Jacques Burtin at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
|Birth name||Jacques René Carlos Burtin|
10 November 1955|
|Genres||Contemporary classical, Ambient, Experimental music|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, improviser, writer, film director, (experimental film, documentary film)|
Jacques Burtin (born 10 November 1955) is a French composer, writer, producer and filmmaker.
After studying Literature and Art at La Sorbonne (Paris), he was introduced to the kora by brother Dominique Fournier at the Abbey of Bec Hellouin (Normandy, France) and by brother Dominique Catta, composer and choirmaster of the Keur Moussa Monastery (Senegal). He began to compose for the kora, solo pieces as well as duets with Western instruments.
His works are inspired by poets like Grace Schulman and Christian Bobin, spiritual authors like St. John of the Cross or Etty Hillesum, writers like Georges Simenon or Hermann Hesse, painters like Henri Matisse or Jean-Michel Basquiat, or photographers like Nan Goldin or Diane Arbus. He collaborates with artists, dancers and poets and conceives interdisciplinary performances.
Jacques Burtin is also involved in improvised music and has given concerts based on improvisation with harpist Susan Allen (musician), French panflute player Jean-Claude Mara, Japanese koto player Damien Harada, and French saxophonist Tullia Morand.
In 1997, Jacques Burtin meets Susan Allen (musician), harpist, professor of harp and improvisation at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts). From their meeting until Susan Allen’s passing in 2015, they see each other on a regular basis to improvise, give performances and exchange on musical pedagogy. In 2007, they release the CD Renaissance. After the death of Susan Allen, Jacques Burtin pays tribute to the American harpist by creating a dedicated website with unreleased testimonies, musical creations specially written by composers of all horizons and unpublished videos of their Paris sessions (harp and kora improvisations).
Between 2002 and 2012, Jacques Burtin gives seminars on Improvisation and Interdisciplinary Creation in the Faculty of Fine Arts School of the University of Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain, in collaboration with Spanish Choreographer Alicia Gómez Linares.
In 2004, he is invited by the Paul Verlaine University (Metz, France) to participate to the Colloque sur l'Art du Peu (Seminar on the Art of the Few): he gives a solo kora performance based on haikus and writes an essay: La Tentation du peu (The Temptation of the Few).
On 12 May 2006 his music is featured among the works of twelve composers from around the world in Sonic Channels, a concert hosted by the New School University and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Since 2006, Jacques Burtin also plays the gravi-kora and composes for this instrument. He gives kora and gravi-kora master classes and works on kora pedadogy.
Jacques Burtin writes, produces and directs poetic and experimental short films as well as documentaries on contemporary artists. His films What damns me saves me and The Dialogue of Shadows were screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2011 and 2012. The Child of La République was screened at the Bilbao Short Film Festival Zinebi in 2015.
Burtin is currently working on a multidisciplinary project based on the twenty-two Major Arcana of the Tarot of Marseille. An homage to his late colleague, harpist Susan Allen (musician), this project explores the creative act via improvisation.
- 1986 – Ballade de l'île d'Yeu, for solo kora
- 1988 – L'Annonce à Zacharie (The Announcement to Zacharias), for viola and kora
- 1989 – Tant et tant d'amour (A Love so great, so deep), suite for flute and kora inspired by Georges Simenon's autobiography Mémoires intimes.
- 1989 – La Passion selon saint Jean (The Passion according to Saint John), oratorio for tenor, kora and two narrators
- 1990 – Le Maître du Haut Château (The Man in the High Castle), suite for piano, kora, saxophone and synthesizers inspired by Philip K. Dick's novel.
- 1991 – Le Jeu des perles de verre (The Glass Bead Game), suite for flute, viola, guitar and three koras inspired by Hermann Hesse's novel.
- 1992 – Ave Maria for soprano a capella
- 1993 – Les Nus bleus (Blue Nudes), suite for solo flute inspired by the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse
- 1996 – L'Amour – Musiques pour Thérèse (Love – Music for Thérèse), suite for kora, recorder, cello and koto
- 1997 – Music for Michael Lonsdale's play Vous m'appellerez Petite Thérèse
- 1998 – La Traversée de Bilbao, dedicated to Nan Goldin, for voice, saxophone and tapes.
