Jalons cd coverJalons is that rare disc in Dhomont’s output that is not a cycle or part of one. It is simply, as the title (of the disc only) indicates, a collection of pieces spanning a portion of Dhomont’s career, the portion from 1985 to 2001. It is, as Dhomont says, a “mini-panorama.” And though the span of years is small, musically this is as diverse a collection as one could wish for.

Perhaps not a good introduction to Dhomont, but certainly something that illustrates his range, something Dhomont fans will want to have, if only for that unique (literally) piece Drôles d’oiseaux, Dhomont’s only purely electronic piece. Listening to this piece, if you’re very familiar with Dhomont’s music, will be unsettling—it’s like hearing the strings only of a piece for full orchestra. Familiar and yet never quite going where any other piece goes. The disc, interestingly enough, also includes Vol d’Arondes, which uses some material from Drôles d’oiseaux. An fascinating glimpse of the composer’s processes.

As is Studio de nuit, which is not so much an excerpt from Figures de la nuit as it is a sonic peek at Dhomont working on that piece.

Jalons also includes the very short and jolly L’electro, and the consistently somber Lettre de Sarajevo, and the fascinating study of shimmering sounds called Les moirures du Temps. And there are two pieces with prominent instrumental associations as well, En cuerdas, in which guitar sounds are taken far beyond the familiar, and Un autre printemps, which uses vague echoes of Vivaldi’s concerto mixed other more homely and natural spring sounds.

I recommend you get this disc, but I suggest you do it after you’ve gotten a pretty thorough sense of Dhomont’s other music. Then this disc can have its maximum effect.

Clips at electrocd.com.

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