Rhys Chatham has brought a new energy to the contemporary music landscape for over thirty years. This passionate composer, guitarist, trumpet and flute player was also a true pioneer of the avant-garde New York scene in the 1970s and 1980s.
Rhys Chatham began his musical career as a piano tuner for minimalist composers La Monte Young and Glenn Gould. While he was in charge of the musical direction of The Kitchen, in Manhattan, he invited several experimenters such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
In 1977, he went to a Ramones concert and was so impressed he decided to incorporate rock elements to his own compositions. Then, he went on to collaborate with several alternative rock musicians and contributed to the emergence of the « no wave » movement, linking minimalism and jazz with punk rock and noise rock (Brian Eno, Sonic Youth...).
Later, his famous « Guitar Orchestras » compositions were designed to explore the whole range of sounds electric guitars could produce – sometimes using 100, 200, or even 400 guitars (A Crimson Grail) in the process – in order to immerse the audience into a spatial and powerful ambiance.
For his creation designed especially for A Summer in Le Havre 2018, the composer surrounded himself with a team composed of Jean-François Pauvros and Nico Guerrero, acting under the technical direction of Pascal Bence.