- 1998 – Music for Benoît Lardières's play Les sept vies d'Homère Petitbois (The Seven lives of Homère Petitbois)
- 1999 – Où est ton coeur, est la musique (Where is your Heart, is Music), for accordion and kora
- 2001 – Eloge de la Lumière (Praise for the Light) for kora, violin and electric guitar
- 2001 – Apuntes de Eduardo Chillida (Eduardo Chillida's Notes), for a violin, a kora, a dancer and a narrator
- 2001 – Six chants syldaves (Six Syldavian Songs), for cello and kora
- 2002 – Music for Algis Arlauskas's film Carta a mi madre (A Letter to my Mother)
- 2002 – Lumière du monde (Light of the World), improvised suite for synthesizer, sampler and a Tibetan bell
- 2003 – Nouveaux chants syldaves (New Syldavian Songs) for viola and kora
- 2004 – Your Shadow Will Shine – Requiem Notebook, electroacoustic music – a Tribute to Victims and Survivors of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks
- 2006 – One Thousand Sources, for solo kora, dedicated to Susan Allen (musician).
- 2006 – Days of Wonder, suite for solo kora, inspired by the Book of Poems by Grace Schulman
- 2007 – L'Or jeté au fleuve (Gold thrown into the River), Kora Sonata No.1, in memory of Yves Klein
- 2007 – Music soundtrack for seven art documentaries by Vincent Gille (on the works of Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Sophie Calle, Paul Klee, the Menil Collection...)
- 2008 – Le Chant de la Forêt (The Song of the Forest), suite for kora, gravi-kora, flute and viola
- 2010 – Une clarté, une voix, un parfum... (A Brightness, A Voice, A Perfume...), Kora Sonata No 2
- 2013 – L'Enfance de l'Art, Suite for Gravi-kora n°1
- 2015 – Le Silence après la pluie, Suite for Kora n°6, inspired by the work of Christian Bobin and dedicated to him
- 2017 – Lazarus, for piano and soprano
Poetic, Experimental and Documentary films
- 1977 : L'Innocence du grand large, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin and Vincent Gille, Super 8, 20'20
- 1977 : Corps à corps, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin and Bruno Montpied, Super 8, 12mn
- 1979 : Préface, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, Super 8, 41mn
- 1981 : Les Vacances de Platon, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin and Vincent Gille, Super 8, 15mn
- 1982 : Magnificat, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin and Vincent Gille, Super 8, 11'30
- 1982 : Brèves, an experimental film produced and directed by Jacques Burtin and Vincent Gille, written by Vincent Gille, Super 8, 10mn
- 1984 : Neuf Lettres, an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, Super 8, 23'33
- 1997 – Autoportraits (Selfportraits), an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, with Agnès Rivière, Vincent Gille and Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, Hi8, 4:3, 34mn
- 2005 – Transmigration, a documentary film on the Czech artist Filomena Boreckà, written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, DV, 4:3, 15mn
- 2005 – L'autre regard (The Other View), a documentary film on the painter Alexandre Hollan, written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, DV, 4:3, 19mn
- 2010 – Bilbao Dream, an experimental film written and directed by Jacques Burtin, produced by Iñigo Lopez and Jacques Burtin, with Mónica Serrano, Robin Caballero and Javier Cortés, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 6mn
- 2011 – Oxymorons, a documentary film on the Czech artist Filomena Boreckà, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 8mn31
- 2011 – Les Carnets d'Enza, a documentary film on Enza Palamara's work, written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, DV, 4:3, 28mn
- 2011 – Ce qui me perd me sauvera ("What Damns Me Saves Me"), an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 7mn
- 2011 – Le Dernier Kodachrome ("The Last Kodachrome"), an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, with Valérie Maes, Joseph Morder, Elina Labourdette, Enza Palamara, Philippe Bernier et Gabor Deshors, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 37min
- 2012 – Le Dialogue des Ombres ("The Dialogue of Shadows"), an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, voices by Valérie Maes and Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 16'22
- 2013 – Le Crime sans fin ("The Endless Crime"), an experimental film written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, voices by Valérie Maes and Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 16'
