May 18, 2024

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Interview with Marc Berthoumieux: Streaming is the future but it got off to a bad start, without any “constitution” … Video

Interview with ungrateful man, as if accordionist Marc Berthoumieux. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? 

Marc Berthoumieux: – I come from Haute Savoie, it is a province in the east of France near Geneva (Switzerland). I started music at the age of 6 in the municipal music of my city and my first instrument was the clarinet. I started the accordion at the age of 10 and made my stage debut at the age of 11. I briefly studied the piano at the conservatory of Geneva, but it was the accordion that I liked the most. I had an accordion teacher who gave me the basics of my instrument, but it was self-taught that I acquired my experience as a musician. First alone, then with dance orchestras in my region, finally with my own orchestra. I never asked myself too many questions, at 18 I bought a car to be independent and be able to go play everywhere. I had known for a long time that this was my path. At thirty, I decided to leave my province and try my luck in Paris. I wanted to do jazz, compose and accompany singers. My wishes have been granted!

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JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

MB: – During all my years in the provinces I played the accordion, but also keyboards with accordion keys. In France, the accordion that is played is mainly with chromatic button keyboards. The piano key accordion is not widespread here. The keyboard I’m talking about is like an accordion laid flat. I developed a game and a phrasing closer to the piano and keyboards. On the other hand, I really found my personal accordion sound during the preparation of my first album released in 1998. I think I had it in my head for a long time, but this album allowed me to shape.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony? 

MB: – I don’t have a particular method, for years, If I have to work on a piece or simply music that interests me, I work on passages in a loop until I feel comfortable. I know all the theory of music, but my practice of reading notes is not very advanced, I work a lot by ear. I don’t have perfect pitch, but interval-based relative pitch.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

MB: – Changed I don’t know, but evolved through musical encounters and travels around the world, that’s for sure.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

MB: – As I told you above, everything must go through emotion and pleasure. Those are two things that feed the mind and the soul, don’t you think?

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

MB: – In your question, you speak of the obvious and I agree with that… especially after the unprecedented period that we have just gone through…

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

MB: – Don’t worry about the young ones. Young people take what they have to take from this repertoire and transpose it, transform it for the music they have to play or compose today. How many singers, rock artists, etc. these are inspired by Jazz. Wasn’t Rolling Stones Charlie Watts originally a jazz drummer? Jazz, even if it remains a niche for artists and for the public who loves this music, represents an essential value of inspiration for all music.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

MB: – For me, the meaning of life is to find your place in this world — all disciplines combined — and to give yourself the means to do what you love. Being a musician is not a quiet journey, it’s a vocation, an obvious one. When you have chosen music, the things that happen to you, positive or even sometimes difficult to experience, become your school of life, show you who you are and give meaning to your life.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

MB: – Streaming is the future but it got off to a bad start, without consultation, without any “constitution”, any reasoning other than the money that the powerful in the music industry can earn. This prevents all players in the music industry from being able to live fairly from their art. There have never been so many investments made by finance in the world of music than since streaming has existed, it’s colossal. When all this started, no state, no country rose up against it, the damage is done. If I had a magic wand, I would change, not streaming which I repeat is the future, but the distribution of the financial windfall generated by this industry with several hundred million subscribers who pay ten euros per month. But for that, I would really need a nice magic wand that works well!

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

MB: – Toninho Horta, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau, Sting, Charlie Haden’s “Nocturne” album and to do the splits, Lil Nas X and Bruno Mars, Lol 🙂

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

MB: – In the same room as Johann Sebastian Bach when he works on music or when he composes…

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/

Marc Berthoumieux Live au New Morning | mezzo.tv

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