Marjolaine Charbin is a pianist. She uses the keyboard, strings, a range of objects, contact microphones, hands and voice. She is interested in how these things interact with each other, and what meaning comes out of it.
From and early age she began to play before she had any lessons on the old mechanical piano player decorating the hallway of her parents home. She was fascinated to hear the songs going atonal as the wholes in the paper rolls moved away from the tracker. By chance her neighbour was a classical concert pianist who became her teacher. When she was fifteen she temporarily neglected the piano to play bass guitar in a band that never made a public appearance, for their rehearsals always turned into endless jam sessions, and nobody knew what to make of it !
During her high school years in Paris, she discovered Miles Davis and Art Blakey, began to play along with CDs and couldn’t get enough nights in the city’s jazz clubs.
She moved to Belgium to study sound engineering, where she discovered musique concrete and sound design, and the experimental approach of working with sounds from the environment and objects.
Then it became clear that her creativity had to move back to the piano and she studied jazz at the Koniklijke Konservatorium in Brussels. She completed her masters degree in 2007. A year later, she was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Banff Centre Jazz Workshop, directed by Dave Douglas.
Around this time she sharply focused on improvisation. She felt a need for deconstruction, both of the usual musical forms and ways of creating with others, and of her physical and sonic approach of the instrument. She dived into the strings and frame with objects, in a quest for new sounds and ways of expression.
Her interest in indirect ways of thinking about her work opened up a period of collaboration with dance, film and theatre. Dancers like Julyen Hamilton and Lisa Nelson in particular had a significant influence on her practice. She curated a concert/performance series in Brussels called “There is still a body”, dedicated to experimental dance and music.
When Marjolaine moved to London in 2012, she became involved in Eddie Prevost’s workshop, which spawned several new collaborations.
She has collaborated with a wide range of musicians including, starting from the most recent, Dominic Lash, Chris Cundy, Eddie Prevost, Angharad Davies Jennifer Allum, Ute Kangiesser, Ken Ikeda, Edward Lucas, John Butcher, Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, Douglas Benford, Grundik Kassiansky, Kate Halsall, Olivier Toulemonde, Guillaume Viltard, David Toop, Clive Bell, Paul Dunmall, Maggie Nichols, Sarah Gail Brand, Javier Carmona, Ann Eysermans, Frans Van Isacker, Audrey lauro, Lawrence Casserley and Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg.
She has performed in numerous venues and festivals in Europe and the UK including Cafe Oto (London) The Vortex (London), Exploratorium (Berlin), Hurta Cordel festival (Madrid, Barcelone), Sound Disobedience Festival (Ljubljana), Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival and Music We’d Like To Hear concert series (London).
Marjolaine is currently supported by Arts Council England to develop her practice. She is focusing on developing her language for solo performance.
Over the years, Marjolaine Charbin has collaborated with a wide range of musicians from the improvisation/experimental scene, including, not exhaustively and starting with the most recent collaborations: Eddie Prevost, Jennifer Allum, Ute Kangiesser, Ken Ikeda, Edward Lucas, Douglas Benford, John Butcher, Angharad Davies, Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, Grundik Kassiansky, Clive Bell, David Toop, Guillaume Viltard, Olivier Toulemonde, Lawrence Casserley, Rhodri Davies, Neil Davidson, dancers Julyen Hamilton and Theodossia Stathi, Paul Dunmall, Peter Evans, Maggie Nichols, Gail Brand, Javier Carmona, Dominic Lash, Ann Eysermans, Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Frans van Isacker, Audrey Lauro...
Improvisation workshops with Evan Parker, Joëlle Léandre, Barre Phillips and dancers Julyen Hamilton and Lisa Nelson, various locations. 2005-2010
Bannff Center Summer Music Workshop directed by Dave Douglas, Canada. 2008
Lecture series on Deleuze and the Arts, ISELP, Brussels. 2006
Royal Conservatoire of Brussels - Bachelor and Master Degree in Music Performance (Jazz Piano), Belgium. 2000 (...) 2007
Institut des Arts de Diffusion (IAD) - Sound Engineering Degree. Belgium. 1995-1998