- 2015 – Portrait de l'Artiste en Alchimiste et en Guerrier ("A Portrait of the Artist as an Alchemist and a Warrior"), a documentary film written and directed by Jacques Burtin, produced by Françoise Murillo, on the work of French painter Thierry Guého, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 24'
- 2015 – L'Enfant de la République ("The Child of La République"), a poetic, biographical and experimental film written and directed by Jacques Burtin, produced by Françoise Murillo, voices by Bernard Métraux and Jacques Burtin, texts by Tristan Corbière and Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 24'
- 2015 – Rencontre avec Roméo, a documentary film directed by Jacques Burtin, written by Jacques Burtin and Bruno Montpied, produced by Françoise Murillo, with French outsider artist Roméo Gérolami, music by Jacques Burtin, HD, 16:9, 18'
- 2017 – Les Îles de Lumière (Islands of Light), a film inspired on Christian Bobin's works, written, produced and directed by Jacques Burtin, music by Jacques Burtin (fourth movement of the Kora Sonata n°4), 8'
- 1991 – Sacres, nine prose poems, La Goutte d'Eau, Paris
- 2004 – La Tentation du Peu (Temptation of the Few), in Actes du colloque de Metz 2004, Christine Dupouy Editor, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2008
- 2005 – Sang céleste – Lettre à Filomena Boreckà (Celestial Blood – Letter to Filomena Boreckà)
- 2008 – Le Dialogue de la forêt (The Dialog in the Forest), a conversation with Odile Portal
- 2009 – Chemins de l'art, chemins de l'âme – Musique, art et prière (Paths of Art, Paths of Soul – Music, Art and Prayer), an Introduction to the 3-CD Box Set Le Jour des Merveilles, Bayard Musique
- 2002–2010 – De la improvisación (About Improvisation), notes on improvisation for the Fine Arts Students of the Basque Country University
- 2012 - Les Origines, a conversation with Marie Zénon.
- 1990 – Jacques Burtin, Promenades heureuses – Le Maître du haut château, La Goutte d'Eau
- 1991 – Jacques Burtin, Le Chant des étoiles", Rosée de Lumière
- 1993 – Jacques Burtin, Noir & Or, Rosée de Lumière
- 1994 – Jacques Burtin, Kora à l'Abbaye du Bec-Hellouin (Le Chant intérieur), Studio SM
- 1995 – Jacques Burtin et Jean-Claude Mara, Psalmodies, Mara Productions
- 1996 – Jacques Burtin, L'Amour (Musiques pour Thérèse), Studio SM
- 1997 – Jacques Burtin & Soeur Claire Marie Ledoux, Une Rosée de lumière (Saint François et Sainte Claire d'Assise), with the voices of Béatrice Agenin and Michael Lonsdale, Studio SM
- 1998 – Jacques Burtin, Comme un cercle de feu sur l'eau, Edition limitée
- 2001 – Jacques Burtin & Barbara Marcinkowska, Méditation Kora et Violoncelle, Bayard Musique (re-issued in 2010)
- 2003 – Jacques Burtin & Michel Michalakakos, Méditation Kora et Alto, Bayard Musique
- 2007 – Jacques Burtin & Susan Allen, Renaissance (kora and harp improvisations)
- 2008 – Jacques Burtin, Le Chant de la forêt, with Jean Ferrandis and Michel Michalakakos, Bayard Musique
- 2009 – Jacques Burtin, Le Jour des merveilles, Bayard Musique
- 2012 – Jacques Burtin, Kora Noël, ADF-Studio SM
- 2016 - Jacques Burtin, Kora au Château de Saint-Fargeau - Musiques du Silence, Mysterium Conjunctionis
- 1988 – Une Rosée de lumière – Neuf pièces pour kora, Monastère de Keur Moussa
- 1994 – Le Chant intérieur – Pièces et suites pour kora, Editions Musicales Studio SM
- 2006 – One Thousand Sources, dedicated to Susan Allen (musician)
- 2006 – Diptyque du Bonheur, dedicated to Mary Ann Caws and Dr. Boyce Bennet (includes "Danseuse espagnole" and "La Vie lumineuse et lente")
- 2010 – Joies soudaines – Oeuvres pour kora 1988–2010
- 2010 – Days of Wonder, dedicated to Grace Schulman
- 2010 – L'Or jeté au fleuve, Sonata for kora n°1
- 2012 – Kora Noël, Eighteen Christmas tunes for kora
- 2013 – Le Château de l'âme, Suite for kora n°1, inspired by The Interior Castle of Teresa of Ávila
- 2013 – Une Clarté, une Voix, un Parfum, Sonata for kora n°2, inspired by the Confessions of Saint Augustine
- 2013 – L'Enfance de l'Art, Suite for gravi-kora n°1, dedicated to Robert Grawi
- 2013 – Le Fantôme de Haydn ou la Sonate sans fin, Sonata for kora n°3, dedicated to Philippe Sollers
- 2016 – Le Silence après la pluie, Sonata for kora n°4, dedicated to Christian Bobin
- CD "Renaissance", 2007; six filmed improvisations may be seen at :
- Concert at the Cathedral of Corbeil-Essonnes (France), April 1, 1995, with Jacques Burtin, kora, Jean-Claude Mara, panflute, and Jean Dahais, organ. Jacques Burtin and Jean-Claude Mara also recorded the improvisation-based Cd Psalmodies in 1995.
