Concerts for Michèle Claude

Michèle Claude - percussion and composition

Michèle Claude combines in an unique way different styles of world music, but also musical tones of baroque and contemporary music and jazz.
She plays regularly as a percussionist with highly renowned ensembles such as: Jordi Savall, Le Poème Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre), L'Arpegiatta (Christina Pluhar), Philippe Jaroussky.
She has participated in many large baroque orchestras (Les Arts Florissants - William Christie, Les Musicians du Louvre - Mark Minkowski, Mosaïques, La Grande Écurie) and in World Music Ensembles (Abed Azrié/Syria, Tokiko Kato/Japan, Khaled/Algeria). At the same time she also attends to contemporary music (commissioned works, compositions), Iranian classical music, jazz or even songs for children (Enfance & Musique), in different formations and styles, recorded in more than sixty CDs.
As a composer she has written music for theater (including some commissioned works for the festival in Avignon), for dance, for her jazz quartet, for mixed orchestra (a mixture of classical and contemporary music).

Michèle Claude and Ensemble

installation view; photographs: © artist

Together with her inspiring musicians in her ensemble Aromates Isabelle Duval, Jean-Baptiste Frugier, Jean-Lou Descamps, Françoise Enock, Julien Blanchard, Elizabeth Seitz, Freddy Eichelberger, Michèle Claude has developed a music between tradition and modernity, composition and improvisation, Orient and Occident. All musicians are classically trained, but are creating very different sound effects on old and new instruments, medieval, baroque, contemporary, gypsy sounds, Cuban rhythms and jazz.

CD cover Jardin du myrtesCD cover Rayon de LuneCD cover AksakCD cover Partage

cover art: © artist

Her first CD with the ensemble Aromates, Jardin de Myrtes, was classifiedby the FNAC as "coup de coeur" in 2005, as well as the second CD, Rayon de Lune in 2007. After the two recordings with Arab-Andalusian musical references, a third CD, Aksak, appeared, which is influenced by the musical legacy of the Balkan regions, characterized by their dances, and the irregular rhythms which Bartok has characterized with the Turkish term Aksak (limping). In the CD Partage which was released in 2011, the ensemble interprets the melodies from the traditional Andalusian repertoire from the 9th to the 19th Century, that is, from Zyriab and his followers:

Imagine for a moment to be at the court of the Umayyads, the kalifs of Spain, who loved to surround themselves with the greatest mathematicians, philosophers, architects, poets, singers and other free spirits and scholars of the time.
In the 9th Century the great musician Zyriab arrives in Baghdad. He is a singer, virtuoso oud player, a brilliant composer, poet, and is about to introduce a new art of living in this region "Al Andalus". Since then he has become an icon of Andalusian music.
He is the first mythical musician who had great influence on the legendary World Music of the Gypsys (flamenco), the Arab countries in North Africa, the Middle East (Andalusian Nuba, muwhash'sha), Jews (Sephardic music), and the New World, Argentina and Cuba (Guajira, Milonga). Zyriab is a symbol of tolerance, sophistication, knowledge and culture. Many mediterranian artists find their inspiration from the Andalusian music of the times of the troubadours.

"…The ensemble Aromates distilled the notes of music to offer to us all the perfumes of the Orient"
Isabelle Perrin, Resmusica.

"One might therefore think that the Arab-Andalusian musical traditions already hold some instrumental effects that are worthy of a Ravel. The style is unique and delicate, a happy synthesis reached from both traditions, the medieval Western music and Oriental music"
Jacques Amblard, Le Monde de la Musique

"…Michèle Claude awakens with unerring intuition the Andalusian repertoire of Ziryab and his successors. She allows us to discover in a new way -and with what vibrancy! - a baroque Orient and an oriental Occident!"
Abed Azrié

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