Interview with Dominique Perrier
- Please, tell us about your beginings in music.
I learned to play piano from about five to twelve years. Later the cello. At 17 I entered at a design school where I met great musicians and we created a small jazz group . That was my real professional start .
- I guess a turning point in your career was the meeting with FRANCIS DREYFUS, tell us about this meeting.
I met Francis in a meeting with ALAIN BASHUNG. I had called to make the musical arrangements. I remember the great atmosphere generated, his musical spirit and personality.
- Working at the legendary Studio Ferber in Paris, with RENE AMELINE , marks the beginning of a relentless stage labor. What was it like to collaborate not only with an icon like CHRISTOPHE but also as a musician and composer for many other French ( LOUIS DEPRESTIGE , CLAUDE FRANĂ‡OIS â€Ś ) artists ?
Christophe has been my favorite among all those who I have worked. The most gentle and pleasant.
- It is at Ferber Studio where your first full-length album with the band BAHAMAS raised. ” Le Voyageur Inmobile ” is an impressive , full of virtuosity and a very interesting approach symphonic work. How is this musical idea raised with other fellow musicians who worked with Christophe too ?
The idea germinated faster. I made the demos with ERIC Demarsan , my friend film composer who wrote the lyrics, and then I managed that FRANCIS DREYFUS heard that we had recorded in a week and a half in Studio Ferber. The following summer we went on tour with CHRISTOPHE, where we were to play first. But we were more or less ignored by the tour promoter . We refuse to carry on and we didn’t perform . It was at that point of the tour, when I first heard of Kraftwerk at a festival. I felt that was what I really liked .
- After the Bahamas album you, with Roger Rizzitelli, recorded the first work of ART SPACE in 1977. I think the recording sessions for this album took place in a very short time and with Ferber Studio at your full disposal. What are your memories of the genesis of this band and about the shocking success of the first single ” Onyx “?
We recorded “Space Art” in just a few days. I remember the little synth Arp Odyssey in the center of the recording room of JOET ALAN, the sound engineer of the studio. Also the battery and ROGER ” BUNNY ” Rizzitelli telling to the engineer: ” The sound should come out of the walls,” simply because he was happy with the bass of that device .
When BUNNY heard ” Onyx ” for the first time on the RTL radio station at 8 pm on the car radio, stopped his car in the middle of the road, raised his arms and shouted, “Listen, that’s us!! ” causing jam.
- In these times where a sequencer is a basic element in the recording of an album, it is at least paradoxical that the album “Space Art ” was recorded entirely by hand, both alone and sequences as well as the drums. Was it something circumstantial or deliberate and arrogant display of virtuosity by you and Rizzitelli ?
Regarding music, sequences were not yet introduced in the role of musicians. I liked to made myself by hand with the help of a synchronized echo those repetitive notes that were part of the birth of a new music .
- I suppose that the experience to move from “comfortable” situation as session musician to the very first row as the author of a successful work as ” Onyx ” have been a sockig experience . Is for that reason that you appeared only a few times in the media , and to do so anonymously with that spacesuits displayed on TV and newspapers ?
This was like a return to childhood where nothing is serious. Children themselves took us by aliens.
- We talked about one year, 1977, which emerged on the French electronic scene SPACE ART, DIDIER Marouani band, SPACE, and JEAN MICHEL JARRE with ” Oxygene ” . Despite being of musicians who are united by a working relationship and friendship, it is impossible to think of a situation of musical and commercial competition. Was there resentment, friction or the opposite?
There never was competition between different groups because we all knew we were composers and luck smiled some more than others.
- Regarding this matter, it is curious that a member of SPACE ART, in this case you, participated as a musician in the band SPACE live in one of their tours. Tell us about it .
We had fun , made friends and for us the music was first.
- For the second album of SPACE ART , “Trip In The Center Of Head” , counted with additional collaborations, including that of RENÉ AMELINE , who made the final mixes of the album. How was working with a sound engineer like him?
RENÉ AMELINE was our friend for more than three years, he made the mix of our first album and prepared the new mix . Frank REDLICH assisted us for recording. After those sessions we were very tired butJEAN MICHEL JARRE and FRANCIS DREYFUS called us to go to China and make some albums with him.
- A new single was released as an extension of SPACE ART latest album , “Playback ” , containing an electronic version of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven . Away from other electronic emulation attempts carried out by people like Isao Tomita or WENDY CARLOS, this try seemed very original What can you say about this experiment?
Yet had time to record the single ” Symphonix “. It was a new experience and production arrangements .
- Please tell ua about the Sotne Age band.
My artistic haven with Michel Valy . He keeps me on earth me when I’m too long in the stars.
- In STONE AGE you shared band with Jérôme GUEGUEN and also sometimes with Claude Sammard and Patrick Rondat, musicians all related with JARRE . This seems like a big community of friends, with a constant contact, that manage to cross paths continually .
My friends musicians at the end have become family members and everything is easier. With JARRE is like a rendezvous wher we meet all together.
- Please, tell us about your work for cinema and soundtracks.
