Sunday, November 30, 2014

Serge Teyssot-Gay 13 Questions

Photo Earfish

Serge Teyssot-Gay, born 16 May 1963 in Saint-Etienne, is a French guitarist, co-founder of the group Noir Désir, active between 1980 and November 29, 2010. He also created the groups Zone Libre and Interzone. Serge Teyssot-Gay was born in Saint-Etienne, but moved in her childhood to Bordeaux, where he discovered the desire to play the guitar listening to Django Reinhardt at the age of nine. His youthful influences comes from AC / DC. He meets Bertrand Cantat and Denis Barthe in Bordeaux where they all studied at the Lycée Saint-Genes and form the group Noir Désir. While active, the band consisted of Bertrand Cantat (vocals, guitar), Serge Teyssot-Gay (guitar), Jean-Paul Roy (bass guitar) and Denis Barthe (drums).

Duo Ligne de Front Photo Ced Forban

With the success of Noir Désir in 1987, he became a central element of the musical group creation while engaging occasionally since 1996 in solo and experimental collaborations with musicians and writers from other backgrounds than rock. It sets to music literary texts (Georges Hyvernaud, Lydie Salvayre, Bernard Wallet, Attila Jozsef, Stig Dagerman, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Allen Ginsberg, Krzysztof Styczynski, Mike Ladd, Michel Bulteau, Saul Williams...).

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After the ending of Noir Désir in 2003, Serge created in 2005 the duo Interzone with Syrian oud player Khaled Al-Jaramani, he met in Damascus during a tour of Noir Désir in April 2002, with whom he made three albums. His encounter with Marc Sens (guitar) and Cyril Bilbeaud (drums) also gives rise to the trio Zone Libre. They performed together the soundtrack of the film Magma Stone Vinour, and added to their free-rock texts and voice rappers French scene: Hame, Casey, B. James. He has also released two solo albums "Silence Radio" (1996) and "On croit qu'on en est sorti" (2000)

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He also works as a duo with the painter Paul Bloas to achieve a performance painting / guitar on Ligne de Front (Frontline). He participates in the project SleepSong with New Yorker Mike Ladd, depicting the war "from the testimonies of veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts." Since January 2012, he performed in duo with jazz bassist Joelle Leandre, and with Carol Robinson and Bultingaire. He regularly plays cinema concerts in duet with Cyril Bilbeaud as Zone Libre. Since 2013, he played with the musician Barrow (baschet crystal and seraphim).

In 2013 Zone Libre  created  Aimé Césaire’s  Cahier d’Un Retour au Pays Natal  (A return To The Native Land) with Marc Nammour on vocals. In 2014, Zone Libre extended as Zone Libre Polyurnaine with Marc Nammour et Mike Ladd on vocals. In 2014, Interzone Extended quintet became a sextet, featuring Carol Robinson (on clarinets, birbine and vocals ), Keyvan Chemirani (on percussion), Médéric Collingnon (on trumpet and vocals) and Marc Nammour on poetry and vocals).

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"I finally feel free. Happy and proud with my own label, Interval Triton." Through this direct operation that requires him to speak to treat music as grant applications, it can make a record "every six months" and now " refuse to play for streaming music sites that have passed contracts with big record and shall repay per share listened to artists." For Serge Teyssot-Gay , things are now much simpler. "When I 'm unhappy with the direction of the label , I look in the mirror and I yell. "

What do you remember about your first guitar? 
Whats the last guitar you've bought?

(D’avoir les doigts en feu).
Having my fingers on fire
(Une guitare de marque Meloduende avec un corps en aluminium. Pour vivre une expérience différente de celle vécue avec des guitares qui ont un corps en bois.)
A Meloduende guitar, with a body made of aluminium. To live a different experience from the ones with wooden bodies.

What do you expect from music?

(Qu’elle me remplisse tous les jours.)
That it fills me everyday

Which work of your own are you most surprised by, and why?

(Aucun particulièrement, j’ai adoré tous les accidents, les découvertes, sur tous mes projets.)
None of them in particular, I loved every accident and discovery in all my works.

What's the relevance of technique in music, in your opinion?

(La technique au service du langage, oui c’est très important.)
Technique in the service of language, yes it is very important.

What quality do you admire most in an musician?
What’s the difference between a good player and a bad one?

(La capacité de  jouer en  engageant tout son corps, en se laissant transpercer par les sons.)
The ability to play with the whole body, to let sounds go right through you.

(Le son.)

If you could, what would you say to yourself 20 years ago, about your musical career?
What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?

(Rien de spécial, enfant je voulais être guitariste.)
Nothing in particular, as a child I wanted to be a guitarist

(Difficile à dire tant j’absorbe tout ce qui peut m’aider dans mon travail.)
Difficult to say,  I absorb everything that can help me to work.

Depict the sound you're still looking for. (You can use an image, a quote, an oblique or indirect picture).

(Je ne sais pas, je cherche, c’est ça qui m’intéresse.)
I don’t know, I am searching, that’s what I’m in.

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

(La joie d’être envahi par des sons.)
Joy of being overwhelmed by sounds

How would you define silence? and noise?

(Très proches.)
Very close

What are your motivations for playing music?

(Etre en vie.)
Being alive

What other tools do you use?

(Du métal, du verre, du bois, des coquillages, des plumes, un archet, mes doigts.)
Metal, glass, wood, shells, feathers, bow, my fingers

What's your best musical experience?
What would you enjoy most in a music work?
What do you like the most about being a musician?

(Des milliers.)
Thousands of them.
(Le processus de travail, la conception pour la composition, ou la composition en temps réel pour la scène.)
 Work process, design for composition, or composition in real time on stage

What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

Creating the crossing of a cyclone right to the center and get out of it,  25 mn piece
- Trans 2, a second album with Joëlle Léandre, to be released in march 2015- Debout dans les cordages, recorded by Zone Libre and Marc Nammour with Aimé Césaire text Cahier d’Un Retour Au Pays Natal.

Zone Libre Polyurbaine : fusion of rock riffs, rap flows, African Polyrhythmics and
oriental rhythms, with Mike Ladd et Marc Nammour on vocals

- Riposte, a book-and-record, with  poets Krzysztof Styczynski, Michel Bulteau and
Saul Williams on vocals

- Ligne de Front  DVD with the painter Paul Bloas.

Where are your roots?  What are your secret influences? 

(Mes origines sont dans la nature.
Mes influences secrètes sont les gens.)
My roots are nature
My secret influences are people.

What do you recall about your playing learning process?

 (Des milliers d’heures de recherches solitaires, des milliers de fois les mêmes gestes pour que le corps apprenne à être précis, des milliers d’heures de réflexions.)
Thousands of hours of solitary research, thousands times the same movements so that the body learns to be precise, thousands of hours of  thought.

What is your relationship with other disciplines such as painting, literature, dance, theater...?

 (Je joue en duo avec des artistes travaillant dans ces quatre disciplines. J’en apprends toujours
quelque chose de stimulant pour ma musique.)

I play duets with artists in those four disciplines. I always learn something that will stimulate my

Selected Discography 

Noir Désir

1987 : Où veux-tu qu'je r'garde?

1989 : Veuillez rendre l'âme (à qui elle appartient)

1991 : Du ciment sous les plaines

1992 : Tostaky

1994 : Dies Irae


1996 : 666.667 Club

1998 : One Trip/One Noise

2001 : Des visages des figures

2004 : Nous n'avons fait que fuir

2005 : Noir Désir en public


1996 : Silence Radio

2000 : On croit qu'on en est sorti


2005 : Interzone

 2007 : Deuxième Jour

2013 : Waiting for Spring

Zone libre

2007 : Faites vibrer la chair

2009 : L'Angle mort (With Hamé de la Rumeur and Casey)

2011 : Les Contes du Chaos (With Casey and B.James from collectif Anfalsh)

With Joëlle Léandre

2012 : TRANS (Intervalle Triton/L’autre Distribution)

2015 : TRANS 2 (Intervalle Triton/L’autre Distribution)  

Books and Records Sets

with Lydie Salvayre

2002 : Contre
2006 : Dis pas ça

With Krzysztof Styczynski

2007 : Des millions de morts se battent entre eux

With Denis Lavant

2008 : Attila József, à cœur pur (ISBN 9782020967990)


1993 : Hunger of a Thin Man de Théo Hakola
1997 : Blues Stories de Little Bob
1998 : 1000 Vietnam de Giorgio Canali
1999 : Les P'tits Papiers With le collectif Liberté de Circulation.
2000 : Faux-ami de Marc Sens
2001 : Who Defecates in Your Head Bob? de Quincannon
2004 : Paris nous nourrit, Paris nous affame sur l'album Regain de Tension de La Rumeur
2007 : Je suis une bande ethnique à moi tout seul sur l'album Du Cœur à l'Outrage de La Rumeur
2007 : Je cherche (enregistré en 2004) sur l'album 1997-2007 Les Inédits de La Rumeur
2007 : Le Syndrome du polo vert (et marron rayé) sur l'album Spoke Orkestra n'existe pas
2009 : J'ai rien compris mais je suis d'accord de Nonstop


Webpage Interzone | Interzone 3rd Jour | Noir DesirWikipedia | Intervale Triton

Sandy Ewen 13 Questions

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1985, Sandy Ewen received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Since then she has resided in Houston, TX where she pursues musical and visual projects and she's a practicing architect. Ewen has released several albums, including a duo with guitarist Tom Carter, a trio with bassist Damon Smith & drummer Weasel Walter, and five rock albums with Austin’s Weird Weeds. Ewen’s visual work is closely tied to her work in sound; she uses both mediums to explore texture, composition and materials.

Ewen’s microcollages, enlarged through projection and digital printing, are an exploration of material and technique. Using a unique process pioneered by the artist, natural materials and polymers are torn, liquefied, scorched, melted, cut, and fused. When enlarged, the microscopic nuances of these manipulations are manifested in exquisite detail. Ewen has presented prints of her work at 14 Pews (2012), Spacetaker/Fresh Arts (2012), Khon’s (2013) & Galeria Regina (2014).

As an improviser in both art and music, Ewen sees herself as guiding materials and space rather than executing a preconceived composition. “I like to explore mediums and materials and tease out their essence,” says Ewen. “Working with slide projections has focused my eye on the subtitles of natural processes of decay and transformation. Through my work, I am asking questions of the materials rather than dictating answers.”

Ewen has performed with experimental rock group Weird Weeds since 2004, playing over 200 shows across Texas, the United States and Canada. (complete list:

Ewen has played improvised/experimental guitar since 2002. She has performed many hundreds of gigs in perhaps hundreds of different groupings.

Spiderwebs ƒ Tom Carter & Sandy Ewen

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

I'm not sure if or when I became a musician. It's a slippery slope. Maybe I forgot to stop being a musician, and for that I'd probably blame my music community and the countless hours I've invested in listening to music. A particular experience? I remember near silence, sailing out in the middle of the lake, nothing but the sound of waves lapping at the hull of my sailboat. Birds, loons. A breeze stirs the leaves in the trees. I can crush all that with guitar noise now.

What do you recall about your guitar learning process?

I've always been particularly adept at figuring things out by ear. These days I learn by exploring & experimenting. New implements, new sounds. New environment, new people to perform with, more new sounds.

Why and how do you use extended techniques in guitar?

The music that I present publicly is almost entirely extended technique. I find it to be perfect for improvisational collaborations because I can react with a physical gesture with more immediacy and with a more expansive sonic palate than I can playing with traditional techniques. I use a lot of objects, metal things, wires & brushes & chalk. I invented playing guitar with sidewalk chalk, it sounds a bit like rusty metal but nicer, smoother. Give it a try!

What is your relationship with other disciplines such as painting, literature, dance, theater ...?

In addition to playing guitar, I am an artist and architect. I have a project with a bellydancer and a filmmaker/guitar/keyboardist that incorporates video projection & my art projections with sound, movement & set design. I do projections and projection installations for other peoples' projects; I was projecting for a band and a bunch of fire-spinning flow artists a couple of weeks ago for example.

Where are your roots? What are your secret influences?

I think mostly I am influenced by the materials I work with. When I get some thing, I leave it around for a bit and wait to find out what it's going to be useful for. Visual art supplies and musical supplies are sometimes interchangeable. My art/music studio is filled with broken things and packaging materials and a whole assortment of potentially useful trash. It's inspiring.

What would you enjoy most in an music work?

With recorded non-improvised music, I like it on the 3rd listen. Improvised music is best in a live setting. If the music is good, I like the music. If the music is bad, I prefer the beer & the discussions afterwards. I like it best when it's something I didn't know could be the way it is.

Which was the first musical sound do you remember?

Probably my dad playing the piano? Maybe the Beach Boys.

What quality do you most empatize with in a musician?

Being frustrated and unfufilled! Most of us musicians here in Texas are also concert organizers/promoters & DIY record labels. Whenever people complain about it, I totally empathize. It's a lot of work and I'm always terrified my shows will be poorly attended or that no-one will care about my albums. When things turn out well I'm elated but it's a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. 

Which living or dead artist would you like to collaborate with?

Neil Young & Rashad Becker & me as a trio. I think that'd be fun.

What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?

Kurt Newman told me I didn't need to learn to play the guitar properly. 

What gear do you use?

Ibanez Artstar guitar, various tube amps (Fender champ!), pan pedal, pet brush, steel wool, sidewalk chalk, threaded screws, hex-headed screws, the wires that drop off of street cleaners, assorted metal bits. 

What do you like the most about being a musician?

 I like the music I make, and I like getting to meet other musicians who I admire. It's nice being part of a larger community.

