Francis Dhomont

Phonurgie has been performed in Aarhus, Annecy, Bari, Beijing, Belfast, Berlin, Besançon, Birmingham, Brooklyn, Brussels, Cagliari, Cologne, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Leuk, Lisbon, London, Manchester, Marseille, Mexico City, Monaco, Montevideo, Montréal, Newcastle, Paris, Perugia, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Saint-Denis, San Francisco, San Sebastián, São Paulo, Séoul, Sheffield, Szczecin, Toronto, Vienna, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Weimar, Wellington and Zurich…

To Inés Wickmann and her found objects

Phonurgie — “making, working, and creating sound” — presents, fifty years after the first gropings, and at the verge of the century under examination, one of the current states of this new art, which has become an independent art of sounds.

Unlike the other pieces in the Cycle, Phonurgie quotes no more than a passing subject of Schaefferian study, bringing the sound of this legacy to a close; on the other hand, the first part, Objets retrouvés, draws all of its material and its structure from it. Paraphrased elements from Novars can, of course, be found — elements that themselves paraphrase Étude aux objets, making them commentaries on commentaries — while the opening and conclusion make reference to AvatArsSon. Nevertheless, in this fourth homage, the allusions to the origins melt away before the original propositions; filiation is not renounced, but here the child, finally grown, reveals its identity.

While technology may have changed considerably and the “sound colour” may no longer be the same, morphological thought and writing still remain, in all of their many forms, true to the ‘spirit’ of the first “concerts de bruit” (Noise concerts).

[English translation: Tom Carter]

Phonurgie — 4th of the 4 works in the Cycle du son — was realized in 1998 in the Syter studio of Ina-GRM (Paris, France) and at the composer’s studio, and it premiered on September 25, 1998 as part of the Inventionen ’98 festival (Berlin, Germany). The piece was commissioned by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). Phonurgie won 1st prize at CIMESP 1999 (São Paulo, Brazil) and 1st prize at the 1st Concurso Internacional de Creación Electroacústica Ciber@RT (Valencia, Spain, 1999). In 1998 Phonurgie was included on the Inventionen ’98: 50 Jahre Musique Concrète disc (RZ 10009/10) and in 1999 on the Musica Maximalista 6: III CIMESP 1999 disc (CD 199008708).


  • September 25, 1998, Inventionen ’98: Concert concret, 1, Parochialkirche, Berlin (Germany)



Phonurgie (1998), 12:43
stereo fixed medium



Date Work Program
March 28, 2011 Francis Dhomont, Phonurgie (1998), 12:43 Acoustic Frontiers / CKCU 93.1 FM (Canada)
August 28, 2017 Francis Dhomont, Phonurgie (1998), 12:43 Acoustic Frontiers / CKCU 93.1 FM (Canada)
November 6, 2022 Francis Dhomont, Phonurgie (1998), 12:43 L’expérimentale / France Musique (France)