Christophe Rocher

Christophe Rocher
Composer, improviser and clarinetist Christophe Rocher is also the artistic director and founder of Ensemble Nautilis.
Christophe Rocher trained at the Clichy Conservatoire (France), then along the way by Jacques Di Donato, Fabrizio Cassol and Steve Coleman.

Artificial Intelligence Engineer (trained at Esigelec, Rouen, France), he developed a particular eye for the link between music and the world of science throughout his career.

He has collaborated with leading figures in jazz and improvised music from France and particularly the United States. Since the beginning of his career, he has been developing a constructive vision of the place of creative music in our contemporary societies by acting both as an artist and as a creator of events.

Creations as a composer and artistic director:

  • The Art Ensemble of Brest: experimental fanfare, created at the Quartz de Brest for the first Fanfares Festival.
  • Extenz'O with Edward Perraud, drums, and Olivier Benoit, guitar: improvised music trio (CD in 2008)
  • Un Homme est mort (created with Quartz): comics- Concert with Olivier Benoit, guitar, Jean-Philippe Morel, double bass, and Sylvain Thévenard, electronics.
  • Nautilis (first repertoire): for the writing of this program, Christophe Rocher received a French State special funding (CD in 2012).
  • Passage secret ("Fédération des scènes de jazz / JMF" creation): young audience show with Elise Caron and Christofer Bjurström.
  • Bonadventure Pencroff (Chicago festival collaboration): Franco-American sextet with notably Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop (CD in 2014).
  • Nos Futurs? : Tryptique with Sylvain Thévenard Electronique and the 3 male voices of Mike Ladd, Beñat Achiary and Anne-James Chaton (triple CD in 2016 on Abalone).
  • Regard de Breizh : Nautilis in large ensemble on Guy Le Querrec's photos (CD 2017 on Innacor) Third Coast Ensemble-Wrecks (created at Quartz): composition Rob Mazurek, artistic direction Christophe Rocher (16 French and American musicians), (CD 2017 at RogueArt).
  • New Origin: with Joe Fonda and Harvey Sorgen, CD on Onoff Records, European and American tours in 2019.
  • Cabaret Rocher: in duo and octet: CD in 2020 on Musiques Têtues Records, distributed by l'Autre distribution, tour in 2020 in duo and octet (China, France)
  • Brain Songs (from 2018 to 2022): large Arts Sciences project mixing musical creation and neuroscience.
  • Champs de Bataille (2021): photo-concert on Yan Morvan's war photographs with Edward Perraud and Vincent Courtois.
  • Kapteyn Gaïa (2023): post-humanist musical adventure with Mike Ladd, T.I.E., Frédéric B.Briet and Nicolas Pointard.

Some outstanding collaborations:

  • The Bridge: Franco-American organization, Christophe collaborates in several capacities, notably in a formation with Nicole Mitchell, Christian Pruvost, Lionel Garcin, Lisa E Harris. Circum Grand Orchestra (Direction Olivier Benoit) : from 2005 to 2015, 4 different programs in large ensembles, 4 CDs.
  • Bernard Lubat: Christophe joined some of the Lubat company's projects from 2004 to 2006. Christofer Bjurström: numerous cine-concerts
  • Occasional but important collaborations with : Joëlle Léandre, Erwan Keravec, Paul Rogers, Hasse Poulsen, Claude Tchamitchian, Gualtierro Dazzi, Carlo Rizzo, Daunik Lazro, Assif Tsahar, Elise Caron, Hamid Drake, numerous musicians from the AACM of Chicago, Jacques Pellen, Jacques Di Donato, Michel Doneda, Christophe Lavergne, Jean Morière, Monique Lucas, and many others.

Production and distribution

Christophe Rocher created the Penn Ar Jazz association and the Atlantique Jazz Festival in Brest, and was its artistic director from 1997 to 2007. For 10 years, he organized the improvised music meetings Luisances in Brest. He is also at the origin of the MZ-Records label.

Passionate about science, he explores the territories of research alongside, for example, Alexandre Pierrepont (anthropologist and creator of The Bridge) and Nicolas Farrugia (neuroscientist) with the aim of creating bridges between science and music.

Photo credit: Luigi Radassao

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