Bérangère Maximin is a French electro-acoustic composer. She is a student of Denis Dufour’s (a member of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM)). She is one of the women featured in my upcoming documentary, microfemininewarfare. Please buy her album Tant Que Les heures Passent (As Long As The Hours Go By). It was released on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records label in 2008. I discovered her while staying at my friend’s house in Paris last year while working on the project’s proposal (serendipity yo!) while he was on the typical gone-south, Parisian vacation with his wife and daughters. I think music really defines a person (many people consider this childish of me) and I went through his music collection and this album caught my eye. I liked the name of it, and put it on to listen on his stereo system not too loud because it was a small residential building in Saint-Cloud.
I like when an artist can sweep me up into their world, and she was able to immediately. It is a strange vibration of musique concrete and an aesthetic of a woman filled with darkness. I can’t really say – I don’t appreciate the ‘music critic’ language so I will stop, but maybe you can be surprised by her melodic arrangements too!
It was obvious I would ask her to participate in my project because I was so fascinated by the narrative in her music. Bérangère and I spoke a lot about the music creation process and how difficult and painful it is, but I will leave that for later. One thing that surprised me was her attitude of wishing to bring together groups of electronic and electro-acoustic and jazz musicians together; something she is having difficulty with in Paris, because some people part of these groups are vocally exclusive and dogmatic. It is not surprising after meeting her, and that most of the women in my documentary discussed their desire to merge communities, and to create communities and collaborations of support networks that aren’t based on stylistic aesthetics. I hear many people mention this, but I don’t think as many people go through with it. Music politics; they are overbearing sometimes! OK, I will leave you with some out-takes from the photo shoot. Bérangère was quite generous, and I hope I served her well. The documentary, photos and interviews will be available sometime this year. They have to be.