Getting Jazzy with EYM Trio
It was a cold November day in 2010 when Elie (Dufour), Yann (Phayphet) and Marc (Michel) met in Lyon. The spark was instantaneous and the EYM Trio was born !
As is often the case, the pianist, double bass player and drummer share common musical tastes. Indeed, among their influences are jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Chick Correa and Michel Petrucciani along with modern musicians and bands like Avishaï Cohen, E.S.T and Joshua Redman. Owing in part to this eclectic mix of inspirations, the EYM Trio creates a very personal and captivating universe with their music. The band is known for the finesse with which it creates a balance between the rhythm and harmonies, between playfulness and sensitivity.
With a strong musical identity and maturity, the band has been performing in Europe for the past few years. Under the initiative of Alliance Française de Bangalore, the band will embark on a 7-city Indian tour in July 2016 within the network of Alliances Françaises in India and Nepal. The trio will be performing in Trivandrum (17 July), Chennai (19 July), Bangalore (21 July), Goa (23 July), Pune (26 July), Ahmedabad (28 July) and Delhi (29 July).
How did all of you meet?
We met in 2010 on the bench of the Conservatory of Lyon. Marc Michel (drummer) and I (Elie Dufour, pianist ) were in the same class and I wanted to work on a musical project with him. Then we recruited Yann Phayphet (bass) to create a proper band. We became friends after that.
Does friendship and musical affinity go hand in hand for artistic creation?
Yes, it is paramount. Especially in a group like ours, with few musicians creating music amongst ourselves and regularly travelling thousands of kilometers. We deeply believe that the music we propose is the most important element for a group to really continue and develop itself.
Does it take a lot of effort to create the atmosphere of your concerts or does it come naturally?
We can’t say we work on the atmosphere of our concerts. We are what we call a trio “passe-partout”. The variety of the public that is likely to be interested is very broad, ranging from a metal fan to a classical music lover.
We used to play in big theaters, seated concert halls and even churches with an audience which is very attentive and silent. You can also set the mood in bars and jazz clubs for an eager public.
Each concert has its own particularity which comes mostly from the audience that we finally perform for. This certainly creates a mood based on the parameters of the evening but everything happens naturally.
How do your respective personalities influence your musical style?
The three of us have very different musical influences. This is what contributes to the richness of our music: music that transgresses codes. Marc comes from the jazz stage and has mastered its traditions to perfection. Yann is more into the hip-hop groove but can also play bass and almost make it sound like an electric bass: a very rhythmic and precise style of playing. Personally, I bring the “Music of the World” influence (which means nothing and everything at the same time). The colors of our music come from different parts of the world, from the Balkans to North Africa through the Andes, for creating an improvised style. The music played by the EYM Trio is a synthesis of all these genres. Three worlds at a confluence to create a personal and original style of music.
What do you expect from this tour in India?
This tour in India is an opportunity to share our music with an Indian audience. Playing away from home and discovering how our music is perceived in a culture which is very different from our own is a unique experience. Until now, we mostly had concerts in Europe where our music was welcomed warmly. After our first few trips, the way we play together became more textured.
We expect this tour to be an inspiration, filled with discoveries of all kinds. We hope to return and to make a link between our different arts and cultures. In Ahmedabad, the EYM Trio will be performing with kathak dancers Raina and Kadam for an original project. We enjoy such projects, and Alliance Française has the power to make them come true.
The keyword here is exchange. The network of Alliances in India has already given us a lot by scheduling our tour and we are glad to held with promoting the same. We will be glad if the different Alliances Françaises in India can mobilize their artistic and professional networks so that we can meet interesting people for possible future collaborations.
Would you like to share any embarrassing or funny stories from any of your performances?
During the tour we did in Italy in September 2015, we decided to spend a night after our concert in Venice. We went on a boat ride in the canals of the city at 4 a.m with the manager of the place where we were playing. We were tired after the concert but were carrying our instruments. We decided to play some music and halted for a moment under the Rialto Bridge. The reverberations were magical – totally unlike anything we had seen before! We went to sleep around 6 am but were woken up at 7 am because we had a 10 hour road-journey ahead of us. Needless to add, we couldn’t get any sleep until the next day!
What was your dream job before you became artists?
Elie : When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a pilot, a fireman and even a vendor who sells miniatures of the Eiffel Tower. Apart from that, I’ve always wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember.
Yann : Without any doubts, a pineapple seller in Mauritius!
Marc : I’m passionate about space exploration. So if I had to choose something else, I would love being an astronaut!
Ambre ARCANGELI (Asst. Cultural Coordinator, Alliance Française de Bangalore)
Prutha NARKE (Cultural Coordinator, Alliance Française de Bangalore)