Lê Quan Ninh

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photograph copyright Bruno Wagner.

Born Paris, 1961; percussion & computer.


Lê Quan Ninh (first name Ninh) won first prize in percussion at the Versailles Conservatory in Sylvio Gualda's class and has played with several contemporary music ensembles (Musique Vivante, Espace Musical, Alternance, Entre-Temps, Musique Oblique), including pieces by Varèse, Xenakis, Zimmermann, Dillon, Dao, Messiaen, Bartok, Denisov, and Stravinsky. He has composed and played music for the theatre (Compagnie Free Théâtre, Compagnie du Hasard, Théâtre en Actes, Association Notoire) and for video. He is one of the members of the Hêlios Quartet, a percussion ensemble which works with composers, new pieces having been commissioned from Jean-Pierre Drouet, Vinko Globokar, Giorgio Battistelli, George Lewis and Kaija Saariaho.

On the improvising front, Lê Quan Ninh first met Peter Kowald in 1987 and the two musicians have continued to work together since, particularly in various combinations of the bassist's Global Village. In 1988 came Lê Quan's first meeting with Carlos Zingaro, an association that again continued in a variety of groupings: in Ned Rothenberg's 'Speaking in Tongues' at Moers [with, in addition, Kazue Sawai (koto), Keiji Haino (electric guitar), Jim Staley (trombone), Robert Dick (flute), Sainkho Namtchylak (voice)] and a 1993 tour of Portugal with Daunik Lazro. Another long-standing musical partnership has been with Butch Morris, started in 1991, reinstated in Hamburg with Excesstet [Butch Morris (cornet) , J. A. Deane (tb & electronics), Martin Schütz (cello & electronics), Paul Lovens (perc) and Hans Koch (clarinets)] and continued in various Conductions (ensembles conducted by Butch Morris) in which have played: Günter Müller (perc & el.) J. A. Deane (tb & el), Christian Marclay (turntables), Martin Schütz (cello & el), Brandon Ross (g), Bryan Carrott (vibes), Elizabeth Panzer (harp), Steve Colson (p); many of these have been recorded in the New World Records Testament box set.

Other participations have been in the 1994 quintet with Phil Minton, Elliot Sharp, J. A. Deane and Reggie Workman at the Konfrontationen festival in Nickelsdorff (Austria), Idiome 1238 with Dominique Répécaud (el. g), Olivier Paquotte (el. b), Daniel Koskowitz (dr), Jacques Debout (recycled records), Michel Doneda, Fabrice Charles (tb) and Jean Pallandre (loud speakers) - first performance also 1994, and the Sülleyman Erguner ensemble: Zeena Parkins (harp), Martine Altenburger (cello), Myra Melford (p), Riccardo Fassi (p), Mario Arcari (oboe), Stefano Montalto (alto), Yoshizawa Motoharu (ctb), Tristan Honsinger (cello), Edgar Laubscher (viola) and Bill Horvitz (el. g).

He plays regularly in ensembles: IDIOME 1238 (since 1995 with D. Repecaud, O. Paquotte, D. Koskowitz, J. Debout, M. Doneda, F. Charles, J. Pallandre); QUANTA (since 1995 with M. Kimura, J. Pallandre, V. Geais, M. Pichelin, M. Doneda), LES DISEURS DE MUSIQUE (since 1990 with S. Pey, M. Doneda, D. Lazro), KINOBITS (since 1996 with Z. Settel, A. Tanaka, C. Zekri, J. Noetinger, C. Auger, X. Querel), LES VOIX D'ENCRE with Ly Thanh Tien, in duet with Michel Doneda, LE GRAND HUIT (since 1989 with M. Mathieu, M. Doneda), ROUES LIBRES (since 1995 with B. Slasak, J. Pallandre, M. Pichelin, M. Doneda, J. Blondel, G. Chauvet), PHUSIS (since 1995 with E. Petit, F. Charles, J. Pallandre, M. Pichelin, M. Doneda, M. Demereau, Steve Robbins), OPEN PAPER TREE (since 1993 with M. Doneda & P. Rogers)... in forms that mix acoustic & electroacoustic music, improvisation, 'art performance', dance, poetry, experimental cinema, photography and video... Since 1993, Lê Quan Ninh has been developing his own interactive computer music under MAX.

