Archive for the 'optosonics' Category

Jacques Dudon ‘Lumières Audibles’




Lumières Audibles, CD published by Mondes Harmoniques, 1996.
Jacques Dudon: photosonic instruments, flutabullum, voice, bells, percussion.
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In his ‘photosonic’ process, Dudon shines light through a series of semi-transparent, rotating discs that slow and modify the light waves’ frequencies; the resulting waveforms are picked up by photoelectric (solar-power) cells connected to standard analog amplifiers.
Kala Pierson, review in ‘The New Music Connoisseur

Jacques Dudon is a french just intonation composer and instrument builder. In the 1970s, he created 150 water instruments called ‘aquaphones’ described in his pioneering book ‘La Musique De L’eau’ (Water Music, 1982). While he was living in India in the early 1970s, he studied indian singing with Sri M. R. Gautam in Benares. At this time, he was known as ‘Guilain’, a guitar player with hippie bands like Crium Delirium. In 1972, he created his first photosonic disc to generate sounds through the means of light. The process is ‘neither acoustic nor electronic’ (J. Dudon, CD booklet). In the 1980s, he met Lou Harisson, from which he learned just intonation slendro scores derived from indian traditional music. He founded Ensemble De Musique Microtonale du Thoronet (Thoronet is the little town where he lives in the South of France), a group whose various members include: Jacques Dudon (chandravina, just intonation guitars, shruti guitar, photosonic discs, voice), Alain Pantéléimonoff (sitar), Elisa Rucci (playing the Semantic Daniélou, an electronic just intonation keyboard instrument, see here), Éric Barthes (middle ages dulcimer, udu, jaltarang, see here), Catherine Jauniaux (voice), Jérôme Désigaud (flutes, didgeridoo, jew’s harp), Naomi Jean O’Sullivan (drums), Véronique Delarché (dance). The Ensemble performs along multimedia events including light, music, theater and dance. Ukrainian Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné (1888-1944) created the first optophonic instrument in 1916, an electric piano producing kaleidoscopic color images by the means of rotating painted glass discs. The keyboard allowed control/adjustment of color and lighting (see official website). Dudon’s music on this CD is based on the optophonic technique as well as hinduism notions of sound color and its effects on the body, hence the diagram above, showing the seven chakras – specific points of the body – each associated with a color and a sound, according to hinduism (from: Color Music website, ‘Oriental Origins’ chapter). The optosonic music on this CD is at times reminiscent of Steve Roach ambient music, though the just intonation technique give a more mystical feeling to the otherwise beautiful optosonics.

Jacques Dudon’s selected discography:

  • Dedicace‘ LP w/ Sugar Blue, Larry Corryell, Didier Malherbe,Jean-Philippe Rykiel, Martin St-Pierre, etc. (Tin Pan Alley, 1979)
  • Alexandro Jodorowski’s movie ‘Tusk‘ original soundtrack, 1980.
  • ‘Musiques De L’eau‘, 1983 cassette of aquaphonic music.
  • Lumières Audibles‘, CD, 1996
  • Contributes to ‘Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones‘,
    the legendary Bart Hopkin compilation CD, 1996.
  • Noces Harmoniques‘, CD 2001.

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