France | Edition 2021 /

Emmanuelle Parrenin

© Philippe Lebruman

Emmanuelle Parrenin has always been a collector of sounds: she learned music in a clandestine and instinctive way by reproducing on a piano the melodies she hears escaping from the various rehearsal rooms of the family home, where music resonates from everywhere: her father directs the Parrenin Quartet, and her mother is a harp teacher.

In the 1970s, she continued her unconventional relationship with music and sounds by going on the road, in France and Canada, to collect, with an audio recorder on her shoulder, tunes and traditional songs. She continues her exploration of the sounds of the past by rediscovering instruments then fallen into oblivion: the spruce, the hurdy-gurdy and later the harp, which she taught herself. It thus contributes to the emergence of the folk movement in France.

In 1978, she released “Maison rose”, her first solo album, which played with all borders and styles, and which constituted a turning point in her musical and artistic career. It combines ten years of folk journey and exploration of traditional sounds. She then collaborated with the Baschet brothers, Jacques Rémus and Bruno Menny (student of Xénakis).

In 1990, following a serious accident, she goes deaf. Modern medicine being powerless, she managed to heal by rehabilitating her ears through the sounds of her voice and the resonance of its instruments. Learning from this experience, she turned to healing music and music therapy and created Maïeuphonie, which she practiced for fifteen years in children’s institutes and psychiatric hospitals and teaches regularly at the International Center for Music Therapy.

The 2000s marked the return to experimental music and the song. She met many musicians around the collective-record label “Les Disques Bien”, with whom in 2011, thirty years after “Maison rose”, she recorded “Maison cube”. From there she meets electronic music and collaborates with artists like Etienne Jaumet, Vincent Segal, Pierre Bastien, Tomoko Sauvage, Didier Petit, or Zombie Zombie.

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