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accordéon accordéonistes portrait
nicole renaud "sophisticated chanteuse"
nicole renaud french singer who lives in new york and has created a style of her own: visual, driven by esthetics ...
the singer started at the petit conservatoire de mireille, a very good school indeed ... then she left to new york in the 90's to purseue her business studies at university and surf a bit on the artistic musical creative wave of the big apple. she studies opera. quickly she starts performing in the cafes a very traditionnal french repertoire. she is accompanied by some accordionists. "it was kind of very natural to me, being far away from france to rediscover the classics, some famous songs from the french repertoire, including those of piaf of course. it happens, i think when one is far from home, to have the desire to rediscover its roots. from this heritage that i did not necessarily know so well to start with, i developped my own style." nicole is also inspired by the cirque du solei, medieval songs, poetry. her interests are eclectic yet precise. quickly she picks up the accordion. "i wanted to play piano but i took the piano of the poor, much more convenient to play in the streets and to carry around. i had also noticed some singers/musicians such as marni rice for example, who accompanies herself - really well in fact - on the accordion. so i noticed that it was a good instrument indeed to accompany oneself with."
a dark ethereal moody feel
nicole then has a proposal to go to japan with two other accordionists, yuri lemeshev (russian) and will holshouser. next to those two musicians she is just a beginner. but here is what she says about this gig in japan: "it really got me started and since then i am never without my accordion." she then says: "with time i have developped a repertoire inspired by baroque, medieval and 19th century french music. there is a dark ethereal moody feel to it." she is interested in many arts: poetry, theatre, directing. she has been invited to play at the davos world economy forum, a jean paul gauthier's fashion show, merce cunningham dance company 50th anniversary. avant-garde and selective, she performs regularly in paris on the france culture radio show "ça me dit l'après midi". she sang on keren ann's album nolita (blue note/emi). she has also worked with ryuichi sakamoto and towa tei. she sings with her clear and pure voice in french, english, italian and german. she likes visual arts, cinema, fashion (she designs her own costumes with a futuristic flair). this artist with a soprano voice likes to mix styles around. classically trained, she likes to venture on modern even contemporary path. she has truly created a genra of her own. and if she does not like to be put in a box she yet seeks to have her own distinctive signature style.
her last album "couleurs" for which she wrote music and lyrics is very unique. "each song is about a color. a visual and poetic theme that i want to stretch to the world of contemporary art". very influenced by robert wilson futuristic and minimalist work, nicole renaud likes sophistication and originality. doen't she dream of a transparent accordion? music merging into the miror of silence. "i am trying to visually give a new twist to the accordion." when the accordion is serving conceptual art.
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