Born Brive, France, 1954; soprano saxophone.
Michel Doneda has been involved with music since he was 15 years old in the Harmonie Municipale and through playing in several dance bands; his first instrument was the alto saxophone. In 1980, in Toulouse, he created the reeds trio 'Hic et Nunc' with Steve Robbins and Didier Masmalet and, in collaboration with Théâtre de l'Acte, began l'Institut de Recherches et d'Echanges Artistiques (I.R.E.A.) comprising actors, poets, and musicians all interested in the possibilities of improvisation. At the same time, he played with the musicians of the collective G.R.I.M. in Marseille as well as the 'Tour de France' organised by Louis Sclavis. There, he met the singer Beñat Achiary with whom he has continued his musical relationship to the present day. Exchanges and meetings increased via the festival of Chantenay-Villedieu and the nato label: meetings with Fred Van Hove, Raymond Boni, Steve Beresford, Tony Hymas, Lol Coxhill, Joêlle Léandre, Phil Wachsman, John Zorn and Ravi Prasad, among others.
In 1986, Michel Doneda worked with the 'Compagnie du Hasard' and toured Poland, Spain, South America and Hungary; it was from the tour of Poland that the trio of Daunik Lazro/ Lê Quan Ninh/Michel Doneda was formed and they have since given concerts in Europe and Canada. Between 1986 and 1990, Doneda formed a trio with the violinist Alexander Balanescu and Beñat Achiary, and a quartet 'Terra' with Achiary, Lê Quan Ninh and Dominique Regef (hurdy-gurdy). Also in this period, he set up 'Le Grand Huit', improvisation music-theatre with the actor Michel Mathieu and Lê Quan Ninh, and the 'Diseurs de Musique' with the poet Serge Pey, Daunik Lazro and Lê Quan (premiered at Radio-France). Doneda's work with Lê Quan Ninh continues with the trio 'Soc' (Lê Quan, Regef, Michel Doneda) and Open Paper Tree (with Paul Rogers, doublebass).
In 1990, Doneda created the label Sonographica with percussionist and composer Alain Joule to investigate the possibilities of mixed media such as music, painting and literature; the first release on the label was Le Chameau d'Ispahan. The association with Joule has continued until the present, incorporating a radiophonic creation 'Voyage Sonore' in Provence-Côte d'Azur with the Groupe de Musique Electroacoustique d'Albi (G.M.E.A.), Barre Philipps, and the movie-director Robert Kramer; and in 1995 Doneda and Joule worked in a trio completed by Tetsu Saitoh (double bass). His work with Barre Philipps is similarly long-standing, incorporating a trio at the beginning of the 1990s; 'Voyage Sonore'; a 1994 European tour with Fifth Season: Barre Philipps's trio plus Kazue Sawai (kotos), Tetsu Saitoh, Martin Schütz (cello) and Hans Burgener (violin); and 1995 concerts in Calabra (Italy) in a trio completed by Sebi Tramontana (tb).
Other invovlements have included: a 1993 itinerant trip in Gabon to meet local musicians; the premiere of the trio Elliott Sharp/Jin Hi Kim/Michel Doneda at the festival 'Musique Action' in Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy; Dirty Leaves, a trio with Robert Dick (flutes) and Steve Robbins (saxes); Idiome 1238 with Dominique Répécaud (el. g), Olivier Paquotte (el. b), Daniel Koskowitz (dr), Jacques Debout (recycled records), Fabrice Charles (tb), Jean Pallandre (loud speakers) and Lê Quan Ninh; and Quanta with Mari Kimura (violin, computer), Jean Pallandre (tapes), Vincent Geais (mélissons), Marc Pichelin (analog synthesizer) and Lê Quan Ninh (percussion & computer).
Michel Doneda is a member of the Association La Flibuste engaged in the organisation and presentation of improvisation in relation to others art forms. The members of the Association La Flibuste are Lê Quan Ninh, Emmanuel Petit (g), Fabrice Charles (tb), Ly Thanh Tiên (actor/dancer), Isabelle Folliot (plastic artist), Vincent Geais, Marc Pichelin and Jean Pallandre (electroacoustic musicians), Frédérique Baritaud (painter), Béatrice Slasak (experimental cinema), Pascal Delhay (dancer), Ronald Curchod (graphic artist, painter), Philippe Besse (mathematician, violin) and Christian Monsarrat (video). Numerous mixed media performances have been organised since 1994. Association La Flibuste runs it's own CD label - Poil - whose first release was Eclipses by Michel Doneda and Jean Pallandre.
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