Resume (soundbites at bottom page)
1982 - 1984
- Music for Animation film with cartoonist Piem for French TV FR3
- 4 songs used in TV series Maigret for French A2 (Maigret se trompe)
- Theatre music for company Théâtre de la Cuvette "Archer de Bagnolet" (medieval texts)-
- Theatre music for company Théâtre de la Cuvette "Soirée dans le Silence et le Vent de la Mort" (anti-war play)
- Walk-on parts in Petrouchka by Ballet Théâtre Français de Nancy with Rudolf Noureev
1984 - 1991
- Residence in London - only music
1991 - now
- Residence near Munich - Germany
1991 - 1995
- 1991 score for Film (Das Klein Fernsehspiel) Schlösser for German ZDF with director Peter Zobel
- 1992 score for documentary (Das Klein Fernsehspiel) Tokyo-Pankow for German ZDF with director Peter Zobel
- various low budget short films for Film school Munich & architecture students..
- Performances with mime and images projections for Tollwood Festival 91 & 92
- Walk-on parts in advertising spots in Grünwald & Bavaria (bistro)
- good contacts with various production companies (Constantin Films "ok, we now only need to find a film for you" - I followed up but nothing happened)
- at the time film production in Germany seemed to me as being in a low phase, poorly creative with about 30 films per year and the filmscores mostly made by the same 10 German composers of the time. I´m sorry I gave up looking into the branche and concentrated on live music
2001 - 2016
- Show for 9 musicians, a speaker and video projection directing the Intercultural Orchestra Augsburg in La Piazza festival
- various CDs and concerts
- (2011 - 2020 single father)
- score for DVD about St John´s Apocalypse by photographer/poet Xavier Mignon
- score for Vietnam Tin Toi, documentary for Vietnam TV, director Manouchehr Abrontan
- score for Souls of Hanoi 4 parts documentary for Vietnam TV, director Manouchehr Abrontan
- score for The Little Things Hs many Faces documentary, director Manouchehr Abrontan
Few words about me
I did the best quality work possible with the means and opportunities I had, the people I worked with were so satisfied that they asked for my services again.
I´ve been creating music professionally for the past 44 years, have excellent health and have always eaten exclusively organic food
- – a musician never retires.
I still have this creative urge to invent new music for images -every time I read a book I have a musical idea.
Mind you, most of the music on my site is meant to be listened to WITHOUT images, as it requires some concentration - one of my "style traits" being the superposition of several rhythmic or melodic lines, in a more "horizontal" thought music (with few chords) and a certain avant-garde for the discerning music lover who listens with his eyes closed. Please also notice that each album is different. -
- however I know the difference between working for myself or for others
It is easy enough to create music to convey emotion, but relative sophistication will appeal to the intellect rather than the coccyx and can foster intelligence (and a better conveying of the director's intention).
- I have a film project which – when produced – will have as much impact as Kubrik´s 2001 Space Odyssee, Koyaanisqatsi or Mel Gibson´s Passion. A very ambitious musical film with voices but no actors, and beautifully symbolic images, but which will touch the whole world population. It opens so many doors that when done, many sub-products can be made (documentaries, or more episodes).
- Now this I probably only be able to produce when my name is recognized and known in the (cinema) world. As you will certainly understand, I am very reluctant to write what the theme of that film is.
So in the meantime I come to you and offer all my music knowledge to best serve your production,
as I need as much success as you do. Every movie I watch I do listen to the music and most often think about how I would have done it (a sort of practice).
I love cinema, have constantly new ideas, and so did and have in my archives music for a few possible movies:
- about E.A. Poe´s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym or Lovecraft´s The Mountain of Madness;
- some pseudo baroque music for adaptations of Jean D´Aillon´s books (detective novels set in the 16th cdntury France )
- Rabelais´s Gargantua & Pantagruel (starring Gérard Depardieu and JC Van Damme as Panurge?)
- or Edward Lear´s Nonsense Poems (The Courtship of The Yonghy Bonghy Bo).
- I also did a music based on Dune as well as a tribute to Eraserhead.
I´ve studied – and played - Western, Eastern and generally music from all available world cultures so as to filter out the substantifique moelle (see Rabelais) what I consider to be missing in European music..
Though I know some of the best functioning musicscores go practically unnoticed from the audience, cinema might be today one of the rare art forms where music creativity is still wanted. I am well aware that music is usually conceived to support the ideas put in images and words. Rarely do filmscores add a new dimension, if they do, they seem to have more success.
Different things I did and insights surrounding my creation of music for moving images
The viola da gamba is my instrument of choice, but I don't limit my composing activities to one instrument. I am a guitarist and double bass player by training and de facto pianist for composition. I can write arrangements for strings (I love oboe and bassoon) or orchestra (Middle East Children) and more generally for viol ensemble "Modern Broken Consort", i.e. viols combined with other instruments, with a modern "edge" of electronic instruments and effects (album The Wind Cries Satie.
In the case of a film/show, I can of course do what any composer does, namely:
after reading the script and knowing the director's intention, sit in front of the images and let the ensemble dictate the music, I usually hear music immediately upon my first viewing of the image or concepts. The last time was during the documentary on Hanoi where, via Skype, the director showed me his images of old districts from the colonial era and asked for music evoking French and American colonisations, which immediately gave me the idea of a shuffle arrangement of Erik Satie's second Gymnopédie (from 2:00).
