Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jean-Marc Montera 13 Questions

Jean-Marc Montera, French guitarist with origins in rock, specialising in free improvisation and sound experimentation, he performs solo and in different groups, AMP (Trio of guitarists, Akchoté / Montera / Pauvros), The Room (Duo with Sophie Gonthier), Meditrio (with medievalist musicians Julien Ferrando – clavicytherium / Jean-Michel Robert – theorbo and electronic). Exploiting the full range of amplified and acoustic strings: resonances, percussion, distortions, extensions and misappropriations of all styles, he evokes a world of abstract sound and the daily mechanisms of life and the city.

Amongst the most active musicians in the field of improvisation, since the 1970’s he has increased encounters and contact with other artistic worlds so much so that he is breaking the barriers between the different genres. He participates in many collaborations, for example with image, Salvo Cuccia, José Cesarini…., the theatre, Hubert Colas, Jean-Claude Berutti, Peter Palitzsch…, dance, Odile Duboc, collective Skalen, and Fine arts, Sandy Amério, Lionel Scoccimaro, Richard Baquié...

With more than thirty albums recorded with different groups, his first solo album, Hang Around Shouts, was released in 1995 with the label FMP (Free Music Production).
In 2011, he produces Les Anges du Péché with Lee Ranaldo and Thruston Moore, guitar players from Sonic Youth, than in 2012 the album 13 Impros with Fanny Paccoud about thirthteen marseillan artists. In october 2013 he recorded What’s Up ? around poetry women from the Beat Generation, on the label Signatures (Radio France).

He has collaborated with Fred Frith, André Jaume, Barre Phillips, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Louis Sclavis, Michel Doneda, Ahmad Compaoré, Christine Wodrascka, Pauline Oliveros, Pascal Contet, Gérard Siracusa
He was invited in two special concerts with Sonic Youth (La Villette-Paris 2007) and Patti Smith (Fondation Cartier - Paris 2009).

In 2001 he created l’Ensemble d’Improvisateurs Européens bringing together Hans Koch, Thomas Lehn, Hélène Breschand, Dan Vandewalle, Lelio Giannetto, Chris Cutler and Taavi Kerikmaé. This ensemble specialised in the interpretation of existing graphic scores (Cornelius Cardew, John Cage, Earl Brown…), and of those commissioned by young composers (Pierre-Yves Macé and Annette Schlünz) .

Jean-Marc Montera co-founded GRIM (Group of Musical Research and Improvisation) in 1978. He joined forces with stage director Hubert Colas in 1999 to found Montévidéo, centre of contemporary art creations in Marseille.The centre’s priority is to create links, to establish interactivity between music and theatre in their most modern forms and to increase confrontations between artists and disciplines.

What do you remember about your first approach to music?

The sound of my grandfather’s guitar playing an old corsican tune!

Which was the first and the last record you bought with your own money?

The first bought was Band of Gypsys - Jimi Hendrix / the last one was Blues & Roots - Charles Mingus; Mono french edition from 1960.

How's your musical routine practice?

...playing guitar as well as possible and reading poetry.

What's the relevance of technique in music, in your opinion?

...the real relevance of technic is for it to be forgotten and just to serve the music.


Why do you need music? Can we live without music?

With years it’s became like air it help me to live. Probably some people can do it … For my part, I’ve never tried.

What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?

To give to sounds as much life than cats ...

Depict the sound you're still looking for, or the sound you'd like to hear.

Putting aside the sound of Silence - the sound of the water on an other planet !

How do you feel listening to your own music?

I don’t like it ! I prefer take time to listen to others musicians ...

Concert au club de Jazz "Pelle-Mele" - Marseille, 2008. Jean-Marc Montera (guitare), Jac Berrocal (trompette), Ahmad Compaoré (batterie)

What special or extrange techniques do you use?

I don’t think I use more special or strange technics than the others guitar players practicing improvising and experimental music. I’m autodidact and like all other I’ve developed my personal technic, very different of the conventional one.

