I am a saxophone player. When I think about it today, the evidence of this statement strikes me : no other instrument could have fitted me so perfectly. It truly embodies my personality. I am a very hearty human being: I like to share – laughs, experiences, ideas, secrets – , I like to tell stories that captivate people – my friends, family, students, audience -, I like to shine in various ways – with an eccentric look, a successful challenge, or a smile. I have always needed an audience, and a stage. In a very natural way, I fell in love with the saxophone and its warm, generous voice coming out of its bright golden body. But if my personality initially induced this choice, later, the influence has reversed and the qualities of my instrument itself shaped my own artistic path.
One of the saxophone’s main characteristics is its remarkable adaptability : it is convincing in a surprisingly broad scope of musical genres, ranging from experimental music to DJ sets. I am fascinated by multi-faceted tools and people (one of my idols is Barbara Hannigan… for dancing, conducting and singing all together at such an incredible level of excellence). Accordingly, transdisciplinary performances are a strong aspect of my artistic practice: I am a funding member of SIBJA Art Collective, a collective gathering musicians, dancers and visual artists, dedicated to these experimentations and collaborations. It gives me a unique way to express my ideas and tell stories, not only as an interpreter, but also as a performer and stage director. It also gives me a chance to present my music to audiences that would not have listened to it otherwise. In addition to the benefits of learning from other disciplines, I also enrich my own musical identity with other artistic practices, such as clothes design or dance. I like to think that all these aspects of myself join somewhere on stage, welded by the link that I weave between them.
The saxophone sparkles: its joyful color radiates far away, until the hall’s last row, and its powerful, voluptuous timber envelops the audience, just like a vibrating connection between the listeners. Its sound can also be smooth and intimate : I like to use all of its possibilities through various formats, from chamber music with piano (Akmi Duo) to soloist with orchestra, or as part of unusual ensembles (Duo Valentine & Gabriel Michaud, Sibja Saxophone Quartet, Alvin Lucier Ever Present Orchestra).
Old of just a couple decades, my instrument is, by force of circumstances, contemporary and innovative. Consequently, I am very committed to new music : I regularly collaborate with young composers and seek to question the traditional concert format. I am willing to bring audiences to unknown territories and confront them with a repertoire they wouldn’t have even imagined. But if the modern repertoire is my favorite playground, I also aim, by interpreting more classical works, to give saxophone the place it deserves among long-established instruments of the classical music world. Tradition and innovation converge in my engagement for youth via my educational activities. Who could have fresher ideas than children ? Sharing and teaching are close concepts, and the idea of transmission means a lot to me. Here again I can use my art as a vector for connection, not only between disciplines, or between me and my instrument, my colleagues or audiences, but also between generations, cultures, nations.
As a young artist of the 21st century, I must not only act as a link, but truly become one. Finding my way in a jungle of informations, images and sounds, I feel an urgent necessity to pierce the ever-changing mass of a complex society with a strong, clear and welcoming tunnel that conveys ideas, feelings and emotions between people, using the universal language of music. Just like the thin stream of air flowing through a metallic cone from my initial breath to the heart of listeners.