Domenique Dumont - People on Sunday [CD]
Catalogue No.: BAY 127CD
Release Date: 13th November 2020
II. Gone For A Wander
III. Sunshine in 1929
IV. Water Theme (Le Château de Corail)
V. We Almost Got Lost
VI. Falling Asleep Under Pine Trees
VII. People On Sunday
IX. Running Down The Hill
XI. Watching Boats Pass By
XII. Back To Everyday Life
XIII. Everyday Life
People On Sunday is an original soundtrack to the 1930 silent film variously known as Menschen am Sonntag, Les Hommes le Dimanche and People On Sunday. The film is a key work of interwar German cinema, based on a screenplay by Billy Wilder. Like Domenique Dumont’s earlier albums, Comme Ça (2015) and Miniatures De Auto Rhythm (2018 - both for the Antinote label), People On Sunday evokes a more innocent, carefree time conjured by wistful electronics full of warmth and melody. Touching on the hazy exotica that made those two records so alluring, here Dumont draws on his love of classical music, library music and early electronic experimentation to create a timeless sound.
Domenique Dumont was invited to compose the score for a special screening and live performance at the Les Arcs Film Festival in the French Alps in December 2019. Although conceived as a soundtrack, People On Sunday flows beautifully as an album. If his past productions possessed a certain Mediterranean quality, across these 13 new pieces Dumont’s shimmering synth-pop has an enchanting simplicity.
“The main challenge for me when working with a movie this old was to find a sweet spot in the sound so it doesn’t become a pastiche of retro and at the same time is in harmony with the film. Sound-wise, it was more about removing than adding, constantly pushing back the sound to more simple forms, resulting in something that I’d call my ode to sine waves. Working with a moving picture is always great – it immediately shows you what sound works and what doesn’t.”
Part documentary, part fiction, the film People On Sunday is an important moment in the German New Objectivity movement, which was a reaction to Expressionism. Loosely scripted, it follows a group of characters going about their business in Weimar-era Berlin over one weekend and shows normal life in Germany before dictatorship.
“The film shows people and their surroundings shortly before all of it was destroyed,” says Dumont, who has previously composed for film. “Ironically, watching this movie with the eyes of today, it looks more surreal than documentary. And I can’t help but think and reflect about the times we are living in now. We might have similar desires people had a hundred years ago, but we now have a completely different approach to life.
“Working on this score strengthened my belief that the time we currently live in, although far from perfect, might be the best time to be alive. All the bells and whistles, all the advantages that we have the opportunity to enjoy in the 21st century, are things people couldn’t have dreamt of only a hundred years ago. At the same time, we haven’t yet transformed away from our sense of humanity. As absurd and optimistic as it may sound, we are living in a utopia compared it to what came before and, perhaps, what is to come. Somehow this movie made me think of the present more than the past.”
on Domenique Dumont:
“Unquestionably lovely music”
“Domenique Dumont’s Comme Ça makes for the exact type of album that you’ll keep getting back out for your own pleasure and share around like a little persona treasure that only the most deserving should know about”
“Using a mix of vintage analogue machines and burbling synths, Domenique draws upon a rich Parisian heritage of African dance music, Caribbean dub and achingly cute Gallic pop in Comme Ça, blending effete, deliquescent vocals with Upsetters-style dub magick and the sort of drum patterns you might hear in a Francis Bebey record”
2010-2019: Albums of the Decade (Comme Ça)
“The score has a beautifully whimsical and shimmery underwater vibe”
Gorilla vs Bear
“The combination of lively rhythms and languid textures was nothing short of genius on record”
The Vinyl Factory
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