L’Ensemble ensemble

Eve Risser

9 MAR 2019 
Upper Stage
A unique musical quintet. Compositions that seek to liberate musical expression and enjoyment, with rhythms and dreamy sounds, from the most daring representative of contemporary French improvisation.
French pianist and composer Eve Risser is one of the most distinctive and authentic creators of contemporary French improvised music. Drawing inspiration from personal experiences and images, she transforms the interior of a piano into a peculiar, mystical instrument, which sounds sometimes like a trumpet or saxophone, and other times like drums.

In “L’Ensemble ensEmble,” Risser is surrounded by four notable musicians of different geographic and aesthetic backgrounds.

The electronic experiments and Norwegian folk of Mari Kvien-Bruvoll (vocals) and Kim Myhr (guitar), encounter the improvised jazz of Romanian composer Georges Dumitriu (violin) and the inventive style of Toma Gouband (drums), in a heterogenous aural amalgamation.

Their collaboration creates enigmatic compositions, whose rhythms and harmonies are based less on the classical rules of music, than on a sense of collectivity, one whose moving intensity electrifies the atmosphere.


Eve Risser: piano, prepared piano, alto flute
Marie Kvien Brunvoll: vocals, electronics
George Dumitriù: violin, viola 
Kim Myhr: guitar, effects
Toma Gouband: percussion

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John Cage first came up with the idea of the prepared piano in 1938, when he was asked to prepare percussive music to accompany Syvilla Fort’s choreography “Bacchanal.” Entering the room where the performance was to take place, he discovered only a large piano on stage, with no room for drums. Cage began to consider whether a pianist could replace an entire orchestra by using the interior of a piano, attaching various objects to its chords.

From 2009 to 2013, Eve Risser was the only female musician in the French Orcheste National de Jazz, under Dianel Yvinec’s direction. The orchestra was founded in 1985 at the initiation of the then French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang.

Eve Risser was born in 1982 in Colmar, France and is considered a rising talent of French improvised music. She began learning piano as a child, having been entranced on seeing sheet music for the first time. At 18 she began musical studies in Strassbourg, where she lived for four years, playing improvised music and jazz piano as well as contemporary music on the flute. On completing her studie, she decided to devote herself to the piano, abandoning the flute. She quickly made a name for herself for her use of a prepared piano, inviting comparisons with John Cage. She was the pianist of the famous French Orcheste National de Jazz from 2009 to 2013. She has founded and collaborated with many important groups, including Donkey Monkey, The New Songs, and White Desert Orchesta.

Mari Kvien-Brunvoll was born in 1984 in Molde, Norway and plays jazz and folk music, focusing on vocals. Her first, eponymous album was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. In her solo appearances she distorts her voice with live sampling, surrounding it with percussion, noise, and bass line, and often plays kalimba, zither, and other small instruments. She is also part of the group Building Instrument with Stein Urheim, as well as Kvein & Sommer, a duo with Espen Sommer Eide. 

Georges Dumitriu
Active as a performer and composer of jazz and improvised music, Romanian musician Georges Dumitriu plays viola, violin, and electric guitar, as well as live laptop electronics. His studies in classical music took him to Budapest, Groningen, Amsterdam, and New York. He has taught at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam and the Prins Claus Conservatorium Groningen. Dumitriu performs insternationally with a variety of projects (Sanem Kalfa, Kaja Draksler Octet, Alex Simu Quintet, Hidden Myth, I/O, Re-fuse, Steven Kamperman Trio, Nationale Opera & Ballet Amsterdam), and also leads the group DUMItRIO.

Kim Myhr is one of the leading voices on the experimental scene in Norway. He was born in Oslo in 1981. He is a composer and guitarist whose solo music can be described as an orchestral exploration of the 12-chord guitar. He has released two solo albums, “All Your Limbs Singing” (2014) and “Bloom” (2016); a third, “You I Me,” is due out in November. His collaborative album with Jenny Hval and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra in 2016 received rave reviews. Myhr is a member of the bands Mural and Circafia, and founded the independent recording company SOFA with Martin Taxt and Ingar Zach.

Toma Gouband was born in 1976 in Manosque, France, and started playing percussion at age 5. He studied with well-known teachers including Christian Salut in Toulouse and Jean-Marc Lajudie in Limoges. Gouband has played with important musicians including Evan Parker, Benoit Delbecq, Magic Malik, Bruno Chevillon, Joachim Bedendhorst, Will Guthrie, Michel Doneda, and others. He composes music in an entirely unique manner, creating sounds from stones on a drum set and using cymbals as resonators; in his project Ondulo, he produces sound installations using cell phones and bells. Among his many collaborations, the band Astropi (with Harmen Fraanje and Brice Sonia) stands out.

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