As a young mezzo-soprano, I mostly dedicated myself to the performance of contemporary and early music. In a similar fashion as for improvised music, I particularly enjoyed mixt ensemble work, which allows to investigate the relationship between voice and instruments, where vocal the range of expressivity and language is often broader than in the operatic genre.
My repertoire mainly consisted of german and italian baroque music, as well as a few instances of french works, mostly in the alto or countertenor range. I funded an ensemble, Les Riches Heures, with Ayumi Sunazaki and Olivia Gutherz.Our repertoire included instrumental works, as well as cantatas, madrigals and arias of F. Couperin, H. Purcell, C. Monteverdi, G. Caccini, G.-F. Haendel, G.-P. Telemann and J.-S Bach.
Cantata excerpt and Madrigal :
Vedrò'l mio sol (beg.) G. Caccini, madrigal (rec. December 2007)
Harpsichord: H. Dufour
Betörte Welt J.S. Bach, Alto aria, Cantata BWV 94Was frag ich nach der Welt? (rec. february 2009)
Traverso : A. Sunazaki, Positive: E. Seyranian, Viola da Gamba: Olivia Gutherz
Secular Italian Cantata:
Mi Palpita il Cor G.F. Haendel, Cantata HWV132c, Live recording, Musique au Jardin, Montfrin (July 7, 2009)
Traverso : A. Sunazaki, Harpsichord: E. Seyranian, Viola da Gamba: Olivia Gutherz
Concerts with Les Riches Heures:
I got involved into improvised music through personal encounters - with Sebastien Beliah - and as a student in Paris Conservatory with Alain Savouret. I mostly performed as a solo improvisor, for experimental movies, and in duets with saxophone player Antoine Daures. I also got to take part to workshops with Jean Luc Guionnet and Xavier Charles.
My approach of vocal improvisation was characterized by my technical baggage as much as by my musical and aesthetical self. It was influenced by solo performance and playing in my voice saxophone duet with the tenor player Antoine Daures, my identity as an instrumentalist with multiple backgrounds, be they classic, contemporary or experimental and my training as a lyric singer. As an example, I feel a greater proximity to the vocal works of Celsi, Hosokawa and Stockhausen's Stimmung, which allow an exploration of the timbral qualities of voice and use phonemes as a medium, rather than those of Aperghis whose core dwells in the meaning and oral expression and expressivity of speech.
These inclinations also determined the way I would address what would appear to me as an idiosyncratic frailty. Phonemes, and potential meaning carry some incompatibility with musical improvisation and the building of a work with other instrumentalists. I was hence led to extend and develop my technique to build a timbre based language and reach a purely musical sound universe, rather than a vocally idiomatic palette. In this regard, the constraint of using voice without any kind of artifacts, processing, or external device seemed paramount to me, although this might be paradoxical. Despite the challenge it represented, exploiting this raw vocal potential indeed seemed the key to build a consistent musical language and conception of vocal improvisation, independently from those idiosyncrasies.