Bruno Duplant’s “Sombres Miroirs” reviewed by Audion

Although the promo blurb tells me “Bruno Duplant is a prolific composer and a musician living in the north of France. He has collaborated with many musicians around the globe and has also made solo works” he’s one of many younger musician/composers in the contemporary field that I’d never heard of before (at least to my knowledge) with a vast repertoire of releases. Currently this is number 100 out of 104 releases on Discogs where he’s a main artist.

SOMBRES MIROIRS is two big slices of sonic construction that evoke a somewhat Karlheinz Stockhausen TRANS like feel, or that of some Paul Dolden, making use of instrumental sounds subjected to intense processing, filtering and layering. As such, it amounts to thick slabs of ever changing sound, with tonalities shifting over and within the music, on which certain sounds break the surface: wind instruments, chimes, and all sorts of percussion, sometimes becoming the focus where the droning textures move to the background. This careful use of composition, moving from thick bombast to more fragile elements, is the key to the work’s success, achieving a sense of composition. There are thus many surprises within the sonic adventure, not least some lovely bowed bass work at the opening of the second part, recalling Fernando Grillo’s work with the great Iancu Dumitrescu.

In all, SOMBRES MIROIRS is much more than the “very nice avant classical” I noted on my first listen, it is a groundbreaking new development on an all too rarely visited genre in new music. Alan Freeman