WHO'S THAT LION?
Jazz has been oozing through each breath and sweat drop of this fiercely dancing animal for more than 35 years now! Jazz? Well… not only: song, poetry, rock, even hip-hop are all more than fine for him.
The Collectif du Lion can best be defined as an artists’ collective; some of its members have been here since the very beginning. They come from different backgrounds and disciplines and join forces for creations and productions, multidisciplinary projects, musical bands… around a shared sense for aesthetics.
“(...) I have come to know a bit better the strange inhabitants of this imaginary planet. These are musicians who have a sense for generosity, a taste not only for research and innovation but also and especially for sharing. No doubt this is the reason why they have adopted other broad-minded travelers fond of innovative music (...) For thirty years now, the Collectif from Liège has taken a unique place in contemporary jazz, or rather in contemporary music, for , that there lies its strength: it crosses borders, cracks codes and invents new ones, while respecting its hosts ... and the others. There are indeed few streams powerful enough to leave a mark, without destroying anything, in the musical landscape often way too conservative. Fortunately, jazz is without doubt one of the disciplines most open to that kind of ventures. And fortunately for us, within jazz, musicians like those of the Lion relentlessly open new spaces in order to go further than the music itself.”
Excerpt from the preface to “Sur la piste du Collectif du Lion…”
As of its very early works, the creative framework of the Collectif du Lion has been thriving on a wide variety of traditions, influences and practices (jazz, contemporary music, theatre, song, literature...). All this was “filtered” to extract our essence, our living memory, as craftsmen do, by doing and re-doing, to discover our own identity, a recognizable and very personal speech tone blending rigor with poetry, joy with nostalgia, emotion and legibility. Right from the very first musical bands who were parts of the Collectif du Lion, the desire has always been the same: that of a real band, a sound, a profound song (the “duende”), before and beyond genres and styles. The desire for chivalrous paths and real emotions like those found in primitive music with no will to even sound modern. The quest for primal vibration and organic melody, for the rhythm and the movement of a singing or moving body, and those of the pleasure-seeking listener, awake, alert and smart. Similar yearning infuses everything you will find in this website; our music, our teaching style, our collaborations, our interdisciplinary projects ... Do and re-do, as craftsmen do!”
Once upon a time, a bunch of young musicians gathered, all coming from a time blessed by the gods... Henri Pousseur, a visionary man and the head of Liège Royal Conservatory at that time, opened the doors of his temple to musicians and teachers from all backgrounds and horizons, whether with or without a degree.
Soon after the opening of the Jazz Seminars and Improvisation Classes that looked and sounded more like laboratories, the need for playgrounds was felt by all those involved. The “Lion S’Envoile” (a jazz club reinvented by the Cirque Divers) would soon become one of prime importance; it actually inspired us for the names of our first bands: the Orchestre du Lion and the Collectif du Lion. This musical buzzing frenzy gave birth to many other bands and groups, along with the need for a structure capable of coping with these artists’ lives. Established in 1989, our non-profit organisation was named Le Collectif du Lion as a tribute to that jazz club, a truly special venue for experimentation, production and distribution.
In case you want to know more (and read French…), dive into the book Sur la piste du Collectif du Lion… Une aventure plus que musicale, fifth volume of the Voies de la Création Culturelle, published in 2015 by PAC Press.
ADVENTURE in IMAGES
Sur la piste du
Collectif du Lion
une aventure plus que musicale
In 2014, Claude Fafchamps (Arsenic2) and Yanic Samzun (Présences et Actions Culturelles) invited us to produce the fifth volume of the collection «Les Voies de la Création Culturelle» – PAC Press.
The goal of this collection is to recount the experiences lived, to make them more visible and legible, to make a place to provide a status and to appreciate the inventive actions which leave the standards of industrial cultural consumption.
This 192 page book with different authors and magnificently illustrated by the Racasse Studio team, “shows us that the sparse paths converge to another way of creating, a means to create together”. This Lion is sparse?”
Jacques Prouvost – JaZzques 18/06/2015