THE NINE MOONS

2015… It’s been 17 years, dammit! It’s been 17 years since the workshop was created, 20 years since the first guitar was made and still enjoying working as much, still having the same desire to discover new possibilities, so… thanks Life! The work is here, along with it the freedom to go where I feel like going. Now let me introduce you to my Moons project: there will be nine, all of them will be stringed or of plucked. You can play them on stage or in recording studio or at home but as for the shape, it will be according to the artistic thinking of the moment. These moons will be the satellites of my work, a space in which nothing is impossible. No time-frame for the final making: might be one year, three years, twenty years? I don’t know yet. The moons will only be for sale when they are all made…

2017… In the rough book in which I make sketches out of what gets through my mind, new shapes have being coming throughout the months, as the beginning of a new story. From the drawings came the making of an instrument, then two instruments, then three instruments. I got caught up into the making of what I believed to be only a break in my intrument-making work. It was the beginning of the creation of the “Nine Moons”.

A personal creation…
The whole creation took more than a 2-years period of time. It made me question myself about the craft I’ve been practicing for 20 years, and think about what my creations could be. Someone I care for just told me : “You don’t have to answer these questions ; just do what you gotta do”. So that’s what I did. “The Nine Moons” are the reflection of my own dreams, of my deepest wishes and of what I deeply and strongly believe in:

  • My instrument-making craft can’t just be the making of – however perfect they would be – standard and models based on the rules of what was invented and created by our ancestors. I’d rather let my imagination express itself and listen to artists that do create music (musicians, composers);
  • Instruments can change and can get new shapes that may allow them to get new sounds and musics and that may induce the value enhancement of the uniqueness of musicians and of their music . When being into the making process of the Fifth Moon “Impermanence” I realized that I was quite sure that a “different” instrument can change the musical creation and the way you listen to it;
  • Innovation is absolutely necessary as the universe of music and arts is always moving. It gives creation its strength in the whole Art’s creation process;
  • My craft, as an instrument-maker, is meant to create instruments that will appeal to all senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch), to give more powerful dreams and emotions. It is meant to create for all the musicians and for the audience.

… Then there was a collective creation
The Magic of Coincidence allowed me to meet two artists: Alexandre Michel, an amazing composer from Lyon, to whom I asked if he could compose the music for and with the nine moons, and Charles Ngombengombe, an internationally recognized dancer, who offered me to dance the tenth moon, as a symbol of the bounding of our 3  skills. A show is born, it’s called “Moons’Day”, featuring 7 guitar players and a dancer together on stage, as there was a careful work of stage design, lighting sound and system backstage. A short movie will be shown during the show, it will be made by Rachel Paty, who’s been my valued collaborator from the very beginning of my work. She makes all the communication job about the workshop, my website, she takes all the pictures, makes the videos, looks after the networks, that is to say, a work behind-the-scenes, so… Let’s start the show !!

The show “Moons’ Day”, as an opening (Premiere) in Issoudun
Much to my surprise, I have been chosen to be the honoured instrument-maker, at the 29th Festival de Guitare d’Issoudun in November 2017, and I’m really proud of that. The Festival team gave me “carte blanche”, giving me the opportunity of staging an evening performance on the main stage of the Albert Camus Center in Issoudun. A huge thanks to the whole team of the Festival.

You can watch this video showing all the different steps in the process of this artistic and human journey gathering Philippe Berne, instrument-maker, Alexandre Michel, a musician and composer, Charles Ngombengombe, a dancer and choreographer, and all the musicians: Danilo Rodriguez, Thibault Grava, Federico Salva, Jean-Paul Hervé, Jules Neff and Antoine Carteret.

 

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