2017 Academy Charles Cros speacial Award for the originality of the album ” Les Voyageurs de l’Espace”
These space travelers are playing with imaginative hybridization and artistic forms. The ensemble is born of a will to investigate the fields of contemporary and improvised music. Around Didier Petit’s lunar cello, the singer and vocalist Claudio Solal and the percussionist Philippe Foch are giving birth to an oneiric universe, underlying a vocal jazz without borders, going from orchestral propositions to vocals improvisations, from the breath of a minimalist cello to nearly tribal and ecstatic percussions.
A TRIO FOR SPACE. In the end, this current adventure seemed to happen quite naturally. At the very time when Man was thinking about returning to the Moon (China might soon be the next candidate) and stepping out on Mars (but not straight away), in the year when the tenth Frenchman would spend several months in the International Space Station and the worldwide success of the Philae Mission, this trio of space travellers is re-opening a musical window onto space to provide a joyful accompaniment to the current trend; against a continuous vocal and instrumental background representing the vast star-studded canopy of space, songs suddenly burst forth like so many planets awaiting discovery. A dream-like musical universe begins to take shape through the warm, light-filled voice of Claudia Solal, the strange sounds of percussionist Philippe Foch and the lunar cello of Didier Petit.
Sabine Macher, Charles Pennequin, Karin Serres, Eric Pessan, Coline Pierré, Mariette Navarro, Olivier Bleys, all contemporary writers, were asked for a contribution, with a piece on some sort of space theme. They set to, writing or drifting off about the little robot Philae, the first animals in space, the first clandestine space travellers, eclipses and the exoplanets… French writing to provide inspiration for an imaginary musical world of poetry and other space improvisations; a musicality that stretches all the limits, from orchestral pieces to individual songs with words in the chanson tradition, or minimal lyrics or even tribal chants.
Majors shows 2017 : China Tour – September (10 shows)
Claudia Solal : voice
As a singer, songwriter, improviser, Claudia Solal has performed on stage for 20 years now in France, Europe and United States, on the most prestigious venues and festivals. Her numerous collaborations and artistic experiences played a large part in building a unique vocal language, at the crossroads of written material and improvised songs. After her highly acclaimed first two recordings “My own Foolosophy” (quartet with Baptiste Trotignon, 1998), and “Porridge Days” (duet with Benjamin Moussay, 2005 – « Coup de cœur » Charles Cros Academy), she released “Room Service” in 2010 (ffff télérama), with Spoonbox quartet. She currently works with Antichamber Music trio with Katie Young and Benoît Delbecq, in Jean-Marie Machado’s Danzas orchestra, in a trio with Jean-Marc Foltz and Régis Huby, Equivoxe duet with singer Valérie Philippin, in duet with bass player Benjamin Duboc (Le ventre vide), in duet with clarinetist Sylvain Kassap. Her third album in collaboration with Benjamin Moussay, Butter in my brain, will be released in october 2017.She’s been teaching since 1998, and has run the jazz singing and improvisation class at Strasbourg’s Conservatory CRR since 2005. She also gives workshops and master classes, and composes for TV and theater.
Philippe Foch : drums & electronic
Driven by a rabid desire for encounter and exploration which far from dwindling with age seems on the contrary to sharpen as timepasses, Philippe Foch, drummer by trade, has been honing in for 30 years to the core of an intensely unstable territory of sound, fleeing all form of routine or status quo, ceaselessly questioning what he has gleaned and reinventing his musical language. This language, with rich percussion artillery as its beating heart, is immediately striking in rhythmic tonicity and organic vitality: a language ruminated at length but spurting profusely in the here and now.
Philippe Foch developed his ever-reformulated language as a soloist or with several resolutely non-conformist ensembles, Les amants de Juliette in particular, a trio formed with Serge Adam and Benoît Delbecq that recently celebrated 20 years of existence (and dissidence), and the Akosh S. Unit, a quartet created and led by vibrant saxophonist Akosh Szelevényi in which Foch participated from the beginning of the 1990s, playing with them until 2002. He deploys a great variety of percussion, imprinting a coloration as subtle as it is profound. After having worked for 20 years with the company L’entreprise de François Cervantes, an example of his recent composition is music for the show Them No Go See by dancer/ choreographer Sophoatou Kossoko. Careful to constantly widen his sphere of possibilities, he harbours in addition a marked interest for electronic music, interest that expresses itself notably in the duos Red Torsion (with Eryck Abecassis) and Basstarang (with Kasper T. Toeplitz) since the mid 2000s. During this time he also created Fugit, a solo project associating electronics and tablas which has led to this current Signature album. Since 2009 he his sharing a lot of experiences with the cellist Didier Petit in trio with the clarinetist Sylvain Kassap.
Didier Petit : cello & voice
Didier Petit was born in Reims in 1962 into a musical environment and began the cello at the age of six. He entered the conservatoire to study the instrument he was to research and work upon in the future. Thanks to his family, Didier was “swimming” in music from a very early age.In 1977, Didier walked out of the conservatoire, to find himself face to face with the world. At this time, he realises that music won’t leave him and, feeling a tremendous desire to exceed both physically and mentally, he turns to jazz. Particularly inspired by Sun Ra and his Arkestra and Celestrial Communication Orchestra of Alan Silva in which he played for ten years, he studied at the IACP, became a teacher, then administrator until 1989. Though his friendship with Misha Lobko he was introduced to many european musical improvisers and shared numerous musical experiences with musicians of all over the World as Vladimir Tarasov, Iva Bittova, Daunik Lazro, Bruno Girard, Carlos “Zingaro”, Roger Turner, Benat Achiary, François Tusques, Marilyn Crispell, Terje Isungset, Larry Ochs, Evan Parker.. Didier petit also played an important part in organising the festival “decades of improvised music” in 86, create the The WormHoles Festival in 2007. In order to set up something stable, he creates the record label In Situ in 1990 which now comprises 36 titles. An utopist and realist at the same time, Didier petit never loses the taste for risk and imagination. In 2009 he creat the East West collective in Hong Kong for the French May Festival to creat a bridge between two cultures. Since then he travel often in China.Since 2010, he is the artistic consultant for the Observatoire de l’Espace (the art science laboratory of CNES) and for the Sideration Festival. In October 2015 he has fligh with his cosmocello in the zero G plane to experiment music in zero gravity.