Duo Royer / Collard-Neven

01 Jan 1998

Duo Royer / Collard-NevenVincent Royer and Jean-Philippe Collard Neven met in 1998 while taking part in a european tour of the Musiques Nouvelles Ensemble. A few passionate conversations latter, a duo was born. Many traits link them: their involvement in all musics of today, an interest in the resonances between music and other forms of expression, their eclecticism.

Together they cover a very wide spectrum of musical practices. Interpreters of the greatest composers of today but also discoverers of new talents, jazzmen, orchestra musicians, accompanists of french chanson, testers of the electro sphere, composers or improvisers for theater, dance, silent film, they also participate in projects connected with literature and philosophy.

In 2000, the 25th anniversary of Chostakovich’s death gives them a chance to interpret his last work, the sonata for viola and piano, in the presence of one of his former students, Viktor Kissin. The latter promptly accepts the project of writing a sonata for the duo. It marked the beginning of a series of orders among which there would be Suzanne Giraud, Jean-Pierre Deleuze, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Vinko Globokar, Michaël Riessler, David Shea, Fabrizio Cassol, the visual artist Bob Vershueren who composes soundtracks based on the manipulation of vegetable particles, on which the duo improvised.

Since 2003, the duo has been working in collaboration with the Wallon Center of Education and Musical Researches (CRFMW) which follows their work and provides the composers with technical assistance in the making of electronic pieces.

It was in the beginning of 2003 that the duo asked Luc Ferrari to write them a piece for viola, piano and memorized sounds. Vincent Royer had met him the previous year in Chicago and had been quite impressed by his music. At the start the project was not that appealing to him. He gaves priority to composing for grand ensemble which seems to him to better express his musical aspirations. But latter he contacted the duo again as he had finally began a to compose for them: Fortuitous Encounters. Rapidly, the Dijon Festival Why Note showed interest in welcoming the world creation of the piece as well as another creation by David Shea. In November 2003 the small group of artists spent a week in Dijon in an remarkably productive atmosphere of shared work and mutual exchanges. Strong friendship bonds resulted with Luc, Brunhilde his wife, David Shea and the whole festival team. The experience was so rewarding that Ferrari composed as early as the beginning of 2004 another piece for the duo, Didascalies, which the latter would create in Brussels in may of the same year. Guy-Marc Hinant, from the label Sub Rosa, was among the audience. It is there that were born the projects of the present cd as well as those connected with the recording of The Book of Scenes by David Shea, in a trio with the composer at the sampler. The Ferrari cd was completed in coproduction with the Brême radio where Fortuitous Encounters and Didascalies were to be recorded, Then, a new version of Tautologos III was recorded and mixed at the Muse en Circuit, electro acoustic composition and radio creation studio founded by Luc in 1982. Luc directed and literally sculpted the recording by guiding improvisations, seeking sounds and textures together with the interpreters, painstakingly regulating the transformation of effects with the sound engineer Christophe Hauser, an old friend. In the cabin, discreet, Brunhilde voiced her invariably pertinent opinion thus fully taking part in this creation, which would be Luc’s last, in that early july of 2005.

The film directed by Guy- Marc Hinant is a witness to these privileged moments.

“For quite some years already, I have been attentively following the evolution of these two uncommon young musicians. For indeed, Vincent Royer and Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven possess a particularly precious musician’s quality: they do not differentiate between the music and its interpreter. Their approach is a search for the truth which transforms a musical score in a moving experience of reality. It is in this that I see the confirmation of their duo take up the most demanding of challenges: Dimitri Chostakovich’s sonata for viola and piano. It is with joy that I take part in their project of a series of creations by writing a sonata for them, for I see in Jean-Phillipe Collard and Vincent Royer the most authentic of spokespersons.” Viktor Kissine

Duo Royer / Collard-Neven
from Vincent Royer.