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Doors 9:30 PM, Music 10:00 PM – 1 set of music



Frédéric Maurin -Direction

Steve Lehman & Frédéric Maurin – Composition

Fanny Ménégoz – Flute, Alto Flute & Piccolo

Catherine Delaunay – Clarinet, Basset Horn

Steve Lehman – Alto Saxophone

Julien Soro – Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet

Fabien Debellefontaine – Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute

Fabien Norbert – Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Olivier Laisney – Trumpet

Daniel Zimmermann – Trombone

Christiane Bopp – Trombone

Fanny Meteier – Tuba

Bruno Ruder – Piano

Chris Dingman – Vibraphone

Stéphan Caracci – Marimba, Vibraphone, Glokenspiel & Percussions

Rafaël Koerner – Drums

Sarah Murcia – Double Bass

Jérôme Nika – Generative Electronics Creation & Artistic Collaboration

Serge Lemouton – Ircam Electronics



The Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ) and IRCAM present Ex Machina, a creation conceived by American saxophonist Steve Lehman and artistic director of the ONJ Frédéric Maurin. In the course of their respective careers, both have offered music that has been widely praised for its inventive forms, rich palette of timbres, elaborate rhythmic patterns, and reflexion on the fusion of composition and improvisation in the construction of the pieces.

Their shared ambition to go beyond traditional orchestral limits has particularly fostered their strong interest in spectral music, a contemporary movement notably represented by such French composers as Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. Using the acoustic properties of sound, spectral music has allowed the emergence of new composing principles and orchestration techniques, notably in microtonal compositions that favor merged perceptions of the timbres, revolutionizing the impressions that can emanate from orchestral works.

Both having previously tapped into electronic music in the course of their careers as composers, Steve Lehman and Frédéric Maurin take their creative process on this project to a new level. The fruit of a close collaboration with the Music Representations Team at IRCAM-STMS, Ex Machina combines devices based on Dicy2, an artificial intelligence software developed by researcher Jérôme Nika, with real-time music composing and improvisations by the soloists. In turns, the computer becomes a generator of electronic orchestrations for the composers and a performing partner for the musicians.

Carried by this augmented jazz orchestra, an astounding inventiveness of forms and sounds is deployed at the discretion of the eleven pieces of Ex Machina, whose title evokes composer Gérard Grisey’s emblematic Tempus Ex Machina. Artificial intelligence, merged with keen, innovating penmanship exploring spectral harmony, and the discourses of 15 exceptional improvisors, becomes, in this context of creation, a new tool at the service of the artists that enables the listener to discover alternative imaginary worlds and experience a sound immersion unlike any other.


Photo credit: Sylvain Gripoix 


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