« The breath of strings » by Henri Texier
It’s always tricky paying complements to a fellow musician. Even more so when he’s a dear friend and a double bass player to boot. But no matter; my sincerity is absolute. The music on this album is dazzling, fresh - totally original. It’s about strings, just strings - vibrating, resonating palpably within us. It’s about the Mediterranean and all its colors and smells. And this music is special. Because Renaud Garcia-Fons is very special musician. I know no-one whose instrumental mastery coheres so flawlessly with the imagination of his writing. And what virtuosity! Lovely, sensitive, no showing off. Oddly, in France, we often seem to think that virtuosity negates real musicality. The composition on this album is extraordinary, impeccably served by musicians clearly balanced and inspired. Precision, perfect phrasing, controlled interpretations. Immediately you feel the pulse like a dance, and it swings! Renaud and his group are fabulous musicians. The music here is a declaration of love for a music which has no borders, is about harmony and is, essentially, humane….
After Silk Moon and Farangi, Le Souffle des Cordes is the third opus in a trilogy devoted to the encounter and mixing of stringed instruments from different regions of the world. The original repertoire, composed by Renaud García-Fons, is the result of a genuine writing process, which respects the authenticity of the playing, the style and the culture of these instruments from different traditions. The music of the Souffle des Cordes travels a world abolished by all borders, from the extreme East to Africa, from rock to flamenco bulería, humorously evoking the baroque with Mamamouchi, the energy of the Balkans with Skopje Melodija, drawing on the richness of the timbres and playing modes specific to the strings a source of inspiration renewed with each piece. Derya Turkan and Serkan Halili represent Ottoman and Middle Eastern music, while Kiko Ruiz on guitar instills the fervor and groove of flamenco. Florent Brannens, Amandine Ley, Aurélia Souvignet-Kowalski and Nicolas Saint-Yves, all members of the Radio France philharmonic orchestra, based on the writing of Renaud García-Fons, structure the entire repertoire and bring rigor Western-style chamber music. As for Renaud García-Fons' double bass, a solo instrument in its own right, thanks to its multiple tones and its different playing modes, it constitutes a real link between these different musical worlds, but also between written and improvised music. More than a simple rapprochement, the Souffle des Cordes testifies to a real desire for sharing and exchange between cultures.