- Japan Tour, 1998 (Tokyo, Kôbe, Kisarazu, Amagasaki, Tama, Kobushizawa); concerts in Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Church (Paris), March 15, 1998, and March 13, 1999. Jacques Burtin and Damien Harada recorded several improvisations in the Cd L'Amour – Musiques pour Thérèse (1996). A kora and koto improvisation can also be heard in the Cd Le Jeu des Perles de Verre (in the 3 Cd Box Set Le Jour des merveilles published in 2009).
- Concert in La Charlotte de l'Isle, Paris, February 12, 2010. Videos: Saxophone & Kora Improvisation: – 48 Faces: – Hot Couture :
- Renaissance: a Tribute to Susan Allen:
- First performance: Florian Wallez (viola) et Jacques Burtin (kora) in the Church of Notre-Dame-du-Travail, Paris, December 23, 1988.
- First performance: Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Church, Paris, March 19, 1989.
- First performance: Marie-Christine Nahon, Trinity Church, Paris, October 21, 1992
- Jacques Burtin composed two other works inspired by Matisse : Tristesse du Roi (Sorrow of the King), for recorder and kora, and La Porte-fenêtre ouverte (French Window at Collioure), for solo ten-string guitar.
- Love – Music for Thérèse was inspired by the life and writings of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
- Vous m'appellerez Petite Thérèse (You shall call me Little Thérèse), written by Michael Lonsdale, inspired by the life of Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, directed by Michael Lonsdale, with Lila Redouane, Françoise Thuriès and Michael Lonsdale, Palais des Congrès, Paris, 1997, and Crypte Saint Sulpice, Paris, 1997–1998.
- Les sept vies d'Homère Petitbois with Bernard Métraux and Jacques Burtin (kora, piano), directed by Paul Borne, Maison de la Poésie, Paris, 1998, and Théâtre des Roches, Montreuil, 1999.
- First performance: Iñaki Alberdi (accordion) and Jacques Burtin (kora), Rentería, Spain, October 28, 1999.
- First performance: Iñigo Coto (violin) and Jacques Burtin (kora, electric guitar) at the Centro Juan Antxieta, Bilbao, March 15, 2001. Eloge de la Lumière was inspired by the works of Eduardo Chillida.
- Apuntes de Eduardo Chillida – A Poetic, Musical and Choreographic Meditation on the Creative Act, texts by Eduardo Chillida and Saint Teresa of Ávila, conception and music by Jacques Burtin, was first performed in the Lecture Hall of the Universidad de Deusto (Bilbao), May 17, 2001, by Roberto Bienzobas (narrator), Iñigo Coto (violin), Jacques Burtin (kora) and Alicia Gómez Linares (dancer).
- Carta a mi madre won the Tiflos Price of Journalism 2003 for the best documentary film on Spanish National Television, the Stalker Price 2004 at the Stalker International Film Festival for Human Rights Watch (Moscow) and the 2004 Grand Prix at the International Disability Film Festival "Breaking Down Barriers". "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-11-18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- Lumière du monde was dedicated to painter Alexandre Hollan. It was performed by Jacques Burtin at the Galerie Vieille du Temple, Paris, May 15, 2002. Jacques Burtin and Alexandre Hollan met at the beginning of the nineties. Jacques Burtin gave several concerts along the years at the painter exhibitions, and he directed a documentary on Alexandre Hollan: L'autre regard (The Other View).
