August 31, 2007

HECTOR ZAZOU


"If music cannot change the world, what use does it have?"

This is the question raised by Hector Zazou, one of the most innovative and unpredictable French composers, as the versatility of his career demonstrates: rock music (the band Barricades), French impressionist music (the duet ZNR) or traditional African music (three albums with Bony Bikaye)... Hector Zazou has a surprise waiting with each new composition. Whether it be for string quartet, wind instruments, classical voices or synthesizers, all illustrate his passion for the most unexpected inventions.
The album "Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses" (1991- is yet another successful experiment blending century-old a-cappella songs with shades of contemporary music performed by Zazou and occasional collaborators such as Jon Hassell, Manu Di Bango, Richard Horowitz, Ryuichi Sakamoto and John Cale. The following year Hector's "Sahara Blue" was released: the album, based on the work of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud and performed by the Sahara Blue Orchestra stars David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Khaled, Dead Can Dance, Gérard Depardieu among other guests. Inspired by the musical folk traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, Hector's next adventure was "Songs From The Cold Seas" (1995), a literal journey through Siberian Shamanism, Scandinavian folk songs, Japanese ballads and Greenland mythology featuring an impressive cast of musicians including Värttina, Tokiko Kako, Suzanne Vega, Björk, Siouxsie and Jane Siberry. Released in 1998, "Lights In The Dark" – an exploration of ancient sacred Celtic music from the XIIth century featured some of the most beautiful Irish voices (Katie Mc Mahon, Breda Mayock and Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola), a gospel choir and guest appearances by Mark Isham, Carlos Nuñez, Caroline Lavelle or Peter Gabriel. A successful tour followed in France (Printemps de Bourges), Italy and Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival). Recorded with American singer Sandy Dillon, "Las Vegas Is Cursed" (2001) saw the return of Hector Zazou to electricity and experimentation (A flabbergasting baroque opera, a series of intriguing sonic scenes mixing electronic rock and altered chamber music (Keyboards Magazine).
This amazingly rich and eclectic career brings to light the pioneering aspect of Zazou's unique approach and confirms his position in the foreground of the world music scene.
In 2003 Hector Zazou composed an original soundtrack for Carl-Théodor Dreyer’s “la Passion de Jeanne d’Arc” while his new album “Strong Currents” was released, a collection of acoustic songs that was the fruit of several years of work (with Jane Birkin, Lisa Germano, Laurie Anderson…). Spring 2004 saw the release of “L’Absence”; an electronic twin of “Strong Currents”. He was then commissionned (by ciné-mix and Le Forum Des images in Paris)to compose another original soundtrack, this time for Robert Flaherty documentary “Nanouk Of The North”.
Hector Zazou has proven himself as a creative force behind several unsual projects, as a unique musical arranger and producer called upon for his constant capacity of innovétion. He has been commissionned to write pieces for strings ensembles (By the Balanescu Quartet), contemporary dance performances or for the opening night festivities of the 1998 football world cup.
Hector Zazou’s inventiveness as a producer has lead him to work with numerous artists among them Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo (Real World Records), Galician bagpipes player Carlos Nuñez,, Uzbek singer Sevara Nazarkhan (Yol Bolsin, Real World Records) , Italian band PGR (“Per Grazia Ricevuta”, released by Universal, was hailed as a masterpiece by the Italian press) and among others.
His most recent project, a CD/DVD titled Quadri [+] Chromies, result of a two years collaboration with French digital painter Bernard Caillaud is scheduled for release early 2006...
“In England they have Peter Gabriel, in America they have David Byrne, in France we have Hector Zazou” (Jean-françois Bizot)

-Sahara blue (Released 1992)
Crammed Discs/Sony
Arranged & Produced by Hector Zazou

Anneli Drecker, Lisa Gerrard, John Cale, Dominique Dalcan, Barbara Gogan, Samy Birnbach, Sussan Deihim, Khaled, Malka Spiegel, Ketema Mekonn (lead vocals)
Brendan Perry (lead vocals, bodhran, percussions)
Gérard Depardieu, Richard Bohringer (spoken words)
Yuka Fujii (introduction vocals)
Tim Simenon (beats & samples programming)
Bill Laswell (bass guitar, effects, beats)
Daniel Yvinec (bass guitar)
Keith Leblanc, Steve Shehan (percussions)
Kent Condon, Vincent kenis, David Sylvian (guitars) )
Daniel Manzanas (acoustic guitars)
Kenji Jammer (guitars & guitar effects)
Denis Moulin (guitar & percussions)
Nabil Khalidi (oud)
Ryuichi Sakamoto (piano)
Guy Sigsworth (keyboards)
Christian Lechevretel (trombones, trumpets, organ, keyboards)
Renaud Pion (clarinets, bass clarinet, saxophones, bass flute)
Elisabeth Valletti (harp & backing vocals)
Lightwave (Special effects)
Matt Stein (computer programming, loops)
Eric Henrion (additional drum)
Hector Zazou (keyboards, electronics, guitar)