I then work on the eventual polyphony, mostly on the piano
and can produce the whole music in 24 bits on my system (Ableton) as well as possibly record extra musicians.
Music is a powerful tool, it can literally set things on fire, personnally I once stopped Big Ben...
Ideally I would prefer to work on the ideas, concepts and emotions BEFORE shooting and even before writing the final script, because once the concept is "concreted", all possible interactions or even adding another dimension through music become more difficult beyond the banal function of simply tickling the emotions of the audience to "support the images" and compete with other films. In terms of Creativity there is no competition, and for a successful cultural film moment, my music will be much better used if the director/producer knows it in advance.
- 1982 - Music for a cartoon by the cartoonist Piem explaining a new law (I forgot which one) for FR3 (French regional TV) - I used an arrangement of a traditional melody called "mountain dwarves" which gives an impression of miraculous help from the little bearded ones who live underground.
- Theatre - "Verconus et l'Archet de Bagnolet" based on medieval texts - I had to produce an original pseudo-medieval music, in my small provincial town there were no archives available, I did "in the genre" with tetrachords on cadences of fourths and fifths.
- Approaching vulgar medieval mercenaries Verconus 1
- Medieval soldier with wobbly armour marching Verconus 2
- The Alsatian chambermaid La Chambrière tuba solo
- Alsatian chambermaid coming in La Chambrière 2
- The happy chambermaid La Chambrière 3
- Quiet afternoon by a river La digestion de Verconus
- Frightening Scarecrow
- Theatre - "Soirée dans le Silence et le Vent de la Mort", a rather gloomy anti-war piece based on the juxtaposition of 1st WW propaganda texts by Maurice Barrès declaimed by an actor walking in the room of a woman who is reading her husband's letters from the front - I composed music using synthesised wind samples and crossing melodies in the Lydian (instability effect) and Phrygian (regret and sadness effect) modes
- These melodies softened the violence of the story, and the audience - clearly shocked as they left the theatre at the end - remarked that thankfully there was music to take the edge off the negative avalanche, which motivated them to stay,
1983 - Music in French Tv series Maigret "Maigret se trompe"
- 7 years in London - only music
- I had then the opportunity to move to Germany and quickly took the decision to work with German businesses, and thus decided to stay as they certainly know how to sell art internationally.
1991 Klein Fernsehspiel “Schlösser” for ZDF by Peter Zobel.
- The film tells the story of a young man visiting his father with his son, about his lack of communication with his father while the mother has been absent all these years.
- I translated the communication thematic with the opposition of ascending minor thirds for the absent mother and ascending major thirds for a reluctant and silent father on an accelerating ostinato in a limited transpositions mode on a 5/8 rhythm.
- recorded the music on the piano of the Lenbachhaus museum in Munich.
- During the final editing in studio, the ZDF producer said the final piece was “too beautiful for the film”. I wondered quite a while about what he´d meant, but I did another version of the song, which I incorporated to my album Transports, it´s called Reise.
Followed a second film with Peter Zobel, “Tokyo-Pankow” in 1992.
- A ZDF Documentary comparing opinions of Germans living in Japan and Japanese living in Pankow.
- As it manifested the opposition between Far-East and Occident, I borrowed a viola da gamba (some « bastard » model) using loops and did the whole music. I only have a VHS tape of the film, though I produced the music in stereo, the film was broadcasted in mono.
But this made me discover the viola da gamba, I subsequently had a viola da gamba built in 1993.
Having changed instruments I still continued to candidate for further filmscores, but slowly stopped as at the time the film production n Germany seemed to me as being in a low phase, poorly creative with about 30 films per year and the filmscores mostly made by the same 10 German composers of the time. So I concentrated on performing live and recorded music.
- 1998 trip to India (see bio)
- 2000/2001 Creation for the festival La Piazza - Intercultural Orchestra Augsburg with 9 musicians and video projections
- 2012 - eine Hommage an Ota Benga in Form eines Indian Blues -> Con Ota
- 2017 - DVD Apocalypse Xavier Mignon
- Xavier Mignon is a poet, photographer and writer. He´s produced a DVD with excerpts of the St. John Apocalypse, completed with his own poetry and photographs. On the DVD, the text are spoken by actors and illustrated through my music, which is conceived for a stage with symphonic orchestra.
- Witha very modern version of Gregorian piece Ut Queant Laxis, the very piece used by Guido of Arezzo for the names of the notes ut, ré, mi etc.
Documentaries for VietnamTV - Vietnam Tin Toi / Souls of Hanoi - 4 parts documentary
- Iranian film-maker Manouchehr Abrontan wanted a music to illustrate Vietnam´s culture, I proposed to do the music with a monochord to sound closer to the Dan Tranh, a Vietnamese 16-strings zither.
- The piece for the ballet in Vietnam Tin Toi - (The Serene Excerpt)-> Asian Fans
- The Little Thing Has Many Faces by Manouchehr Abrontan - Documentary has been selected by the Buenos Aires International Film Festival. It features various interviews with people all over the world around the question: Did we learn anything from Corona Time to be unified?
- I did Transports, a whole album with many sound-design, (all percussion sound replaced with sports and transports sounds):
- -> Agassi´s tennis sound (an ideal jingle for a TV sports report?) and dance/joke piece whith 64 tracks -> Car Wars
- A live improvised version of Akte X music (don´t miss the 2nd part if you like it)
- Finally a live recording a (Jazz-) duo with soprano sax where I play piano -> Berceuse Délicieuse