Une démarche d’une audace folle et d’une liberté totale, et un coup de maître. La musique du Quatuor Machaut ne ressemble à aucune autre, et elle est d’une beauté saisissante. «Un quatuor de saxophones qui ne sonne pas comme un quatuor de saxophones», me disait un ami saxophoniste. C’est exactement ça : ce quatuor-là est un instrument, pas quatre. Et quel instrument.
When Quentin Biardeau discovers the Messe de Nostre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) composed by Guillaume de Machaut more than 650 years ago, it’s an electroshock. The musician starts to transcribe for a saxophone quartet what is historically the rst mass entirely attributable to a single composer. Little by little, the project evolves and the rich polyphony of Machaut nally merges into a musical fabric integrating also a work of composition and improvisation. The appropriation of Machaut’s work thus brings into resonance early music, contemporary music and improvised music in an approach considered as an acoustic and a spatial experience, in reference to the cathedrals where the melodies of the Ars nova of the 14th century were ascending.
In 2011, in order to undertake this very particular fusion between styles, epochs and instruments, Quentin Biardeau surrounds himself with Simon Couratier, Francis Lecointe and Gabriel Lemaire. The four musicians patiently carry out the work of interpretation, improvisation, composition and arrangement that will lead them in 2015 at the Abbey of Noirlac, where they will record their rst album, produced by Ayler Records. In parallel, they have imagined Métalepse, a continuation of the Machaut project that still weaves links between the Early Middle Ages and the 21th century. Under the guidance of the composer Thomas Lacôte, the play with the blow now integrates the voice of Poline Renou with the saxophones.
The Machaut Quartet is the winner of the Jazz Migration 2017.