Didier François
Other(s) album(s) : , Nocturne , Dans l'oubli du sommeil, Brand new world , Sjansons Patinées , Nyckelharpa Solo , baroque update , Scattered Rhymes , Zafon

"Didier Francois, a sound artist, a musician and musical designer, offers us a small revolution in strings and emotions.

Viola d’amore a chiavi- Nyckelharpa is the name of the instrument, the object and the product, virtually, of his creativity and expression. Look closely at the photo and, most importantly, listen: a body of a grand violin or, rather, a viola, strings being rubbed by the bow, and below, a multitude of resonance strings - that is to say which resonate only by the vibration of the sound wave. This imparts so much charm on the sound universe - it captivates us. Between the body of the instrument and the key, a unique keyboard complements this fantastic thing and opens up to polyphony . What our ears hear is: a fireworks of sound waves, of harmonies and of colours, caressing us, tender and explosive; a sound with an irresistible charm.

The instrument was used in baroque music; but was later forgotten. It remained in use in the traditional music of the Nordic countries and, to our delight, was discovered by the curious Didier François, modest Belgian artist, tenacious craftsman, with a lively and profound inspiration. Evidenced by his album, he reinvents the Nyckelharpa in reviving the thread between history and geography, and emotions, and invites us to vibrate for a wonderful revolution with his arrangements of masterpieces by Bach, Ysaïe, Satie, Ottoman classical music, traditional folk and anonymous scholars, typical jazz by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Charlie Mariano, and his own compositions.

What is his secret? The sincerity of emotion at all costs, abandoning himself to the singular vibration of the sound wave and, in order to make all this happen, a technique which is completely original and which he has built up over the years. To allow for the rich expression of the Nyckelharpa, it was necessary to develop a technique/game impregnated by the freedom of traditional chant. This makes the simple and pure sound stand out, just like a natural voice. This technique has been mixed with the technical rigour of scholar musicians who, through the power of the written can access true richness of harmony, a technique capable of opening the wonderful and borderless world of reverberation of resonance cords. Didier François has worked for years on the credo by Arthur Grumiaux, great Belgian violinist who has inspired him so much: restfulness and lightness are the key words.

The freedom of composition and the music are also the results of the exploration of live creation. Didier François’ path began with the great Stephane Grappelli.

Along the way he met performing artists: choreographer Anne-Marie Porras and the Brussels ensemble known for its bilingual interpretations of classics by Shakespeare, Marivaux, Corneille, for whom he was musical attaché for over ten years; film musicians, storytellers and Howard Shore - The Lord of the rings, Armand Amar - César award-winner for Le concert, Costa-Gavras - Amen and Le Couperet, Yann Arthus-Bertrand - Earth seen from the sky; he has accompanied the voices of other artists such as Ulrika Boden, Swedish revelation, Gabriel Yacoub, Gilles Chabenat, Levon Minassian, duduk player for Peter Gabriel; and, finally, the Italian quartet Elias Nardis alongside an oud and Arabic percussion player, he revisits freely pieces inspired by Ottoman classicals.

What else can be said about this Belgian magician!? He is also a sculptor, as one can tell. We cannot remain indifferent to the sound shaped by substance, to the wave that comes to touch our skin and ears, to move us profoundly. It is the effect of a soft drug that changes us and makes us ask for more. "