KANTELE MANUFACTURER & RESSOURCES
Koistinen Kantele is the main manufacturer of the Kantele in Finland. Hannu Koistinen, the CEO, is a true passionate and innovator in his field. I thank him for trusting me in spreading the beauty of the Kantele worldwide. I have been endorsed in July 2011 and without their support I would never have been able to do anything of what I am doing these days. Also, their website is a great source of information about the instrument, the players, the music and kantele history. Kantele lives these days thanks to the 10 people team. The brand has been given a prize by the government. This tells how amazing are these people !
Mazette is an artistic collective based in Saint Michel de Chavaignes in France, two hours away from Paris. This is a house, a dancing hall, a laboratory for a new form of art. Dancers, choregraphers, musicians, puppetmasters meet and work there. Its vocation is to become a residency space for international artist in a near future. Some renovation work is on the way and there is a great chance for you to hear about Mazette very soon. I may compose the music for the next show of Arnaud Louski Pane, one the main founder of the group.
Possession Immediate is a cutting edge french magazine launched by John Jefferson Selves in which you can find the most innovative writers, photographers, fashion artists and more. It is a project which put sensations as the main focus and medium in our life 2.0. It is about appreciating time. The novels written here are breath taking and the title of the magazine is bound with Rimbaud and its poetry. It is courageous these days to invest yourself in such magazines. Bravo to my friend Jefferson. You can have a look at the two first issues of possession immediate online right here right now. I started reading (proper reading) thanks to him and this is great to see JJS spread his passion about art and literature.
TEACHERS & INSPIRATION
Ah… Maranda. Maranda is an endless source of inspiration for me. Publisher of the conscious culture magazine Origin. I met Maranda in 2009 in Austin,TX. Her daughter and herself have been a model of open communication. She is fully invest in her life as a journalist, artist and mother. She made me discover yoga and I started my journey thanks to her.
Kevin taught me singing and a bit of music theory a few years ago. He has been very supportive helping me embracing my music journey. He also gave me a lovely texan shirts (for not saying a few !) I would advice him to anyone wanting to go further with its musical career. Kevin is based in Austin, TX and is promoting a modern use of the ukulele (an instrument I used to have a hard time with in the past but as we say in french “il n’y a que les imbéciles qui ne changent pas d’avis”)
Valery is a kind of mentor to me. He recently wrote a book about marketing to explain all the jargon of this field and he does it brilliantly with a very caustic sense of humour. I met Valery years ago while he was trying to help some bands to stop getting ripped off. It was at the time of General Bye Bye obviously. He is very generous and has a great sense of pedagogy. I always enjoyed a good conversation with him in a bar. We have kind of a freedom mantra (Allez tous vous faire enc….) and well this works often. Valery has a website where he presents all sort of things and concepts. He is currently writing several books. Damn this is in French !
Funder of Chant Postural, a new singing technique and healing modality, Elisabeth marked an important step in my development. She helped me reaching a new stage in my singing and to understand placement of the voice and in the body. She has a great pedagogy and a deep knowledge of the human mind and body. This is life changing to take some classes or to get some coaching from her as she can almost read through your body and locate exactly where the voice is locked. She has been able to unlock some barrier I had in singing improving tremendously my live performance… and more importantly to get more into my body. You can work with her with confidence and efficiency !
SOUND ENGINEER / PRODUCER / MASTERING
Philippe Tessier Ducros
Philippe is simply the best sound engineer I ever met with the most amazing skills in producing records. A big name. His expertise has per say no competitors. I respect the sound engineer and the man. He collaborated with very respected musicians all around the world and his generosity and persona are very precious. It is not too big of a statement to say that he may be the biggest sound lover ever. Working with Philippe is an experience in itself. His work and inspiration on his website.
I met Jean through General Bye Bye’s drummer Etienne Gillet. Jean is one of his many brother. He played drums for Alain Chamfort and bass for Peter Von Poehl among many others musician he collaborated with. Jean recorded my first solo album as well as the performance all in one day Feather Feather album in a church in an hospital (don’t ask me why). I appreciate the work he did as a sound engineer and as a musician. He is patient and has a lot of great ideas. He can play the bass, the drums, guitars and keys. He is a great melodist who knows how to get where you want to go to. Well in short if you need a talented multi-instrumentist he is the man !
Kris is my best friend and this is hard to write about him. Sometimes he beats me to table tennis. But only if it is outdoor.
Above his talent as a photographer, a musician and a cook, he is this guy I immediately “clicked” with in a bar (La Féline for the parisians reading this) while I was coming back from Austin,TX. Since we developed a friendship based on trust, sense of humor and values. There are not enough words in French to describe how much I value him and I would bastardize anything by writing too much about him. The photographic work of Kris is in different magazines in France and online on his website where he regularly posts some pictures taken during some of his trips. The most recents in Asia and India are splendid. He prepares an exhibition of his work and I would simply sell my house (if I had one) for him.
Thierry Clément Bignolet
Distingué ! Thierry is the archetype of the well manered french man. All his (many) friends call him “Le Duc” to point his noblesse. We spent quite a fun time together in Austin,TX after randomly meeting to an event about Beaujolais Nouveau set up by the Alliance Française.
You can see the pictures of Thierry on here
Vincent is a talented sketch artist and musician. You can discover his work on his tumblr. Based in Montpellier in the south of France, he left Paris and its vicissitudes for the blue sky of Montpellier (pretty much literally) He exposes in the south of France in different gallery, pursue music and is about to start a career of choregrapher. He is one of the most funny person I know too.
Dorian is a masterpiece of art in himself. I discovered him in a tiny concert space in Brooklyn in 2007 and fell immediately in love with his music, his intensity and his massive sound. Live he is a beast producing an impressive show between violence and peace. Living in Los Angeles, Dorian Wood tours regularly in Europe. Check him out and have a look at his awesome website.
La Fonta is an ovni in the french musical landscape as we know it. Jeanne has a voice with character. A clown full of joy and darkness all at the same time. Her songs are addictive and her lives are one of a kind. It’s pretty much like in the chocolate box of Forrest Gump “you never know on what you’ll fall”
A scottish lyricist based in Paris. Yes, it actually does exist. While currently exploring the field of spoken-word performance with a band called Hitzak (and loving every minute of it), he typically write for a bunch of other rock and folk musicians including me !
I met Stuart a few years ago at the end of a General Bye Bye’s show and we very naturally started to collaborate. Stuart is FAST ! He writes songs and lyrics like others, let’s say, buy bread every morning. Very easy to work with and of a good nature, Stuart is an important part of my musical work !