Clément Althaus, musician extraordinaire, doesn’t just stop at making music. He is a storyteller and a juggler of baroque-cum-dance floor sounds.
It may be labeled a concert, but when Clément Althaus steps on stage, you may just have sold your soul in a Faustian pact with Le Bateleur, “the juggler”. Enveloped in wallowing fog that could well represent the smoke and mirrors the world consists of, Clément Althaus transcends styles and genres, creating a real-time orchestration that marries gentle keyboard strokes with baroque choir voices and electrifying dance floor guitar riffs – an otherworldly and yet harmonious sound that reaches into the deepest recesses of our emotions, designed to confront you with the truth about yourself, and to challenge reality. And yet, it’s all about love. Is he a poet or a charlatan? You decide on June 7 when he lures you into his enchanted “ba-Rock” forest of at the Théâtre de la Cité in Nice.
If the Niçois native’s musical vision has a distinct theatrical feel to it, it is not a coincidence. Primarily a musician by education and inclination, the multidisciplinary artist developed a taste for theatre over time when working with l’Opéra de Nice and Collectif 8 for the past ten or more years. You have doubtlessly heard numerous songs and sound landscapes written and performed by him, like in C8’s Double Assassinat dans la rue Morgue, L’Homme qui rit and La Religieuse. You have even seen him as an actor in L’Ile des Esclaves, Alice or Faust, to name but a few. And he was asked to write film music for free dive world champion Guillaume Néry.
Clément Althaus is one of the most sought-after contemporary composers. But he feels drawn back to his musical roots. “I am responding to a visceral need to return to the direct and intimate form of a musical solo. The technical device I use allows me to build live orchestrations from a looper. Keyboards, guitars, percussion, vocals and choirs build complete arrangements in real time,” Clément explains his approach. Imagery is an integral part of the process. Some musical flights are particularly suitable for visual company – just like theatre depends on music. Unexpected sounds sometimes take over from the music in order to complement or combine ideas. “The red thread of a suggestive narrative guides us safely from one emotion to another.”
The show at the Théâtre de la Cité will also celebrate the launch of Clément Althaus’ first album “Chansons pour demain”, featuring his occasional stage partners Christelle Bernard (violin, cello) and Jérémy Boumendil (percussions). Phase 1 (100%) has been successfully crowdfunded by his fans but for those who want to see and hear this phenomenally talented Niçois musician on the national stage (or even internationally, he does sing in English as well), there is still a chance to participate.
Very few tickets are left for Le Bateleur on June 7 at TdC, so book quickly
31 May – Bucéphale (Draguignan)
8 June – Fête du Port (Nice)
9 June – Festival l’Improbable (La Gaude)
13 June – La Rascasse (Monaco)
21 June – Esplanade Francis Palmero (Menton)
28 June – Atelier Orange Bleu (Nice)
30 June – Fête du Château (Nice)
All photos courtesy Clément Althaus