Behind the piano: Paul-Marie Barbier

It’s Thursday, and time to introduce another great contemporary composer and piano player to you! A while back, I posted about a track by Paul-Marie Barbier (also a member of the band Caravan Palace), and today we’ll dig deeper intro the mind of Paul-Marie!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I grew up in Vannes (Brittany), near the well known “Golf du Morbihan”. I now live in Paris.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started learning piano at the age of 5 (I’m presently 38). At 12, I began studying percussions and especially vibraphone. I also play guitar and various electronic instruments.

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
There was a piano at home… I had the chance to meet a very good teacher. I entered a music school (“conservatoire”) at 9 and studied harmony, composition, piano and percussions until the age of 20. Then, I came to Paris to learn  jazz theory and to focus on vibraphone.

How long have you been making piano music?
It’s my first solo piano album ! But not the last… I’ve already planned to release some more albums within the next months. I also compose movies soundtracks. 

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself !
Well I composed my first piece when I was 7 !  I have always wanted to be free on playing my own compositions. But it needs time to be confident in yourself. I think I got ready at the birth of my first child, 8 years ago.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I do love Chilly Gonzales’s work. His career is very inspiring. The main theme of “The Leftovers” composed by Max Richter has been like a shock to me. Simplicity, pure elegance and sadness… 

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s? 
One of my own, I must say… It’s called “If Not”. Plus “A flat 7/8” a short piece I composed ten years ago.

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Tough question… I think there are no rules when you make music. (?)

How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I have my own little studio with all my instruments. I recorded my first solo album with a friend, Arnaud Vial, who helped me to focus on the moment. 

What’s your take on sampled instruments?
It’s evil ! So convenient but not reality… I mean, for a solo piano album. As a soundtrack composer it’s just awsome.

Thank you very much for your participation!

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