Download: rapidshare


-Songs from the cold seas (released 1994)
"Chansons des Mers froides" arranged & produced by hector zazou

värttina, björk, siouxsie, suzanne vega, tokiko kato, jane siberry, lena willemark, catherine ann macphee, marina schmidt,
lioudmila khandi, elisha kilabuk, koomoot nooveya, wimme saari john cale (vocals)
tchoghtguerele chalchin (shaman song)
ale möller (mandola)
b.j. cole (peal steel guitar)
lone kent, marc ribot (electric guitar)
elisabeth valletti (harp)
noriko sanagi (koto)
jan johan andersen (khomou – mouth harp)
shakarine percussions group, sissimut dance drummers, aïnu dancers of hokkaido (percussions)
brendan perry, angelyn tytot, budgie (percussions)
ivan sopotchine (ethnic drums)
orlan mongouch (balalaïka bass)
sara lee, guy delacroix herpin (bass guitar)
harold budd, patrick morgenthaler (electric piano)
renaud pion (bass clarinet, keyboards, scottish pipes, clarient, flute, ewi)
mark isham (trumpet)
lightwave (sound programming)
the balanescu string quartet
hector zazou (programming, keyboards & electronic)
note :
a journey into the musical traditions of the northern hemisphere, three years in the making including travels in the coldest regions of the world, "songs from the cold seas", originally inspired by barry lopez's book "artic dreams" is one of hector zazou's most ambitious project. a creative and logistical challenge.
Download: mediafire

Hector Zazou & Harold Budd – Glyph – Crammed 1995


Download: rapidshare

-Lights in the dark
Released 1998
Detour/Eerato/Warner
arranged & produced by hector zazou



breda mayock, katie mcmahon, lasairfhiona ni chonaola (lead vocals)
kristen noguez (harp)
papa d'jabate (kora)
noriko sanagi (koto)
mark isham (trumpet & trumpet arrangements)
andre compostel (hurdy gurdy & zither))
thierry robin (oud)
carlos nuñez (ocarina & flute)
ivan tchekine (flute)
didier malherbe (pekou)
hossam ramzay & pierre d'aquin (percussions)
brendan perry (percussions, berimbau, hurdy gurdy & backing vocals)
kent condon, jacques pellen (guitar)
françoise debout (bass & theremin)
germain de loing (indian violin)
richard bourreau (violin)
caroline lavelle (cello)
ryuichi sakamato (piano)
peter gabriel (backing vocals)
john b. (loops)
hector zazou (sounds)
silap' (choir) jean-paul elise, thierry françois, donovan jones, edouard lavanne, jean-marc reyno, aliou sangare
the wiltshire souls (english spoken words)
all compositions traditional (except amergin music by hector zazou).
Download: mediafire

Hector Zazou & Sandy Dillon - 12(las vegas is cursed)
released 2000 cd
Crammed Discs
arranged & produced by hector zazou


sandy dillon (vocals)
marc ribot (guitars)
porl thompson (guitars)
justin adams (guitars)
christian lechevretel (trumpet & trombone)
renaud pion (clarinet, flute, saxophone)
daniel yvinec (double-bass)
bill rieflin (drums)

all compositions by sandy dillon & hector zazou except "her eyes are blue a million miles" by captain beefheart, "excuse me" by lisa germano & hector zazou, "sombre(le submarine)" by hector zazou, "squawk#2" by steve bywater.

Download: rapidshare

-L'Absence (released 2004)
arranged & produced by Hector Zazou

Nicola Hitchcock, Caroline Lavelle, Emma Stow, Edo, Lucrezia Von Berger, Asia Argento (vocals)
Laurence Revey & Caroline Crawley (harmony vocals)
Harold Budd, Medor Mader (piano)
Lone Kent, Marco Lamioni & Ronnie Bird (guitars)
Philippe De La Coix Herpin (saxophone)
Vieri Bugli, Mauro Tabbrucci (Violins)
Marcello Puliti (viola)
Damiano Puliti (cello)
Bill Rieflin (drums & percussions)
Hector Zazou (all other instruments & electronics)

Download: mediafire

Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it!



52 comments:

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