Together with my friend ERIC Demarsan I worked as an arranger in films like ” Le Cercle Rouge ” or ” L’ Armee Des Ombres ” . But experience with BOB DECOUT for ” Les Gens honnêtes Vivent In France” was wonderful. It was two years of work, composition , recording … they had to change the music because BOB chandged the edition of images . In fact we did almost two or three soundtracks for a single movie … SPACE ART TRIBUTE
- The last two years have occupied the work rescuing ART SPACE , first with the publication of his discography remastered and expanded (the album ” Revised ” , 2010) , and finally with the SPACE ART TRIBUTE project. We talk to be back in the front line with album and tour . Tell us about these shows that you are currently doing , the tracklist chosen , which includes some successes but also SPACE ART – disc tribute , with your enigmatic performance with lights on the head … The first concert in Guterslow (Germany ) was very good with seven minutes of encores. The Lili’s violin response to the synths and the bass of MICHEL VALY fit perfectly. The red lamps give us a sense of kids that I really like.
JEAN MICHEL JARRE
- I think it was in 1973 , during one of the recording sessions with CHRISTOPHE when JEAN MICHEL JARRE and you met . Under what circumstances did this first meeting?
We were on the same frequency. When I saw this elegant man sitting at Studio Ferber , I asked him to marry me. It was a compliment that he obviously took great because after 35 years we are still working together.
- You first performed with Jarre in 1981 for the historical Concerts in China. Please, tell us about this adventure.
As a wonderful journey accompanied by great people.
-That 1981 tour features many of the major questions that arise JARRE fans . Much has been made of the problems especially on opening night in Beijing. RAFAEL REVERT music journalist , who was the only reporter to cover Spanish musical that tour told us in an exclusive interview anecdotes concerning opening night . How do you remember the first concert in China?
The first concert in Beijing ended halfway empty room, because at that hour the last public buses finished their work day.
As an anecdote that when the Dalai Lama took the stage and gave a hand to each said ” nice to meet you ” and the interpreter made a literal translation from French to Chinese , ” happy to fill you please.” The whole room laughed, showing that the Chinese have a great sense of humor.
(Editor’s Note : It is more than probable that this story PERRIER have confused some Chinese authority with the DALAI LAMA , since after the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950 and the subsequent expulsion of Buddhists be paradoxical presence a Lama in 1981 in communist China) .
- REVERT also spoke of bureaucratic impediments and constraints faced by the political authorities. They had special interest in keeping journalists away from the Chinese population. Did you observe such limitations or excessive control by the authorities?
We were invited with our wives but they stayed at the different hotels for tourists, and it took a lot to the regroup with us.
- There is a point at which unanimously agree JARRE followers , and to choose “The Concerts in China” as his best live album . Of course we know that was a great post-production work and even some bonus tracks were added. How do you see the album and its contents with reference to the concerts in which he participated ?
The album “The Concerts In China ” is to me like a book where I find myself remembering those great moments.
- Please tell us about your solo on Magnetic Fields 2 in China. Is simply brilliant.
Participation in “Magnetic Fields 2 ” is the result of a collaboration with JARRE , who worked on the direction and editing of everything.
- Please, tell us some memories about the Oxygene Tour in 2008.
The tour ” Oxygene ” brought us back to everyone. Each musician with his backpack. FRANCIS RIMBERT sang “I Believe I Can Fly” and CLAUDE Samard was gathering supplies for the day .
- We talk about coexistence and friendship . Throughout his musical career he has been involved with great professionals on which I would like to tell me something concrete that you define. Here is the list :
MICHEL GEISS . Sunflower sound . FREDERICK ROUSSEAU . The Knight of the sequences, which has continued to work with Vangelis JEROME GUEGUEN . My friend of STONE AGE . FRANCIS RIMBERT . He that is able to play JARRE music by himself. MARIE LAURE LEBOUCHER . My companion. PATRICK PELAMOURGUES . My colleague. CLAUDE Samard . My colleague . ROGER ” BUNNY ” Rizzitelli and FRANCIS DREYFUS .
Two characters distant from each other in time, but very close in Music.
Rendezvous BENICARLÓ - In 2012 you perfomed on the annual Rendez Vous meeting of Jean Michel Jarre fans with your Space Art Tribute band. Tell us about this special performing.
It was a wonderful invitation with a warm welcome. I would like to thank to all Fairlight Jarre comunity.
We want to thank to Dominique Perrier, Marie Laure Leboucher and Sergio “Keys” Vallinas. Without them tins interview could not be possible. As an exclusive addition to this interview here you are a pdf relating the scandinavian tour of Space Art Tribute written in french by Dominique Perrier himself.
Many thanks to Fairlight Jarre http://en.jeanmicheljarre.es/
for sharing this interview.
Fairlight Jarre is a website made by the Spanish Jean Michel Jarre Fanclub, which started in 1995 as Fanzine and continued later as a website.
All photos taken from Fairlight Jarre
Published on May 17, 2014
Dominique Perrier French musician and composer. He played keyboards for Christophe and Jean-Michel Jarre among others. He is the co-founder...