Paris-based DJ Jean-Yves Leloup will be performing his brand of music in the city on Saturday
A journalist, who specialises in music, sound, art and technologies, Jean-Yves Leloup teaches music journalism at Sorbonne Nouvella University, Paris, and the ‘mise en scene’ of sound at ESRA cinema school in Paris. When he is not busy teaching, Jean is part of RadioMentale, an electronic music, sound artists and DJ duo founded by Jean and Eric Pajot. The duo are pioneers of ‘cinemix’, an audiovisual performing art that is popular in France. Jean will be in the city on Saturday. The Paris-based musician will be presenting a cine concert: The General by Radiomentale at 6.30 p.m. at Co-Bank Towers. The event, held as part of Fete de la Musique, is organised by Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum in association with Embassy of France in India. Excerpts from an email interview with Jean.
I grew up in the suburbs of Paris. I studied cinema, worked as a video editor, then got involved in the video art and contemporary art field, and electronic music scene, at the beginning of the 90’s. I am also a music journalist.
A musical journey
Before becoming a DJ, Eric and I started the RadioMentale radio show in 1992, on a Paris radio. We mixed various kinds of music, creating a kind of a movie without images. Since then we always worked that way, trying to create a kind of a cinematographic, dreamy atmosphere with our music. It is all about transforming sounds with our computer software. It became a cult show, and was broadcast in Paris, Switzerland and even Tokyo. We then started to play in the 90’s Paris rave parties, then in art galleries and in clubs. The idea is to share creative music you love, of course, but also to create a very special and immersive atmosphere. I see my work more as an atmosphere or music landscape creator, than just an entertainer. We are non musicians, who became musicians or sound artists. Music is a form of escapism for us.
We still host RadioMentale. But it is now played once a month in Marseille, south of France, on Radio Grenouille. The music we play for the ‘cinemix’ shows is quite different. It can be classical music, jazz, electronic, pop, film music. Everything that can fit to the film. The music I played as a club DJ is house, techno and melodic electronic music.
Play on DJ
For the ‘cinemixes’, we play other people’s music. We sometimes do real Radiomentale live performances, with our own music. But it is then very ambient.
Stages around the world
We have performed at a lot of cinema theatres, music festivals, cinema festivals in France and in the world.
Viewers say that they discover and feel the movies they watch in a different way, or sometimes rediscovering them. We give much more power to music and sound in our cinemixes. It has a powerful effect on the senses of the viewers.
There are two mixed CDs: The Slow Room and The Cut Up Scenario. I also did three albums: I Could Never Make That Music Again, Traumavision and I-Land.
I have six gigs in 10 days in India. I am performing in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai too. I will not have time to be a tourist. I’m hoping to record sounds and atmospheres I don’t know. Maybe I could use them later in a new album. I will be performing Buster Keaton’s The General in India. I will mix various kinds of music with this film. The important thing is to create a dialogue between sound and images, music and movement. For the General, or when we often work on a Buster Keaton movie, the important thing is to bring a kind of a joyful, or tongue-in-cheek feeling to the soundtrack, or choose music with a slight feeling of irony.
Keywords: DJ Jean-Yves Leloup, music journalism teacher, Sorbonne Nouvella University, ESRA cinema school, RadioMentale, Eric Pajot, ‘cinemix’, French audiovisual performing art, Fete de la Musique, Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum