Le Midi Libre
(AN HALF-PAGE ARTICLE)
La clarinette aux sommets
(The clarinet at the summits)
Music, surgery and climbing.
• The atypical way of a music lover.
• An audience immediately conquered.
Medicine initially - An education in classical music - computers at
the service of composition.
In conquest of the Himalayas...
musicien in concert in Nimes !
MICHEL - IN RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY WITH HIS AUDIENCE
ally Classical music, particularly Sacred Classical music, and Jazz was Jean-Christian MICHEL's brilliant conception. From
the release of his first album, in 1968, the clarinettist has conquered his audience, which comes out en masse to attend his church
concerts. "His novelty and uniqueness interest the public and
esteem the musician and the soul of the music which he has conquered."Yet
it was not the first career embraced by Jean-Christian. MICHEL had not
had much to do with music. The instruments which he originally used
were more often the bistoury or scalpel, although the clarinet was not absent in his life. "This instrument is beautiful, ebony
with silvery keys. It prolongs the breath, with a sensual and living
sound", wrote the musician. At
the age of ten, he who would later become a gynaecological surgeon chose
the clarinet whilst undertaking a classical
education at the conservatoire. It led him first towards Jazz with "all
the expressiveness, which takes the audience by the guts and its swing
with which it is so interesting to play ".Equally
adept at Classical Music, he often attended organs concerts. "For me, it was maybe missing something" he remembers.It
was like this that the clarinettist found his style, and abandoned,
without regrets, the bistoury after having obtained his diploma. Especially
since he has had "the luck" to make his living at it. It is
true that to listen to him tell it, his professional life seems close
to bliss. Composition? "It is fabulous, as one composes and succeeds
in putting into the Music all that one loves,
one finds the genius within". The concert? "It is a moment
of true spiritual communing with the audience."For
three years, the musician has been associating new technologies into
his compositions and arrangements, and he takes great pleasure in doing
so. Since then the computer has been a conduit for his creativity. "Computers
have brought incredible possibilities to music, such as, among others
the invention of sounds", notes Jean-Christian MICHEL. "For
a very for a long time we played with true musicians, but we have never
had such qualities of sound, nor such precise arrangements. And, contrary
to what one might think, the music is not cold, because behind the machine
there is a man and his soul."As
to his soul, the man does not only cultivate it through his music. He
has participated, since 1974, in three expeditions to the Himalayas,
the first, as doctor of the team. He ascended, in the company of the
noted climber Yannick SEIGNEUR (who disappeared in December, 2001)
the mountain Tawesche, to about seven thousand metres.Expeditions
during which he was able to "discover a country, a culture and
a different philosophy", but also, in climbing towards summits,
to surpass himself. "Climbing is obviously a physical sport, but
one which has a special appeal to the intellect" underlines Jean-Christian
MICHEL. To arrive at the summit, is terribly hard, one eventually forgets
that one exists, and it is there that one finds happiness". To
finish : "That which interests me in life, and in all areas, is
to push the limits to their furthest possible extent".