« Music that’s immediately attractive and persistently elusive » - The Wire (UK)
ensemble 0 [ˌɒ̃nˈsɒ̃mbl̩ ˈzɪəɹəʊ] Noun. A contemporary music ensemble, directed by Stéphane Garin and Sylvain Chauveau, performing pieces by, mostly, contemporary composers including its own members, and working with numerous collaborators.
The year 0 of ensemble 0 was 2004, when four friends decided to assemble a vessel, essentially dedicated to acoustic music for the present time. A light and adaptable vessel, of varying geometry and geography (its members are based in different cities and countries, including France, Catalonia and Belgium.)
Zero, in cartography, is the reference level from which altitudes are erected. In other words, where the field of possibilities stands. Depending on the chosen direction, the disentangled or deciphered compositions, the musicians and instruments brought in, ensemble 0 performs upon a unique range of reliefs. First, its own compositions are specifically performed by the pulsating heart of the collective, i.e. a trio made of Sylvain Chauveau (acoustic guitar, glockenspiel), Stéphane Garin (metallic percussions) and Joël Mérah (acoustic guitar). Then, with a contemporary repertoire the ensemble expands according to the needs of each work. ensemble 0 occasionally performs pieces by Moondog, Julius Eastman or Ligeti but is particularly keen on living composers such as Tristan Perich, Michael Pisaro or Rachel Grimes.
Zero complexes in the face of complexity. At the end of the 1990s, a compilation gathering the best in different kinds of music (‘post-rock’ and ‘electronica’) was entitled Musique facile pour gens difficiles (easy music for difficult people). Twenty years later, ensemble 0 could appropriate the phrase or completely reverse it, as its repertoire oscillates between the different heights of minimalism: sometimes soft and delicate (like the pieces in its 2013 Soñando), at other times perfectly vertiginous (like the endless spirals of Tristan Perich's Open Symmetry) . It then could be labeled as ‘difficult music for easy people’ with open and curious ears.
A ‘zero risk’ exists, the one taken by the ensemble since its inception so as to bring demanding and accessible contemporary music to life, through grit and boldness. In 2006, on its first album, ensemble 0 did not play a single note nor a single sound: indeed, the album compiled five versions of John Cage's mythical 4'33", recorded in five different locations (indoors, outdoors). Probably the first record in the world to be exclusively composed of this piece. With, as expected, a transparent CD case. Zero mistake.
More than zero: the ensemble also displays its curious forms through radio; On medium waves and online with monthly mixes, sometimes produced by guests, but also in real life and more precisely at night, lying on the floor, with nuit#couchée, a yearly event dedicated to listening and radio creation.
Are or have also been involved with the ensemble:
Chantal Aguer, David Arriola, Didier Aschour, Alexandre Babel, Martine Bellanza, Sophie Bernado, Pascale Berthelot, Pascal Blondy, Maxime Bodson, Jean-François Brohée, Cyprien Busolini, Lucille Calmel, Juliette Carlier, Fanny Chatelain, Denis Chouillet, Azeline Cornut, Emmanuel Curt, Melaine Dalibert, Onenn Danveau, Philippe Daoulas, Damien Darioli, Maximilien Dazas, Guillaume Decramer, Mathias Delplanque, David Dewaste, Nicolas Didier, Jozef Dumoulin, Gabrielle Duplantier, Jean-Sébastien Dureau, Maxime Echardour, Thierry Escarmant, Catherine Evrard, Céline Flamen, Etienne Ferchaud, Sarah Foulquier, Jùlia Gállego, Florent Garnier, Julien Garin, Laurie Garin-Garcia, Ellen Giacone, Jean-Brice Godet, Amélie Grould, Marihiko Hara, Thomas Jean Henri, Alexandre Herer, Agnès Houlez, Barbara Hünninger, Julien Kaliski, Tomoko Katsura, Petar Klanac, Jeanne Larrouturou, Arnaud Lassus, Audrey Lauro, Jean-Michel Leclercq, Valérie Leclercq, Catherine Lenert, Rainier Lericolais, Maxime Lê Hùng, Sevàn L’Hostis, Sébastien Llinares, Mark Lockett, Catherine Luro, Pierre-Yves Macé, Vincent Malassis, Stephan Mathieu, Benjamin Maumus, Joël Mérah (founding member), Ann-Estelle Médouze, Nicolas Michamblé, Geoffroy Montel, Antoine Pasqualini, Lucas Pizzini, Vincent Planès, Claire Poillion, Julien Pontvianne, Morena Prats, Myriam Pruvot, Christian Pruvost, Anna Puig, David Quiggle, Eve Risser, Isaac Rodriguez, Isabelle Sainte-Rose, David Sanson, Mayu Sato-Brémaud, Maitane Sebastiàn (founding member, 2004-2009), Cyril Secq, François Schulz, Quentin Sirjacq, Guillaume Tahon, Didier Teillagorry, Gordan Trajkovic, Juliane Trémoulet, Claire Vailler, Miquel Vich Vila, Manuel Zurria, Rutger Zuydervelt