What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

I have three gigs this week with Jaap Blonk, Chris Cogburn & Damon Smith. I'm on Elliot Sharp's upcoming guitar compilation. Damon and I have a duo CD coming out early in the new year. I've got a few releases pending in collaboration with Tom Carter, Henry Kaiser & a few other things like that. I have a visual art show coming up in January and I'm going to throw a big birthday party for myself in February (turning the big 3-0!) I would like to do some more touring, but it's hard because I am an architect and I'm supposed to work. I need to work on some more visual art and I'd like to do some more video work. I'm probably due for another solo release.

Selected Curriculum

Visual Art Exhibitions

untitled 01, polymer microcollage detail

2014 Solo Exhibition Constructed Abstractions, Gallery Regina, Houston, TX
2013 Solo Exhibition Untitled, Khon’s, Houston, TX (forthcoming)
2013 VAA 31st Juried Open Exhibition, Three Allen Center, Houston, TX

2012 Solo Exhibition Projection & Amplification, Spacetaker/Fresh Arts, Houston, TX
2012 Solo Exhibition For Tom Carter, 14 Pew, Houston, TX
2012 Solo Exhibition Pop Up Art Show, 14 Pews, Houston, TX


2013 Background Information – Sandy Ewen & Damon Smith 

2013 Tributaries - Sandy Ewen 

2013 The Blue Idea - David Dove/Ryan Edwards/Sandy Ewen/Juan Garcia/Jason Jackson

2012 Brighton Beach – Spiderwebs – LP

2012 Split – House Party Quartet/Sandy Ewen – Cassette

2012 Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter – CD

2012 The Weird Weeds – The Weird Weeds – LP

2010 Help Me Name Melody – The Weird Weeds – LP & CD

2008 I Miss This – The Weird Weeds – CD

2007 Unusual Animals Vol. 1 – The Weird Weeds/Shapes & Sizes Split 7”

2006 Meat Science – Friday Group Universal Illumination Orchestra – ‎Cassette

2006 Weird Feelings – The Weird Weeds – CD

2006 Strands Formerly Braided – Spiderwebs/Mike Tamburo/Matthew McDowell – CD

2005 This is Not What You Want – The Weird Weeds CDR

2004 Hold Me – The Weird Weeds – CDR (reissued as LP in 2009)

2004 Away, Away – Spiderwebs – CDR

2013 3rd Place – Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) 31st Juried Open Exhibition
2012 14 Pews Artist in Residence

Sandy Ewen, untitled, 2012. polymer microcollage

Collaborative Projects

Art/Video Collaborations:

2013 Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres)  “HandMetal” (video)
2013 Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres)  “PaperTracel” (video)

2013 Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres)  “Light Bouquet” (video)
2013 Architects of Cinema  (Ewen/Nelson/Torres) “Performance at 14 Pews” (video)

2012 Jindra/Ewen “8-11-12” (video)
2012 Jindra/Ewen “Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter – Untitled 7” (music video)

2012 Jindra/Ewen “Spiderwebs – Coney Island” (music video)
2010 Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres) “ (in)complete submission” (video) 

Installation/Performance Events

2013 May 12 – Dona Nobis Pacem (multi-media collaboration with Oregon State University Choir, Kevin Patton, Jonathan Jindra) Alice Tully Hall/Lincoln Center NY
2013 January 18 – Tony Feher Free Fall opening reception performance with Music/Dance by Leslie Scates (choreographer) and Damon Smith (musician) featuring: Shanon Adams, David Dove, Sandy Ewen, Kristen Frankiewicz, Spencer Gavin-Hering, Thomas Helton, and jhon stronks. @ Diverse Works, Houston, TX

2012 December 29 – Comeplay Comply Array cycle, El Rincon Social, Houston, TX
2012 December 14 – Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres)  “Evolving Installation” @ Fresh Arts, Houston, TX

Architects of Cinema at Super Happy Funland, October 2012. Photo by Jonathan Jindra

2012 September 01 – Architects of Cinema (Ewen/Nelson/Torres)  “Installation” @ 14 Pews, Houston, TX
2011 November 09 – Peter Dobill performance artist w/Sandy Ewen/Weasel Walter/Damon Smith/Jim Sauter @ English Kills Art Gallery, NY

2010 May 01 – Projected 2010 an evening of performance & technology curated by Chris Nelson @ Frenetic Theater, Houston, TX

 with Henry Kaiser

2009 August 8 Low Lives (Sineplex at the Audley Society) curated by Jorge Rojas. FiveMyles (Brooklyn)/Diaspora Vibe Gallery (Miami)/labotanica (Houston).


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