from the Neolithic to the Medieval period, founding an absolutist planetary civilization. A mix between the implacability of the Romans, Greek hypocrisy, the totalitarianism of pharaonic civilization, the ethereal cruelty of dynastic China and, of course, the unfathomable stupidity of the Western Middle Ages. It is this Uchronia that is described in axet remperimos te.

We are not even quite sure of the precise meaning of this Empire motto, something of the order “accept to crawl” or “accept or you will be broken”. In any case, it is a unique linguistic vestige, discovered in the middle of a mass of documents recording deported populations, villages wiped off the map, millions of abducted women and children. Memories of a time perhaps no more nightmarish than what those who now think in our place would like to take us to.

The ruins of a huge castle, center of the world government, still testify to the power and inhumanity of this civilization.

But inside these colossal relics, many strange rooms are discovered, in a surprising state of conservation, the function of which is hard to understand. Paradoxical places, fueled by barely measurable energies. It is possible that the true Masters of this Empire resided in these lairs, non-human creatures from outer space. It has also been theorized that a resistance, led by mutants with solar intelligence, has set up traps here, existential snares designed to psychologically destroy the leaders’ offspring. In some of these rooms there is a sepulchral silence, but several others are echoing witch sound constructions of a great strangeness, emanating from nowhere…

The atmospheres of some of these rooms are faithfully reproduced here.


axet remperimos te was realized from August 2014 to December 2017 at the composer’s studio in Montréal (Québec).

  • Composer(s): Dominique Bassal
  • Year of composition: 2014-17
  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T3026368407
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média


Room 414, The Concession

“At the entrance to this place, we can barely escape total flattening under a colossal pillar of glass that crashes within a few millimeters of us.

During our passage here, other cylinders will thus fall down very close to us, but this first one will remain the most massive.

Everything here is white. Both the background, rather skeletal, as well as the swarms of winged, croaking creatures of all sizes who harass us, without ever pausing. Someone wants to pressure us to get something, maybe a confession?

We now arrive at a central oasis, which is also a veritable respite: it is a lake made up of clouds of vapour running quietly close to the ground, and from where we get the shards of a strange whining, a kind of languishing concession, a dragging and repeated lamentation.

The voice is mechanized, with accents from beyond the grave, but also has a strangely insistent and demonstrative component.

“See, it’s easy, you can do it too…” seems to be the underlying message.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734841
  • Duration: 8:12
  • ISRC: CAD502010036

Room 21, Coreligionists

“The ecstatic sadism with which we have been forced, in our own reality, to relive the theatrical killing of our deity is exploded here in hundreds of thousands of copies: it is a myriad of human sacrifices, in the image — albeit still very modest — of the gladiators crucified along our Appian Way.

The difference here is that the victims are all instantly divinized, in an Orwellian reversal of a bottomless degeneracy. Our journey, through these scenes of relived and redefined pain, turns out to be tortuous and demanding, and at times truly confounding.

Hence these books with their red, breathing and pulsating cover, of which it is well understood, in the manner in which their readers groan tenderly and ostentatiously, that they detail, in an absurd luxury of details, the deplorable circumstances of each of these executions.

These readers are the coreligionists, but they are not the only ones to populate the stage: carrier chairs also slowly parade obese patricians with literally gray skin, whose only function seems to be to stuff themselves continuously during their stroll.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734863
  • Duration: 8:55
  • ISRC: CAD502010037

Room 103, Calculations and Metals

“A room whose visit initially suggests contemplative postures, almost within reach of our understanding, although the mimics of the silent meditators sometimes appear as neurotic grins.

Then the visitor realizes that this serenity will finally have been only the prelude — preparation, conditioning? — to unrestrained activity.

Employees circulate in all directions, their inner stress hardly controlled by hiccups and spasms.

Here we recognize scribes, accountants, messengers, porters and foremen, a whole cohort of apparently soulless beings — perhaps after a deliberate process of neutralisation.

Everywhere, shiny metal flaps open and close, and numbers cut out of leather are poured into heaps on conveyor belts, which carry them to huge pots filled with liquids that are sometimes boiling, sometimes chilled.

At regular intervals, sexual acts are consumed on the spot, staging the employees with models and animals strapped and encased in a thousand incomprehensible ways.

Taking advantage of a relative lull, verifiers in plush dresses approach the cauldrons, taste the concoctions, then, mumbling and chanting, write down signs on huge scrolls that are carried away as soon as they are completed and blackened.

Through vasistas overlooking the rooms to which these documents are routed, one hears mephistophelean laughter, heart-rending complaints and screamed orders.