Which is the main pleasure of the strings? What are their main limitation?

The main pleasure of strings is the sense of touch under the fingers ! the main limitation ? … the guitar one are too short !!!

Matt Smiley, Paul Elwood, Raphael Imbert, Jean-Marc Montera - Fall of the House of Usher. Silent Film music for 1928's "Fall of the House of Usher"

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

Two things : the first one, a Barre Philips concert in 1973 or 74 with the french guitar player Raymond Boni; the second one, derived from the first, DUO 2, Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton.
These two events have changed my musical life.

What do you recall about your playing learning process?

...the difficulties to play the music from other musicians, to learn their tunes.
Today and always… !


What is your relationship with other art disciplines?

Since 1973, my first experience with the theatre, I continue to work with. I’ve worked 10 years with the same dance cie Skanlen, and my two last records projects were one duo with an alto player about 13 painters (LP¨13 Impros) and a double cd on the Radio France french label Signature about women poetry of the Beat Generation (What’s up ? Noel Akchoté, Jean-François Pauvros, Sophie Gonthier, Lee Ranaldo, Ernie Brooks and Ahmad Compaoré)… I need to be in contact with the other disciplines, for the music, for the life.

Where are your roots? What are your secret influences?

My roots are in Corsica. It’s may be why I’m so interested by traditional musics ! I think my «secret» infuence putting aside music I think is the poetry… or painting. I don’t know, that depends of the day...

What would you enjoy most in an art work?

To be alone with myself.

If you could, what would you say to yourself 35 years ago, about your musical career?

Incredible !!!

Which living or dead artist would you like to collaborate with?

Roland Kirk

What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?

"Come and take your guitar"  - the french saxophone player André Jaume from a concert in 1972

What instruments and tools do you use?

Mainly, a Custom shop Telecaster (customised !) and some old pedals, plus some tools bought in
different stores (special tools for kitchen, hardware store …)

What is the most recent musical experience that has attracted your attention?

...two LP : Scott Walker & sun)))O (Stephen O’malley) and the strange LP Metallica and Lou Reed LULU
Hated by everybody but I ‘m sure it will be duly recognized ...

Concert d'ouverture du festival Jazz à la Villette - Paris, 2007
Sonic Youth featured Mats Gustafson, Jena-Marc Montera, Michel Doneda

Selected Discography

Michel Redolfi, avec A. Jaume, Frank Royon Le mée 
Côte D’Azur CDA 02, 1970’s

Anna S. et autres histoires
Yves Robert, G. Siracusa, Jean-Marc Montera 
GRIM Musiques 1, 1983

André Jaume duos 
GRIM Musiques, 1983

Les rencontres du Havre 
compilation - Trio J-M Montera, G.Siracusa, Y. Robert, et Doneda, 1984

André Jaume Quartet et Tavagna 

Elogio dell’ombra 
Thierry Maucci 
GRIM Musiques 4

Jacques Diennet, Christian Tarting, avec Irène Jarsky, 
André Jaume, Joe McPhee, Martine Pisani (récitante)
Hat ART 2035

Piazza di Luna 
Tavagna, André Jaume et Rémi Charmasson
CELP, 1989

Ode à la paix  
Pierre de Ronsard (texte), A. Jaume, Riad Bensalem, (perc),
Robert Rossi (voix), chorale d’enfants Karoun, Ensemble
Instrumental K. Baghdassarian prod.
Appel des cents., 1989

Maarten Altena, Paul Lovens, Jean-Marc Montera, Mario Schiano
Rome, SPLACH(S) Record, 1990

Barre Philips, Claudia Philips, Hervé Bourde, Jean-Marc Montera,
CELP, 1990

10 years of the Festival "Musique Action"
Paul Lovens, Floros Floridis,
Transkei, Christine Wodrascka Quartet, Y. Romain, 
Y. Micenmacher, C. Wodrascka, J.M. Montera
Live au Petit Faucheux, 1994

