Un autre Printemps

Francis Dhomont

Un autre Printemps has been performed in Aarhus, Amsterdam, Annecy, Arras, Belfast, Berlin, Bourges, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Jena, Liverpool, Manchester, Marseille, Mexico City, Moissac, Montpellier, Montréal, Nantes, Paris, Porto, Saint-Étienne, Santiago, Seoul, Sheffield, Szczecin, Vienna and Weimar…

To Uli A. and Antonio V.

In composing this music for film, I had to follow rules that differ from those of non-incidental music: there were thematic directions that had to be respected, constraints that were imposed by the material (Vivaldi, the viola, a dog, the sound of a stream, and naturalism) and by the timing, allusions and references that had to be incorporated, and so on.

Un autre Printemps does, of course, echo Vivaldi’s famous concerto, which forms the thread that runs through the film. But the thread wanders, changes, and is recycled, with the result that the baroque work becomes a simple yet rich sound source, and one full of cultural connotations. The important place accorded the movement of water and its mutations corresponds to the metaphor of the effusiveness of spring that is so present on the screen. But here the sound of nature questions the nature of sound: the representational and referential elements of the opening slide closer and closer toward abstraction, with the aid of the treatments that distort the source material, and the music regains its integrity. By the end, the sound will have rejoined the meaning.

This approach to finding the beauty in sound as a means of organizing and structuring it reminds me of when I carved wood to earn my living, drawing my inspiration from form inherent in it. I tried in both cases to reconcile will and chance, conception and perception, and nature and artifice.

[English translation: Tom Carter]


Un autre Printemps [Another Spring] was commissioned by the German filmmaker Uli Aumüller for his film Mein Kino für die Ohren (My Cinema for the Ears), a co-production by ARTE and ZDF, and realized at the composer’s studio in 2000. Un autre Printemps was premiered during the European telecast of the film on 14 March 2001 and on 15 December 2001 as part of the Rien à voir (10) concert series presented by Réseaux in Montréal (Québec). Thanks to Jean René, viola, for some strong materiologies. The work won 2nd prize at at the Hungarian Radio’s EAR’01 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Budapest, Hungary, 2001). Mein Kino für die Ohren was recorded in March 2002 on DVD-Video by Bridge Records (Bridge 9117).

Premiere

  • December 15, 2001, Rien à voir (10): concert solo: Nature / Artifice, Espace Go, Montréal (Québec)

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