“It is often said that my music makes people travel, whatever the musical contexts in which it is spread.
With Camel, it is even more the case!
Our music is reassuring, because it is anchored, and this anchoring allows us all freedoms.
Anchored to what? To us. Well secured!
To Camel, well anchored to his passions – to all musics of the Sahel and further on, and to his experimenter curiosity; to me, to jazz and various forms of melody improvisation; and to both of us, to the qualitative identity of the sound – a true common passion, for sure! – and also, to rhythm, to pulse, solid and light.” Denis Colin
In a funfair, during the 19th century, Doctor Caligari exhibits in his hut a sleepwalker named Césare, supposed to be gifted at predicting the future. One evening, he announces to a student his death before dawn. At daybreak, the student is actually found assassinated. A series of murder is committed in the small town. Is Césare the responsible murderer, hypnotized by his Master?
The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari is the cult film of the post-war German expressionism (1919). Practically all the decors are painted with sharp angles and distorted perspectives that get lost in frightening shades. Plastic cohesion between action, lighting, decors and actors makes this singular film a monument. Through the various themes raised, it also found a strong political echo in its time, in Germany, but perhaps even more in France, where the word “caligarism” has entered the common language.
«“I was always interested by the relationship between music and image. Film concert writing is very specific. It is a question of finding the right balance between both “presences” – the film, with its scenario, and the music, with its development – each of them obeying to different laws. I have to create a relationship between the two, a relation that enables them to support, to amplify, to deepen one another. Our music updates a film already old (soon a century) and the film supports the narration of our musical universe. This is enthralling.” Denis Colin
Denis Colin | Composition, bass clarinet and contralto clarinet
Charley Bowers is an American film maker whose most important production can be summed up in five years, from 1926 to 1931. He is one of the pioneers of the animated films and the inventor of a single, delusional and unbridled imaginary world, mixing animation and real characters. His character, Mr. Bricolo, invents eccentric machines and stops at nothing to carry out his projects.
Egged on | 23 mn
Grillroom Express | 5 mn
Fatal footstep | 23 mn
This assemblage seems to us the most promising. We can increase its duration by adding other films. We also worked on Many a slip (13 mn) and A sleepless night (10 mn).
We can also shorten the show by withdrawing one of films.
The films are silent and, once in a while, commented with narrative panels inserted between two shots. These English panels are subtitled in French. We already performed this show for very young children who cannot read yet, but this aspect does curb their enthusiasm.
Denis Colin elaborated an original and touching music, nourished by jazz, blues and improvisations.
Denis Colin | Composition, bass clarinet and contralto clarinet
Didier Ithursarry | Accordion
Benoît Lugué | Electric bass and electronic effects
The Charley Bowers cycle was created in May 2011 in Fontenay-sous-Bois (94). It was produced by Les Arpenteurs du Son, co-produced by Musiques au Comptoir and the town of Fontenay-under-Wood. This creation received the support of the DRAC Ile-de-France.
Recognized harmonist, Jean-Philippe Rameau is also a colourist and a melodist of genius. The inventiveness of its topics and the natural swing of the baroque phrase are the meeting point of Denis Colin, hyper creative jazzman, and Franck-Emmanuel Count, baroque musician explorer of new sonorities. Their coloured and atypical musical universes mix happily. During the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, it became clear that Denis Colin bass clarinet velouté and swing was a perfect match for the baroque instruments and counterpoint. This sound marriage is underlined by Henri Charles Caget’s digital percussions. Rameau stands out rejuvenated and revitalized from this unprecedented and tousling encounter!
There are some fellow travelers whom we invite in our intimate perimeter without never meeting them. In Denis Colin’s journey, Nino Ferrer is this traveler, whom presence has always been far but persistent. Both men never met, never exchanged a word nor a note. But it is like if, hidden within Denis’ heart, the singer had to some extent always been there…
It is there, in this search of interactions as well as fragile and intense balances between melody, verb and song, that Univers Nino also draws all his essence, all his sense. With kind of an echo, which at once would cross time and genres, he answers the same requirements and ideals than those of the Téléfon and Oh Eh Hein Bon‘s author – who, blues and soul lover trained through jazz, lift himself out of his condition of yé-yé star to rise to the rank of a fully-fledged composer in the Seventies, free of show-biz constraints and popular song formats. It is to this Nino Ferrer, a creator refusing routine and facility, effusive, daredevil and finally ignored, that Denis Colin pays also tribute – a tribute all but affected, an homage to the level of the figure.