- The first version of this work accompanied Maria Jesús Cueto’s installation El Palacio de Medusa (Castello della Rocca di San Giorgio, Lombardy, July 2004), a work the Spanish artist dedicated to the victims of 3/11 Madrid bombings. Your Shadow Will Shine – Requiem Notebook was written in four languages (Spanish, French, English and Japanese). It has six movements: 1. Requiem (The Words / Las Palabras) – 2. Dies irae (The Seconds / Los Segundos) – 3. Liber scriptus (Wandering Dreams / Sueños sin rumbo) – 4. Rex tremendae (Mad Wind / Viento loco) – 5. Confutatis (Powder and Love / La Pólvora y el Amor) – 6. Lux aeterna (The Promise / La Promesa). Written, produced and edited by Jacques Burtin. With the voices of Mercedes Albaina, Maëlise Blosse, Kô Iwatsu, Junko Minobe, Françoise Murillo and Jacques Burtin. Requiem for a child voice performed by Lucía Gandarias. Sounds of 3/11 Madrid provided by TVE (Spanish National Broadcasting). Texts by Bruno Dellinger, Miguel Hernández, Jacques Burtin, and Japanese poets.
- First performance: New York, May 12, 2006, at Sonic Channels, a concert hosted by the New School University and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Program: ; Jacques Burtin playing One Thousand Sources:
- Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin. 2002. ISBN 978-0-618-34082-8. 
- These are the seven films : L'Amnésie (on a photograph by Sophie Calle): ; Danseuse(s) espagnole(s) (on Joan Miró's works): ; Le jardin des merveilles (dedicated to Paul Klee) : ; Les Yeux dans les ailes des anges (on the Romanesque paintings of the Catalan Museum of Art of Barcelona: ; Donner un visage au désespoir (on the photographs of Baudelaire, Nerval et Rimbaud) : ; Dans les forêts profondes (about Max Ernst) : ; La Rime et la raison (about the Menil Collection): 
- Une clarté, une voix, un parfum... was performed at the Collège des Bernardins, Paris, October 2, 2010, as a musical counterpoint to the reading of Saint Augustin's Confessions by Sapho and Charles Gonzalès. Program: Archived 2010-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. – Photos: Archived 2012-11-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- This film is at the same time a meditation on Childhood, Time, and Desire, and a succession of selfportraits where the artist appears (or is reincarnated) as a Super 8 mm film projector, a library, or a blue canvas methodically cut into pieces... Autoportraits :
- Transmigration: Transmigration was shown during Filomena Boreckà's exhibition " Fugacidad ", Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid (26 May – June 26, 2005). See document, pages 17 to 21: Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- L'autre regard:
- [Ce qui me perd me sauvera on IMDb ]
- "Ce qui me perd me sauvera" at the 53rd International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao (Spain, 2011): Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- [Le Dernier Kodachrome on IMDb ]
- "Le Dernier Kodachrome" European Premiere at the 53rd International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao (Spain, 2011): Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- [Le Dialogue des Ombres on IMDb ]
- [Le Crime sans fin on IMDb ]
- Actes du colloque de Metz 2004, pages 391 to 415. ISBN 978-2-296-06569-7
- Sang céleste (Lettre à Filomena Boreckà) :
- Le Dialogue de la forêt :
- Chemins de l'art, chemins de l'âme – Musique, art et prière:
- De la improvisación:
- Four interviews centered on the formative years of Jacques Burtin. Les Origines - Entretiens avec Marie Zénon :
- Le Jour des merveilles is a 3 CD Box Set reflecting twenty years of work on the kora. It includes Le Jour des merveilles (Days of Wonder), Le Château de l'âme (The Interior Castle) and Le Jeu des perles de verre (The Glass Bead Game).
- Official Website
- Jacques Burtin on IMDb
- Tribute to Susan Allen A website conceived and edited by Jacques Burtin, with testimonies, unreleased videos and new music composed by Susan Allen's friends and collaborators.
- La Kora : tradition et histoire à l'Abbaye de Keur Moussa au Sénégal (The Kora – Tradition and History in the Keur Moussa Abbey in Senegal):
- Videos : Keur Moussa Abbey and the kora