Pro and International saxophonist (soprano, alto, tenor), producer and composer with strong academic background in music (musicology).I am also an open minded music producer for more than 20 years with project like the Urban Travellers or the Celebration of Quetzal.
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Interview with Jean-Christophe Ballarini
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: On Midnight Subway with Transmusique, a piece I was writing for the band. After that, I found myself on a piano leading an orchestra of jazz professional and semi-professional musicians to play my piece during a studio recording in France.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Not on my music because this is not a work.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both if possible, I worked with both all my life.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Never promise more than you can perform.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Hearing music I so often need!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am just an ok jazz saxophonist. Improvisation is an art like said Gershwin it takes forever to master.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What can you offer me?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Good Luck!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: What a nightmare I don't like that question, I cannot listen to the same music all the time,just the idea of it is too frightening, I need to feed my ear with new and old sound. Even other sounds than music. So an Island it's too small. Actually I would find a tree and a branch on the island and start finding different sound from the trunk like a kid.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I don't know I started the saxophone at nine years old a few years later, after a memorable gig where I enjoyed playing I had a wish that music would be everything in my life, until the day I die. I owe it to my Grandpa, my first fan and the musician in my family.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Jazz and Electronic. I thought about Urban as I love city architecture. Even though Jazz is a bit protected when it comes to production, Jazz comes from the streets (and the boats).
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Moonchild, Oak Felder, Carbon Based Lifeform, Jacob Collier, Bonobo, Nitin Sawhney, Sting, Radiohead. Because of their music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Be the music.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Jazz and electronic
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening and reproducing the sounds surrounding me and also what I could do with it inside my head. I use to do that since I was a kid. Can't stop it!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Myself and all those universe inside, both the good side and the dark side.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Absorb like a sponge to be inspired.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: - Selmer super action 80 series II Alto saxophone - Yamaha YTS25 Tenor saxophone - Conn-Selmer PTS 380V vintage finish Tenor saxophone - P. Mauriat 2400DK Curved Soprano saxophone. - Sound Forge Audio Studio 10.0 - Image Line FL Studio 20 Producer Edition - Avid Sibelius 7 First - Akai LPK 25 Midi controller - Yamaha PSR E423 Keyboard - DigiTech Vocal 300 FX pedal - Samson Microphones - Shure SM7B - Shure SM 57 - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 Gen Audio Interface - KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors - Sennheiser e608 mic - Sony MDR-1A - Sony MDR-XD200 - Yamaha MG 12 Analog Mixer - Novation MiniNova Synthesizer - AKG Perception Wireless System WMS45, with AKG C519ML Microphone - Electro Harmonix Riddle Q Balls Filter - Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro - Gearmusic Ovation type Electro-acoustic Guitar
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Moonchild, Oak Felder, the Midnight, Jamiroquai, Carbon Based Lifeform, Haywyre, Jacob Collier, Bonobo, Lakey Inspired, Nitin Sawhney, Sting
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Music production, Saxophone Session and live performance