Not only did Denis Colin rise to the challenge: it spiced it by brightening it up with finds as audacious as judicious. Initially by handing the reins of vocal interpretation mainly to Ornette, the singer and keyboardist who conveys so naturally Nino Ferrer’s word towards expressive and totally pristine horizons. Then by writing arrangements for an ensemble as original as inventive. Playing the bass clarinet, an instrument completely absent from Nino Ferrer’s recorded heritage, already represented by itself kind of a challenge.
At the repertoire level, with the Mirza and Gherkins rhythm’ blues revisited pranks as well as the instantaneous classics such as Le Sud, La Maisonprès de la fontaine or The Garden, thus answer, with a rich and deep counterpoint, more twisted, dark and erudite late compositions, such these crabby pop tops that are Métronomie, Le Blues des rues désertes, L’Arbre Noir or La Désabusion. A whole network of secret correspondences, composed of tenuous wires, faults and cracks, is so woven into the very heart of Nino Ferrer’s repertoire.
This subtle mesh extends on scene by shades and reflections through Bruno Girard’s pictorial works, delicate graphic references to Hugo Pratt’s universe – a Nino Ferrer’s close relation, whom he drawn under the melancholic features of a captain of the white army in Corto Maltese enSibérie.
Univers Nino draws a whole changing and moving world, and carries out what any musical adventure worthy of this name should be: it is at the same time an individual and collective poetic challenge, a profitable exchange of fluids and energies between past and present, an ode mingled with the priceless richness of the memory as well as with the unforeseeable forces of imagination.
VERSION OF SONG MOBY DICK BY UNIVERS NINO
Denis Colin | Realization, bass clarinet, arrangement Ornette | Singing, keyboards Antoine Berjeaut | Trumpet, bugle Julien Omé | Guitares Théo Girard | Basses François Merville | Drums
Bruno Girard | Artistic Director Gilles Olivesi | Sound engineerin Jean-Mo Dutriaux | Lights
UNIVERS NINO ALSO COMES IN DUET VERSION WITH DENIS COLIN AND ORNETTE
LA RUA MADUREIRA SONG VERSION IN DUET WITH ORNETTE AND DENIS COLIN
Humanity has always been migrating, from the very beginning. Happy or unhappy. How to be welcoming or be welcomed?
Beyond their necessary survival, you’ll find in people who leave a quest for a better living, a force that carries them, a glance turned towards a place that seems to them capable of answering their aspirations. What do they really know about those who live in the places they look towards? And what if in our turn we were thrown into exile, bound or voluntary? Where to go?
I collect information: I read journals of famous travellers, I read poems; I listen to the musics of the countries they wrote about, I make them mine; I let emerge emotions triggered by these sounds and these stories, and let them sound in me.
DEPARTING is a concert. There, I wish to explore and offer an echo very personal to various “musics of the world”. I use quotation marks because my sensitivity understands that any music is music of the world. Some selected texts will be said with a musical accompaniment, and sometimes will be sung. The text/music link will be in the centre of our realization, each art sublimating the other.
Denis Colin | Design, musical composition, bass clarinet, voice
Notes, ideas or visions barely twisted on the bench of repetition, the magic operates already… Our tiny cathedrals are moving.
One can notice that energy flows, that relays function, that ears and hearts open to themselves, to others and to the world, that concerns for some are obsessions for others, that some ideas are perfectly shared and others arouse curiosity and interest…
”Alert Otherness and Share Panache” could be our motto. Work is always ”in process” – this is also that which we defend: hand-to-hand encounter with music and audience.
Weird musicians, rare gatherings, rebellious instruments, collective work, plural strategies, common thoughts… Collegiality allows things impossible when retreated in solitude.
‘’Diamond of off-beats, or even poker of souls,
Ace of heart, of laugh, of goblet and tears…
Colours tangle and figures blend,
Black, red, yellow and blue kings will travel around the world.