Festival MIMI 1986 - 2007

Since 1985 and since 2001 on the Frioul Islands in Marseille Bay. An innovative, transaesthetic programme.


MIMI 2004 (EN)

MIMI 2004 (EN)

19e édition
Iles du Frioul – Marseille

In France, independent record producers have only a 3.3 %share of the market, while the average in other European countries is 16.1 %, and even 23.5 % in the whole world. Sad “French cultural exception ” !!!

Although French people are convinced that their country is the world ’s greatest haven for culture, it is in fact a heavy consumer industry of so-called “cultural objects ” that predominates in France, with all its most adverse effects (”festiv alisation “,reality show TV ,“high culture ” centres ,etc.).

Beyond this orgy of consumption (which, one has to admit, does not in any w ay guarantee the quality of our public cultural policies), anyone could also suffer from this violence : the quantity of films ,records , books ,festivals, etc. to be swallowed in a flash, as the ultimate condition for being allowed into the closed circle of “culture freaks ” is now escalating at a psychologically dangerous rate. Our heads are inflating. It’s even quite unaesthetic.

Therefore we propose the following :
Come to MIMI only if this “consumption” is the starting point for listening to your inner voice, the music of your soul. This will make you strong.
Come to listen only if this urges you to do something (anything you want), whether as a professional or not — we ’ll see later …
Don ’t expect to get your money back if you don ’t like the entire program. You are not here to “adore ”,but to echo.
While seated on the benches at MIMI, listen to the “cultural exceptions” of your foreign neighbours…there may be some surprises in store for you..

You are fully entitled to own only one CD, to have no academic qualifications, to never read “cool ” magazines, and to not be French … but this doesn ’t mean that anyone is allowed to tell you that you are “uncultured”. Stand up for your rights !

Ferdinand RICHARD

Night of complicities
Les Paésines : auparavant nous ne savions que chanter
de François-Michel PESENTI
Throughout the years,we have crossed paths with Pesenti’s,and quite often during MIMI festivals, to which this unique theatre director comes, probably to seek in another discipline (in the first sense of the term) juxtapositions, productive emotions and seismic shocks which he translates into depictions of human relationships. At one MIMI festival, he met Fred Frith and put together Helter Skelter, an opera whose different stages of development have been chronicled in our annals.This time, Pesenti invites some of our MIMI musicians onto the vibrant scene of Les Paésines. With this story,(but also with Silent Block, with Compagnie Maat), we are facing the multidisciplinarity that is so important in the eyes of our “cultural experts ”. I have to confess here that no one can force this multidisciplinarity to exist. Artists do not need us to create their own unexpected interactions and complicities, and that’s fair enough...

No fat night
Silent Block (France)
Cowhause (USA)
Derek Bailey (Grande-Bretagne)

There is something graphic and linear,in the musics of tonight. It does not mean that they cannot reach our heart. Behind the architecturality of Silent Block’s “instruments”, we can recognise the pure poetry of Le Junter, a new “facteur Cheval” of hybrid technological improvisation. And Colin Bricker ’s laptop really plays the delicate game of the “medieval manuscript illuminations” for Janet Feder’s compact “songs”, nothing to do with the omnipresent layers of digital whipped cream spewed by our modern computers. Here, everything is reduced to essentials, and who could be a better master than Derek Bailey to eliminate any excess fat from this direct relationship between the soul of the artist, his fingers, the wood, our ears and our hearts ?

Night in black
Katz (France, Toulouse)
Univers Zéro (Belgique)

Univers Zero have developed their strong character for thirty-one years,steering a straight, consistent course against all winds and tides:exactly what is required to gain true legitimacy and respect. Here, there is no more or less mystical hotchpotch,no alien language. The thing that really connects is the actual composition and And it really does connect!!!
Univers Zero, cofounders of Rock in Opposition, a naive prehistoric network, finally leave a more “aesthetic” heritage for the following generations than their “political” wishes at that time.As far as following
generations are concerned,precisely, one could re-discover in Katz this love for well-composed music, rising spirals and clever twists. Here again, there is no blah-blah, but real sound, real work,an opus in iron which is purged of its worthless impurities,at any level, and for any listener. The baton has been passed on.

Night of the return of the prodigal sons
Scorch Trio (Finlande / Norvege)
Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Ensemble (Japon)

These guys,who were both initially guitarists, are efficient destroyers of ready-made methods. First class rebels...true pioneers. It is not easy to label them in a style or an image, or to confine them in expected collaborations. Both of them are extremely productive, but, finally, produce only one significant opus, their signature. One expects them to be “noisy”, but they compose lullabies. One wants them to improvise jazz, but they deal with composers.One sees them as stars, but they are modest. Otomo “re-composes” the jazz of his origins, the good old time of the “jazz kissa ”,adding his holiday pics and his trips. Raoul, after working with Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell, two recordings for ECM, and a forty-guitarist ensemble, comes back to fundamentals, BB King, Hendrix, Coltrane, and Zappa. Transcending the origins …

360 digrees nights
“Temporament”, compagnie Maat (France /Égypte)
Tinariwen (Mali)

It’s the flat space which is the common factor here.
The human body as the only vertical thing in an area we could call a “desert ”. Karima Mansour, an Egyptian dancer, and Ahmed Compaore, from Marseille (with roots in Egypt Burkina Faso), recreate an apparently limitless, almost bare space on the MIMI stage. Bodies dance, of course, but they are also percussion, wrapping. They are the only couple Tinariwen, as far as they are concerned,are seven.But they sit down on those carpets that they have in their tents,in the desert, with almost nothing, some Czech electric guitars,and they sing the music of the Touareg youth, tales of emancipation, of trucks breaking down, dreams,with this particular swing inspired by the camel walk,and a “positive nostalgia”, a giga-force which only such people could make you feel.