Compagnie Impérial



Impérial Orphéon – Inouïe Distribution – 2019

At almost ten years old, Impérial Orphéon is finally making its first album: Seducere.
Recorded in February 2018, the album is due to be released on the 12th of April 2019 (with a sneak preview for the lucky people of the Baltic States and Finland). An album from Impérial Orphéon is made with love, it simmers on a low heat, stoking the flames of anticipation – the first taste is nothing short of emotional, and it is made to be devoured with ears wide open.
Seducere, is a flirtatious dance, an explosion of sensual energy! Enter the dance and lose yourself in a whirlwind of desire. Suspended in time, everything becomes a blur, a tidal surge!
Let it set your body alight!
Still just as out-of-the-ordinary, constantly in motion, the music these four produce is a long way from running out of stories to tell. The stories that bring them together are made to be shared; infinitely human and full of emotion. They bring us tales from bayous in the city and music halls in the fields: mestizo folklore with a finely crafted sound where the constant quest for freedom soars. Traces of opera, insistent urban grooves, pop tunes – a boundless dream from lands both foreign and familiar.
Welcome to the world of the Seducere.

Grand Carnaval

Impérial Quartet – Inouïe Distribution – 2016

“Drop the act, the party has started! We live at 100 miles an hour, zapping our touch screens, I like, you disengage. It’s a joke! But we are always together, believing, making the dream a reality, nurturing it, helping it grow. Impérial Orbit, feet on the ground, head in the stars!”
Damien Sabatier

All the colours blend together; who is the musician, who is the carpenter? Rich in rags, merry and poor, living from day to day, from our dreams is born a glimmer of truth for a plastic world. With our warm breath, our bows drawn, and our skin pulsing with the rhythm of life, everything can change in the space of a day. Grand Carnaval.
Joachim Florent

“Grand Carnaval is a chord that shifts, catches up with itself, and gradually balances out as the groove unfolds, it is the simple yet committed act of sharing our voices.
Antonin Leymarie

We made this album like we were in the kitchen. In the middle of winter, it was warm: we had a few drinks, tongues loosened, we could talk freely, we listened to each other and we lost our tempers. We drew inspiration from each other. That kitchen smelt of old cloth, hundreds of faded theatrical costumes amongst masks and figurines made from clay. It was odd! But we felt at home.
Gérald Chevillon

Radio Kayes

Impérial Pulsar – 2015

Impérial Pulsar marks the point when the world of Compagnie Impérial first met Mandinka culture. Following on from their encounter with West African traditions, the group wanted to create a new repertoire of original material by merging their music with the Khassonke tradition.
It is a true exchange between two worlds, two eras, based on the rich and ancient tradition of Khassonke rhythms and songs combined with a modern Western perspective. This creation is called: Radio Kayes.

The Khassonke are a Mandinka people from Sahelian West Africa who live mainly in Mali, in the Kayes region, in the communes of Bafoulabe and Kayes in what used to be part of the Khasso Kingdom, although some also live in Senegal and Gambia. Khasso (country of the Khassonke people), is hemmed in by the Soninke people to the north west, the Bambara to the north east, and the Malinke to the south.
This is the culture that the musicians from Compagnie Impérial immersed themselves in during the three weeks they spent in Bamako (August – September 2014), in order to gain a better understanding of this musical union and to choose the Kayesian artists who would work with them on this creative project. First performed in France in December 2014 at the Africolor Festival, it was then recorded in 2015.

Slim Fat

Impérial Quartet – Naïve – 2013

Impérial Quartet presents Slim Fat, produced at the Studio du Flon in Lausanne, Switzerland, a linchpin for Erik Truffaz when recording albums – the place is imbued with his energy.

Slim Fat is a high-speed journey through modern folklore. It is an urban perspective on popular music, where seething energy (Le Cube) runs alongside open spaces (Bees of universe).

Heavy, possessed Grooves (Country Joe, Chateau Cheval) sometimes venturing into trance (D&G, Cumbia de la Luz); soaring lyricism (Tupac Amaru, Dojo) and exquisite ballads, with a highly unusual line-up – electric bass, bass saxophone, and baritone saxophone – Impérial Quartet is living its dreams and its fantasies, burning bright, abandoning itself to the simple pleasure of playing.

Impérial Orphéon

Impérial Orphéon – 2013

Impérial Orphéon is an unusual group with explosive energy: these four virtuoso multi-instrumentalists, complicit and supercharged, carry you with them to dance to a music of unexpected force and generosity.
Antonin Leymarie, Damien Sabatier, and Gérald Chevillon are accompanied in this insane jig by Rémy Poulakis, exceptional accordionist and opera singer.
Impérial Orphéon propels you into a modern folk dance which is full of character: an invitation to dance to Brazilian Choros, devilish Bulgarian melodies, and Gnawa trances, all wrapped up in vocals worthy of Rossini, revised operatic airs, and original compositions!

An Impérial Orphéon dance is for listening, for moving your body, for letting off steam!

Impérial 4tet

Impérial Quartet – 2011

After spending a year working on the music and experimenting live, Impérial Quartet began working on their first album, which tells the tale of this adventure. It therefore seemed only right that it should be a live recording, made on tour in May 2011. The group decided to approach this recording like a chamber orchestra. In order to capture the fragility nature of a live performance, they recorded a series of four entirely acoustic concerts.