Biography

Quentin Sirjacq : Pianist, composer and multi-instrumentist

Pianist/composer/multi-instrumentist Quentin Sirjacq was born in Paris in 1978. His eclectic musical interests keep him active as an improviser, a new music performer, and a composer of music for film, theater and radio. He studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands) between 1999 and 2004, where he completed an M.A. in Piano.

 

He met Fred Frith in Amsterdam’s avant-garde music circuit and played with him several times, which lead to his enrollment at Mills College, CA to study composition. While at Mills, he has performed the music of F. Rzewski, J. Tenney and F. Frith, among others, and premiered a new work by José Maceda with virtuoso percussionist William Winant. This experience has allowed him to expand his relationship with the piano and his approach of music between traditions and experimentation.

 

Since his debut album « La chambre claire » (2009), he has worked and performed regularly with Dakota suite (Chris Hooson and David Buxton), and has started a collaboration with Akira Kosemura and Shin Kikuchi for japanese label Schole records which lead him to release several albums on this label as well as being invited to perform regularly in solo in Japan.
He composed often for radio, films, or stage.

He performed in several countries including USA, Canada, Japan, England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Czeck Republic…

 

 

Selected press

 

Textura – Canada
about « piano memories »
april 2014

 

« Sirjacq’s pieces are intimate expressions that are both powerfully emotional and elegant in formal design. His delicate touch is on full display in every one of the recording’s settings, and the music is often nostalgic in mood and heartfelt in tone—even if, in text by the composer accompanying the release, Sirjacq states that his “music is neither nostalgic nor romantic but ‘reminiscent.’”

 

« The inclusion of electronics and celesta also adds variety to the album by providing contrast between the pieces on which they appear and the ones solely devoted to piano, and the subtle manner by which Sirjacq integrates electronics into the material is in itself an indication of his consistently tasteful approach to music-making. »

 

Chain D.L.K –
by Vito Camarretta – USA
about « Bright days ahead » / Schole
January 2014

 

 » His delicate piano-driven music, which maybe will be immediately linked to French impressionists like Debussy, Faure, Saint Saens or Satie, sounds like drawing fully from classical music, jazz and American minimalism, but some hues and fades as well as the emphasis which got sometimes highlighted by strings, cello or viola in striking tracks like « Bright days ahead closing », « Hide-and-seek », « Airport », « Hotel », « With the wind » or « Going to Julien » clearly show the skills and the talent of this composer and pianist, whose enchanting and deeply emotional music could engender some secret tears to people who don’t tend to be always on the brink of tears, which are going to fade away on the more joyful final bonus track « Swimming and laughing ». »

 

Heathen Harvest
by Sage – USA
about « The side of her inexhaustible heart » (w/Dakotasuite)
February 2012

 

« Hooson is noted as saying that he feeling Sirjacq was cut from the same tree as him, and one couldn’t argue as not only are the expressive piano arrangements a solid foundation for the rest of the music within to build off of, but the hundreds of hours spent making sure that every piece was perfectly fit into its place show the makings of a true craftsman.  It seems that through both of their collaborations, these two artists were destined to work with one another, both because of the care taken in their music, but also because of their personal experiences.  Comradeship, selfless love, and beautiful music.  You couldn’t ask for more. »

 

Timeout Chicago
by Mia Clarke – USA
« Vallisa »
 January 2011

 

« Vallisa is a beautifully captured document of the trio’s mesmerizing live performance of ten Hooson pieces. Hooson’s melancholic style provides the main structure for the works, but bright improvisational interludes weave between the settled, somber segments. The spirited, intuitive interaction on tracks such as “A Worn Out Life” and “The North Green Down” have the feel of old friends finishing each other’s sentences. This powerful unity is even more remarkable considering that 32-year-old Sirjacq was given just two days to prepare for the concert.
The result is a remarkable document of three distinct, confident voices, and a tribute to the powers of serendipity. »

 

The Wire
by Barry Witherden – UK
about « Out of nowhere » (w/Joelle Léandre)
June 2009

 

« She’d probably dislike the description, but Joëlle Léandre must be regarded as a pillar of the Improv and exploratory music establishment. Pianist and composer Sirjacq has been one of her students at Mills College, California, and seems equally at home in the realms of free Improv and ‘serious’ music. Although they are a generation apart, the two musicians are remarkably homogeneous, the result not only of having played together for some while, but of careful and responsive listening during performance – the mark of the best improvisors. They produce music of such coherence and cohesiveness that most of the 11 pieces on the album sound like meticulously considered compositions, even though they were improvised from scratch. Exemplary. »

 

Free Jazz
by Stef – Belgium
about « Out of nowhere » (w/Joelle Léandre)
May 2009

 

« Both musicians do make an effort to meet half-way, even if their natural styles are radically different. Sirjacq’s playing is impressionistic and sparse, he does not need many notes to create a captivating musical environment, which leaves lots of open space for Léandre to accentuate, deepen and contrast. She is much more daring than he is, understandably, adding the raw tones of her bowed improvisations sometimes like a knife cutting through lace, yet also sometimes sensitively and hypnotically laying a solid single tone foundation for the high piano tones, or adding a weeping arco melody over the intimistic piano chords. The contrast and the synergetic effect are both working well and superbly delivered. All the improvisations have a different character and approach, leading to a wealth of ideas, sentiments and styles, yet all fitting really well in the album’s overall unity. Léandre keeps amazing me, and Sirjacq has a great future in front of him. Strongly recommended. »