The lighting gradually diminishes, the silence falls, and the participants withdraw silently pushing each other…”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734852
  • Duration: 11:08
  • ISRC: CAD502010038

Room 4, Knowledge

“The space identified by the number four swears on all others by a surprising absence of corpses, suppurating wounds, moaning characters or any other manifestation of cruelty.

One thinks of a library or a laboratory, at least of a place where the “scientists” of this world meet and work.

But that is the end of any analogy with what we call science in our own universe. As corrupt, greedy, authoritarian, pretentious and ineffective as our current researchers appear to us, they remain parangons of seriousness in comparison with the buffoons staged in this place.

All visible symbols bear witness to a carefully planned and abyssal ignorance.

Mathematics, in particular, are reduced to the four operations of primary arithmetic, performed only on integers. Only a handful of them are allowed, and the results are never justified, but simply learned by heart!

Later, it is discovered that for each “permitted” operation, two categories of solutions are available, selected to align with the interests of members of the ruling class.

How could these people, under these conditions, have been able to build the monstrous building described here, and created the sophisticated atmospheres that remain intact in dozens of rooms? The source of this superior knowledge has not been discovered.

The numerous bas-reliefs showing the “scientists” dancing in line, clapping their hands and showing their behind were of little help.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734874
  • Duration: 7:48
  • ISRC: CAD502010039

Room 1015, Junk Food

“This room is huge and luxurious, but causes sensations of choking and massive confusion. We are witnessing changes of direction and ideas, false repetitions and cyclical games, which are as allusive as they are incomprehensible.

Some visitors speak of “gastric parlor,” because of the relative pre-eminence of swallowing sounds and borborygmi, but we also hear distant rales evoking physical suffering, perhaps lived in a cynical way.

The lighting in this room is often bloody and hideous, going through twilight and then nocturnal phases before sinking into a gloomy grey.

As time goes by, the signs of the sacrificial use of dozens of victims daily become clearer and accumulate, but it is only a few minutes before the end of the visit that it is finally understood that this place was only a centre of entertainment and relaxation for an elite of uninhibited cruelty, made up of thousands of obese characters similar to the Baron Harkonnen of the Dune series or to Aila Woudiver, the Dirdirman in the Tschai tetralogy.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734807
  • Duration: 15:20
  • ISRC: CAD502010040

Room 635, Procession

“Every few massacres, the survivors of each devastated village are brought together and told to form a funerary procession, in the very heart of the palace where these murder orgies were thought up and organized.

A long and narrow path indicates the route to follow, and constitutes the only strip of a bluish light in a room entirely immersed in darkness, which one guesses immense.

But soon a second overhanging floor is unveiled by progressive touches of warmer light. The walkers have no right to look up, but everyone knows what stands on the terraces of these artificial cliffs: the cadavers of the slaughtered, mummified in wacky poses. And between the corpses barely held upright by metal hooks, we can see the women and the girls, beaten and tortured, the amputated children, eyes and fingers shattered, the men ripped open and in agony.

Now, deposited within the procession by rotating mechanisms of wood and bamboo, the fatties come to dance and frolic among the weepers, barely dressed in lace and ribbons. Agile in spite of their overweight, their cruel faces stretched out in grotesquely laughing grimaces, they mimic the torments of victims and survivors through throws, beats, points, entrechats and arabesques.

Nobody protests, nobody expresses reprobation: in room 635 as in the parallel reality where we rot, some of the victims suffer, while others fantasize that they share the cruelty of their oppressors.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734829
  • Duration: 11:05
  • ISRC: CAD502010041

Room 752, Assorted Tricks

“The most disjointed, clumsy and lewd humor that it is possible to imagine fades in comparison with the demonstrations we are witnessing here: children juggling with the freshly torn organs of their parents, athletes bouncing gracelessly on trampolines made of assembled human skins, diving boards overlooking huge pools of blood, fat aristocrats riding tiny tricycles and rushing at high speed on chained people, representatives with an exuberance worthy of our agricultural fairs giving real-time demonstrations of scalpels, bone saws and slicers on live subjects.

In short, nothing is spared to make this room a purely repulsive fair. All the more so since, at unpredictable intervals, the rage of cruelty stops suddenly, to let the athletes, the cutthroats and the fatties crush some tears on the fate of their victims all the while letting go endless and heartbreaking sighs of regret and while cohorts of minions summarily cleanse the place.

Soon the circus will be back on its feet.”


  • Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
  • ISWC: T9264734818
  • Duration: 8:10
  • ISRC: CAD502010042