Lê Quan Ninh 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 Michel Doneda, 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.

e-mail: contact@lequanninh.net


1985, Rituals, Leo records LR141. Misha Lobko sextet.
1988, Lazro/Doneda/Lê Quan, Van d'Oeuvre 8903 (LP) & In Situ 037 (CD).
1989, Arranoa, Ocora C 559045. Beñat Achiary.
1989, John Cage: works for percussion, Wergo WER 6203-2. Quatuor Hêlios.
1992, Musiques pour répondeurs & standards téléphoniques, NS 01.
1992, Soc In Situ 590163. Doneda/Regef/Lê Quan.
1992, Conduction 22: Documenta: gloves & mitts, New World 80481.
1992, Conduction 25: Akbank; Conduction 26: Akbank II, New World 80483.
1993, Conduction #38: In Freud's garden, New World 80486.
1993, Burning cloud, FMP CD 77. With Butch Morris and J.A. Deane.
1994, She was sitting in the first row, MS34. Mario Schiano group; private limited edition release.
1994, Open Paper Tree, FMP CD 68. Rogers/Doneda/Lê Quan.
1995, Idiome 1238, 33Revpermi 9506.
1995, Not want to say anything about FZ, Vand'Oeuvre VD0 9509. Track on compilation CD.
1995, John Cage, Auvidis Montaigne MO 782076. Duo on Ryoanji with Jöelle Léandre.
1995, Ustensiles, FOR4EARS CD 822. Solo.
1995, Les diseurs de musique, Vand'Oeuvre VD0 9814.
1995, Cuts FMP CD 94. With Peter Kowald and Ort Ensemble.
1997, Hyperion, Hurta Cordel LE.
1997, Humannoise Congress #7/#8/#9, Humannoise Congress CD-R/booklet.
1997-1998, Montagne noire, Poil - Ouïe Dire Production 0797. Sassi/Doneda/Pichelin/Lê Quan
1999, Quatuor Hêlios, Vand'Oeuvre VD0 0018.
1999, Drumlike 326 label. Quatuor Hêlios plus....
1999, Ana ban In Situ 234. One track on Dominique Répécaud CD.
2000, John Cage: Credo in us ... more works for percussion, Wergo WER 6651-2. Quatuor Hêlios.
2000, La voyelle liquide, Erstwhile records 010. Günter Müller/Lê Quan Ninh.
2000, No stars please, Accretions ALP022. One track on Trummerflora CD.
2001, Brame, Ouïe Dire Production CPO209. Sassi/Doneda/Lê Quan/Monsarrat/Pallandre/Robins.
2001, Exaltatio utriusque mundi, Potlatch P203. Duo with Frédéric Blondy.
2001, Le ventre négatif, Meniscus MNSCS 011.
2003, Une chance pour l'ombre, Victocd094. Kazue Sawai/Michel Doneda/Kazuo Imai/Lê Quan Ninh/Tetsu Saitoh
2003, Improvised music from Japan 2004, Improvised Music from Japan IMJ-304. One track by Une chance pour l'ombre on compilation CD.
2005, AGiiiiR, Free elephant 010. André Goudbeek/Christine Wodrascka/Peter Jacquemyn/Lê Quan Ninh.
2007, Everything that disappears, Emanem 4146. Grosse Abfahrt.
2008, Uwaga, Not Two MW 859. André Goudbeek/Lê Quan Ninh/Peter Jacquemyn.
2014, Aplomb, Vand'Oeuvre VD0 1542. Michel Doneda/Lê Quan Ninh.
2014, Peter Jakober/ensemb]h[iatus, Césareé 16/10/17/1.
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