After a short sojourn in Paris where I was born in 1946 I spent my childhood in Nemours,a small town of 6.000 inhabitants with however a symphony orchestra,a reeds and brass band and at least one choir.
Lazy and very slow to learn I was a bad pupil during my all school-attendance in spite of my violin studies that was supposed to « wake me up » .
Three factors changed the stream of my life
- Eagerness for independence with urgent need of earning my living by playing music in dance hall. By this time the tenor sax was very popular and I was keen on
learning it. A friend saxophonist advised me to rather learn clarinet, arguing that I could easily switch to sax , the reverse beeing not so evident.
Less than one year after I was able to play as second clarinet in the local brass and reed band under the direction of Charles Lorin .Thanks to my new teacher Paul Bergevin , I was able to play first clarinet in a few months and improve my violin technique at the same time. In a short time later I played clarinet, sax, and violin with popular dances groups and got a clarinet first prize in less than 3 years of study
- My pride cut to the quick when Mr Lorin,an elderly man about seventy years old,told me that is was taking up the study of harmony .No longer lazy ,I had myself to study harmony
- Military service in Paris living with great musicians such as the composer Jean-Paul Holstein , the violonist Alain Kouznetzoff concert Master of the Paris Opéra , or the oboists Jean Claude Jaboulay Yves Poucel and Alain Protin was a stimulating condition
to make headway.
- Claire Pradel ,a terrific pianist that plays as well Couperin at the Harpsichord (or at the bentside spinet) as Jazz standarts on the piano, who was now and the my accompanist
- a technical problem to overcome for a concert I consulted Jacques Spajer on behalf of Claire Pradel. Surprise ,the expected advises turned into a total reprogramming of my technique.
Jacques Spajer was a shrewd man and saw I was reluctant to a such disruption so He cleverly suggested I study viola « which would be the sudy of a new instrument more convenient to my personnality » so I did and it was a means of great imrpovement
- Visiting Claire Pradel , I had the opportunity to meet Yann Olivo who teached piano accompaniement at the Conservatory national of Paris and discussed a point of harmony
then he said « You are not obliged to follow the harmony rules »
Altough I often break the harmony rules ,I did it with a guilty conscience.Harmony study had been a source of inhibition of my creating faculties,so this remark from an high musical personnality was a « liberating guarantee ». However, this new liberty in writing brought out some deficiencies with the necessity of new research.
However I had a second passion:Medicine and was , for a while,unable to choose.Life made the choice for me until the time when I was able to conciliate both professions.
Once more I met three determinative persons
- Problem at school
- feeling the need to write music
- Awareness of the relation eyes-ears-touch-posture thanks to the change from violin to viola
became pedagogical materials especially dedicated to children with minimal brain dysfuntion syndrome. Meeting postural defects and their result on muscular system was an opportunity to reconsider instrumental technique through a physiological approach applicable to adults and professionals . By irony of fate I had to give up practice because of visual impairment.
With the friends of Groupe Instrumental de Paris I encountered the small orchestras struggle:subsidy,paperwork , difficulty to fill concert hall and so on .
Another great experience was my support to the fabulous spectacles of the Lycée Voltaire