If one person has had a lasting influence on Félicien, it is undoubtedly his reference, the tremendous Richard Galliano. He listens to his albums, snaps up tickets to see him in concert whenever possible and then one day they met. This meeting was inevitably instrumental and is reflected in what Félicien says about Richard:
« Richard Galliano successfully continued the work opening up our instrument, bringing it to its highest level in styles as varied as French chanson, jazz and then classical. We owe him so much. »
By talking to his idol he ended up convinced of a need to review favourite accordion repertoire while promoting creation. He dreamed about this ‘piano with straps’bearing reference points, armed with its popular roots, a standard bearer for the longing for novelty unique to any art form.
CREATION OF A COLLECTIVE OF MUSICIANS
Félicien will very quickly seek to bring his instrument into dialogue with those of the best musicians of his generation. From 2017, he surrounds himself with the Quatuor Hermès and the double bassist Édouard Macarez with whom he imagines two successive projects in sextet: Le Pari des Bretelles then Neuf. Several duos were then created: from 2018 with double bassist Édouard Macarez, the following year with trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary and guitarist Thibaut Garcia, and most recently at the end of 2022, with cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca. In 2021, a quintet came to life, the Quinteto Nuevo Tango, bringing together pianist Thomas Enhco, violinist Jordan Victoria as well as Thibaut Garcia and Édouard Macarez around Félicien’s accordion for a tribute to the great Astor Piazzolla.
TO FEDERATE TODAY’S COMPOSERS AROUND THE ACCORDION
Beyond these fruitful collaborations, Félicien Brut will quickly affirm his desire to write new music for his instrument. In 2016, he gets in touch with the young composer Thibault Perrine. Their collaboration has never ceased since and will generate a multitude of other meetings and other commissions. Fabien Waksman, Thierry Escaich, Karol Beffa, Jean-François Zygel, Domi Emorine, Corentin Apparailly, Thomas Enhco, Patrice d’Ollone, Cyrille Lehn or Stéphane Delplace have all composed for Félicien, for the accordion. In addition, there are some very talented arrangers, authors of some superb arrangements and transcriptions. Among them are Thibault Perrine, Cyrille Lehn and Domi Emorine but also Bruno Fontaine, David Venitucci, Simon Cochard or Lucas Henri.
“At the beginning, I suffered a little from the lack of recognition of this instrument, often considered as old-fashioned or obsolete. Some people think that the musette is responsible for this image, but that’s forgetting the benevolent look that it was able to arouse. The accordion is popular because it is often associated with the festive moments of everyone’s life and we owe it to the musette. It can now become the emblem of the reconciliation between learned and popular music. I hold as proof the growing interest that so many musicians and composers have for our instrument.”