Helter Skelter
Fred Frith / texte : F-M Pesenti
RecDeC 40

Hang aroud shout
Free Music Production  cd71, 1995

The arrow of time 
Floros Floridis (Carlos Zingaro, Paul Lovens …)
Ano kato record 2005,1996

Bits and Pieces 
Wolfgang Fuchs solo and duets, Evan Parker et Jean-Marc Montera 
FMP, 1996

Terra ARSA 
Gianni Gebbia, Miriam Palma, Vittorio Villa
More music -momus 004, 1996

Song Tong 
Paolo Damiani, Kenny Wheeler, G. Trovesi, 
M. Gianmarco, Maria Pia de Vito, Tiziana Simone, 
J-M Montera, S. Battaglia, J.Allouche, F. Maras 
Splasc(h) records CDH 460.2, 1997

A possible dawn 
Loren Mazzacane Connors, Thurston Moore, Jean-Marc Montera 

Improvvisazione Quartetto 
Mike Cooper, Jean-Marc Montera, Eugenio Sanna, Mauro Orselli 
ADA 03.11

Loren Mazzacane Connors, Thurston Moore, Jean-Marc Montera, Lee Ranaldo 
NYC 01/97 XERIC .NZA02

Postille nel tempo 1989-1996
Gianni Gebbia 
Black Line - MRF records- Rome

Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire  
Graphic scores 1986-1996 
Fred Frith 
IDA 04,1999

Michel Doneda, Erik M platines, Jean-Marc Montera 
Victo cd 068

Smiles from jupiter 
GROB 001

State of the union 2001 
Curator Elliott Sharp, EMF 028

Doogy Style #poèmes soniques
Leos Ator, Nicolas Dick, Cedric Neuser, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Ferran Fages...
L’ovni tendre, 2004

duo Jean-Marc Montera et Louis Sclavis 
Fmp, 2005

 Taavi Kerikmäe – Mart Soo +1
trios with Jean-Marc Montera, Xavier Charles, Chris Cutler, Isabelle Duthoit 
Mkdk Records, 2007

 Improvised sound compostition 1 & 2
with Nappe, 2008

the room, the room 
 with Sophie Gonthier, self released 2008.

Shark Piano, Electric Cowboy Cacophony
Art and Humanities Research Council, 2008

 Je Garde Quelques Images pour mes Vies Posterieures, Best of Lio 
enregistrement en compagnie d'Hifiklub et de Lio, 2008

Outdoor Spell 
Participation à l’enregistrement du cd de Rhys Chatham
Front Porch Productions

Idi Di Marzo 
duo Jean-Marc Montera et Francesco Calendrino 
eh? 64, 2009

with Sandy Amerio
GRIM Marseille 2010

Back To La Tomate
 live with Hifiklub and Lee Ranaldo 
Parallel Factory, Les Disques en Rotin Réunis, 2010

How To Make Friends 
with Hifiklub
Le Son du Maquis, Parallel Factory, Harmonia Mundi, 2010

trio Akchoté / Montera / Pauvros
Production Eric Lapierre et El Sound, 2011

Nice Folks
Music of Paul Elwood featuring Famoudou Don Moye 
and The Invisible Ensemble

Les anges du péché
duo Jean-Marc Montera avec L. Ranaldo T. Moore 
Label Dysmusie, 2011

13 Impros
duo Jean-Marc Montera et Fanny Paccoud 
Grim Musiques 6, 2012

with Hifiklub
Les Disques en Rotin, 2012

What’s Up, femmes poètes de la Beat Generation, 
Jean-Marc Montera, Sophie Gonthier, Fanny Paccoud, Ernie Brooks, 
Ahmad Compaoré, Lee Ranaldo, Jean-François Pauvros, Noël Akchoté,
Signature (Radio France), 2013

Vacanze in Pigna
with Hifiklub