Renaud-Gabriel Pion is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and improvisational musician. Classically trained but also largely self-taught, he plays bass/contrabass clarinet, Turkish clarinet, saxophones, bass flute, English horn, nyckelharpa, e.w.i (electronic woodwind) and piano, also using real-time electronics. He currently divides his time between Paris and Berlin.
He studied the clarinet, saxophone and English horn with Norbert Bourdon and Guy Bordier in France, and with Alexandra Knoll in New York. He also studied composition in Paris with Karol Beffa and Edith Canat de Chizy.
RGP is influenced by western contemporary music and the microtonal and modal music of the East (Turkey, Iran, Armenia, and also Ethiopia, India). He has been working on a solo with real-time electronics, and performing with his noise-indus duo Atonalist, or his contemporary trio Solaris/Солярис.
Pion just contributed (summer 2017) to a new recording directed by Hal Willner in New York, for BMG, with the artists Nick Cave, Gaby Moreno, Marc Almond, Devendra Banhart, Lucinda Williams and Maria McKee.
RGP’s new band Atonalist’s debut album atonalism (noise/indus) with partner Arnaud Fournier, and guest vocalist Gavin Friday, was released on May 10th, 2017, on Audiotrauma.
He is currently mixing (summer 2017) his new album 1529, new compositions recorded with his 9-piece Ensemble in studio 107 (percussions, woodwinds & brass, strings, electric guitar, voice) + guests, for Signature/Radio France, to be released in the fall 2017.
He is also working on a contemporary opera in collaboration with the American author and librettist Rikki Ducornet. The opera is supported by an award from the Fondation Beaumarchais-SACD (Paris, July 2015).
His discography includes: Paradise Alley, for orchestra + improviser, and First Meeting (duo), both for Signature/harmonia mundi (Radio France); Qalandar (contemporary Lieder in Turkish for chamber ensemble, on Dux); Voices In A Room (solo piano with the guests Jennifer Charles, John Greaves, Noël Akchoté, Knox Chandler – digital release/iTunes); more recently, New York Sketches (with guests Ryuichi Sakamoto, Iva Bittová, Arto Lindsay and Erik Truffaz, on Dux Jazz, 2016), as well as atonalism by Atonalist (2017, Audiotrauma).
He joined the Japanese composer Jun Miyake’s ensemble, with which he performed in 2017.
He has written music for theatre, contemporary ballet, and for films (in France, Germany and the USA). He scored Die Indianer kommen!, directed by Carola Wedel, which premiered at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival. RGP also wrote orchestral scores for the national radio stations France Inter and France Musique, as well as documentary music for the TV channels Arte, France 2 and ZDF.
His arranging credits include many pop artists (Cathal Coughlan; the band Tanger …). He has also been involved in numerous film soundtracks as an arranger and conductor, or as score composer himself (Tadpole by Gary Winick, starring Sigourney Weaver, for Miramax).
As featured instrumentalist he performed on several soundtracks of films by Irish director Jim Sheridan (for 20th Century Fox): In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, In America; as well as several others. During this period he lived in Dublin, and frequented New York and Paris.
RGP has played woodwinds on numerous albums as a sideman. In 2013 he performed and recorded with Antony & the Johnsons (Anohni). He has also worked with John Cale, Dead Can Dance, Gavin Friday & the Man Seezer, Siouxsie, Elvis Costello & Steve Nieve, the British band Bomb the Bass, Cathal Coughlan (ex-Fatima Mansions), the Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Lo’Jo (310 Lunes – 2014), Titi Robin, French musician-producer Hector Zazou, Bertrand Burgalat, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Harold Budd, Björk, Arto Lindsay and Elysian Fields, among others.
Sh. L. J.
Renaud-Gabriel Pion plays Selmer instruments with Vandoren and Rico Reserve reeds and Rumberger pickup systems. Portraits of RGP by Jérôme Sevrette. Other photos by RGP © control. Webmaster: Guillermo Vargas Quisoboni.