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From Lille to London

Q: On which project are you collaborating with Music Sales?

Yannick Marzin: It’s a very ambitious project involving choreography by Carolyn Carlson, Artistic Director of CCN Roubaix, and music by Joby Talbot, a British composer based in London.

Carlson was appointed as the head of the organization at the end of 2004 and we quickly began to dream about several creative projects. Building on Carolyn’s successful collaborations with composers such as Philip Glass, Gabriel Yared and Kaija Saariaho and the presence of such musical organisations as the Orchestre National de Lille and Opéra de Lille in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, where we are based, we went in search of a composer.

By chance, during the spring of 2005 in London I heard a programme on Classic FM devoted to Joby Talbot, who was then composer-in-residence at the radio station. Having made a note of his name, I was anxious to make contact with him. After searching on the internet, I sent an email to Chester Music in London, explaining simply who we were and the kind of projects we were hoping to develop.

Within the hour I received an email from Gill Graham, Head of Promotion for Chester Music who knew Carolyn Carlson through her work with Kaija Saariaho. The team at Music Sales responded immediately to my request for information about Joby. I arranged to meet with the promotion team in London and I left the office with my arms full of CDs and information.

Carolyn listened to the CDs and was inspired to meet Joby , who had never worked with a choreographer before. The most convenient time for all was at the premiere of a Carolyn’s new work, Inana, in Roubaix the following autumn.

Joby and Gill came to Roubaix to see the company and the work of the choreographer. The next day, a series of meetings followed – Joby and Carolyn shared their experiences, their sources of inspiration and their working methods. I then continued the meeting with François Bou and Jacqueline Brochen of the Orchestre de Lille and later with Caroline Sourier, Director of the Opéra de Lille.

Q: Did you stay in contact with Music Sales once Carolyn had decided to create a new work with Joby?

YM: Yes – it was, and still is, essential to remain in contact with them. The dialogue has been continuous, not only regarding artistic matters, but also the staging of the production. There is an excellent network there which complements mine very well. We met at each other’s offices as often as necessary – Lille is only 1 hour 40 minutes from London!

The relationship which we have established led me to propose another project with the ballet of the Munich Opera, where Carolyn is going to create a 20 minute work. The directors of the opera, which has excellent instrumentalists at its disposal, wanted an existing piece of music which could be played live. I asked my new publishing colleagues to put together some recordings of composers from their catalogue that might suit Carolyn’s aesthetic and this project. We decided upon Mishima, a quartet by Philip Glass, which had never been performed live.

Yannick Marzin is the CEO at the CCN Roubaix Nord Pas de Calais where he works closely with the choreographer Carolyn Carlson. He worked at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris before joining Carlson as producer for her many international projects.

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