Anne de Boysson

Composer and pianist

France

Author

About

After a childhood shaped by travels, her parents being itinerants, Anne de Boysson is quickly moved towards composition. She finished her musical studies in piano in 2013 and obtained the same year the 1st prize at the International Competition "Music and Earth" in composition (Sofia, Bulgaria).

In 2014, Anne received a state commission from a quintet for cellos as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the 1914-1918 war. This piece was created at the Great War Memorial in Peronne, in the presence of more than 80 UNESCO ambassadors. Fours years later, she received another state commission from the Army Brass Band, who performed at the annual Gala Concert of the Land Forces in October 2018 (Lille, France).

With an eclectic career, she joined in 2015 the composition class of film music directed by Jean-Michel Bernard in Paris at the conservatory, from which she graduated three years later with honours. As much at home in the classical as the electro while passing by the music of the world, Anne has already composed the music of forty institutional clips, documentaries, short films, participated in film-concerts (in particular with the Cinema Le Balzac in Paris), following her selection at the Master-Class composition of the International Film Festival of Aubagne directed by composer Marc Marder.

Selected at the TRIO residence in 2018, the Music and Cinema Workshop in Moulin d'Andé in 2020, Anne has the chance to be selected also at the International Festival of Aubagne (France), the International Festival of Namur (Belgium) and the Jerusalem Film Festival (Israël) to participate in professional meetings.

Anne de Boysson released in September 2018 her first album entitled Evocation where she performed on the piano her own compositions. This album is introduced by the pianist Junko Okazaki. She regularly performs in France (Embassy of Great-Britain in Paris, Church St-Merry) and abroad (Sicilia, Sardinia) as pianist and composer.

Since January 2019, she daily works as composer and arranger for the MetaMusic American Society. She also performs a lot of arrangements of chamber music for the application Cadenza, created to help professionals musicians for theirs concerts and theirs preparations of international competitions.

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Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

For me, music is a fantastic and emotional experience of sharing with other human beings. That is why I love giving recitals of my own compositions so much. I love to bring the public into my musical world, playing piano, talking about my inspirations, and sharing a moment of joy at the end of the concert. The piano is one of my best friends, but music isn't only a passion. It is a personal development tool. For me, when I compose, I bring into the light what I have in my heart.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music is kind of like a recipe with many different ingredients, and one of those ingredients is fantasy. It is an important part of the recipe, but definitely could not make music alone! Inspiration, a love of music, and above all, hard work are also very crucial. I would say that hard work is key in reaching the freedom of fantasy, whether the goal is to become a great musician or a composer.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I would still have been involved in the arts, probably as an actress for theater or cinema. My grandfather worked in the film industry (he was a director of photography) and there were always a lot of annotated scripts at his house. I was so fascinated by that world. Still today, when I give recitals, I always dedicate a lot of energy to the scenic aspect, sharing with the public about my work, such as telling them what has inspired me. I love this unique relationship that you can create with the public when you are on stage.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Hmm... I definitely think that musicians must adapt, but not in the future...right away. I have been working for 2 years now with an American society to arrange applications, traditional songs, classical songs and even Disney songs for non professional musicians who don't read music. All of my arrangements are performed by classical instrumentalists, harpist, violinist, clarinetist, and the performer sings on the audio arrangement. It is another way to discover music, to make classical music more accessible. I would say that these last few years there is increasing development to make classical music available to a larger public audience. With the internet, first with the website Moving Classics, for instance, or Facebook lives, tutorials and interviews on Youtube. There are plenty of ways to diffuse music. We, musicians, just need to be creative!

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Music has already started to be an increasingly driving force of education. I am thinking of the Demos orchestra who introduced music in popular milieu, for example. I am also thinking of orchestra at school or the “Grand Prix des Lycéens” which is a french program that aims to introduce and encourage young people in college to discover new musical works.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I had the chance to travel a lot and to discover many different cultures when I was young because I accompanied my parents traveling constantly for work. I have always read a lot and I am really fond of wandering in the forest or by the sea. I was fortunate enough to grow up in “Ile de Ré”, an awesome island on the west coast of France. If I talk a lot about those types of things it is because I truly think that sometimes doing things other than music can harbor the inner creativity. For me to be in a good mental health, surrounded by people I love and who love me, really helps me to be effective in composition. So creativity comes without effort, even if it is for written tortured music score !

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Complex question... Maybe in the production of the concert itself, the musicians can engage and involve the listener more by giving some keys to understanding the pieces better, or including other forms of arts. And as I said previously, I think the Internet can be a good way to attract more of an audience from the younger generation by posting backstages of concerts, interviews, etc.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

One of the main features of my own musical world is to be fully immersed in the experience of the atmosphere and ambiance created by the music. I am very sensitive to the feelings and emotions that music provokes. So when I start composing, I like to get myself into the mood intended. I remember one night when I was about twelve years old, I was alone in a tiny house in the middle of a big park. Outside, it was pitch black. There was no light in the lounge I was in except for a candle near the piano. And I remember... It was just fantastic for inspiring creativity. Later I revisited the composition I wrote that night, and you can too with this extract :



Hmm, my favorite piece... it is too difficult to choose a favorite among all my babies! But one I will share with you for its brightness and liveliness is my 3rd piece of SPIRALS :





I can also share the mysterious mood of my trio for Violin, Flute and Harp :





But honestly, in general, I always love the last one I composed, and that is a lot of love right now because I composed a lot during the two lockdowns here in France.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Listening to music inspires a lot of visual representations for me personally. Music is such a great way to travel through your own world. So, if I were to give advice to young people it would be to just close your eyes and imagine the story inspired and created by the music you are listening to.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

It depends. I compose a lot for the cinema, both short-movies and documentaries... so yes, I am thinking about the audience but also about the film and the purpose of the music. In a short movie, for instance, there is limited time to create just the right atmosphere, to immerse the spectator in the story. So the more key considerations are clarified with the directors regarding the intention behind the music, the more efficiently I can consider the audience. Otherwise for my concert compositions, I don't think about anything at all when composing; I am in my own inner world, far from anything else.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I will release my second album of compositions this year with my sister Madeleine de Boysson, violinist. We have wanted to create something together for so long, and the lockdown offered us the time and opportunity to finally make it happen. We are planning several concerts together for next spring, which will just depend on the pandemic.

Feel free to follow my Facebook page for updates and to keep in touch : https://www.facebook.com/annedeboysson.page