woensdag 11 oktober 2023

In memoriam: Dominique Perrier

My good friend Dominique Perrier passed away on October 4th.

It must have been somewhere late 2000s when we first met. I have met Dominique a couple of times after Jean Michel Jarre concerts. Always in the background, but one of the most beloved members of JMJ's band.
He was a sympathetic, friendly, down-to-earth, and charismatic keyboard virtuoso, who already had his own musical successes before joining Jarre's band in 1981, being the first Western musicians to perform in the post-Mao China.
Dominique's house was full of merchandising and memories from this concert tour, because this period has been very valuable to him without any doubt.

Space Art's first album "Onyx" (1977).
Space Art was his pride. The band which he formed together with Roger Rizzitelli, and which sold 3 million copies worldwide of their first three albums.
Dominique did a lot of other projects, collaborations and productions, including Stone Age, Didier Marouani & Space, Christophe, Bahamas, Gypsy Kings, and composed a number of movie soundtracks.

After three decades Dominique left Jean Michel Jarre's band in 2010. The year Roger Rizzitelli, and a couple of months later also Dominique's wife Janet Woollacott, died. In 2012 there was the Space Art Tribute, which was the band's first output since 1981. Gathering dear musicians and friends to be part of this so-called Dominique Perrier Project. An European promo tour takes place.

Space Art live at E-Day, Oirschot, NL (29-4-2017).
I managed to arrange some of these 2012 promo concerts for Dominique, and around that time I also started doing part of the sales and distribution of the music of Space Art. We became good friends, met several times in the centre of Paris, and I visited his place just outside of Paris multiple times.
In 2017 Space Art headlined the E-Day Festival in Oirschot. Dominique deliberately wanted me to join the band. He didn't want to be in the spotlights that much, and preferred to have give the younger generation more exposure.
We had relatively short rehearsing time, but it definitely was a nice party on stage!

Space Art's latest album "Personal Duty" (2023).
It took another couple of years (until 2020) until the next Space Art album "Entrevues" was released. From now on together with Tommy, son of Dominique's former band mate Roger Rizzitelli, on drums.
Very recently, on July 14th of this year, the latest Space Art album "Personal Duty" saw the light.
It was a real honour Dominique wanted to release these both albums on my Deserted Island Music label. He was fed up with big record companies, and he saw in me a trusted and dedicated partner.

I have always liked the music from Space Art, because it sounds natural, organic, honest, and not over-polished or over-produced. Love the song structures, instrumentations, melodies, and stories they had to tell.
And once you got to know Dominique's way of thinking and his humour, there are a lot of hidden jokes to discover in a lot of his music. Even on his latest album "Personal Duty" where Dominique put himself in the shoes of fictionary bass player Bruce B. Marshall. The output of a normal bass player is a low bass sounds. However, Bruce's range is one or sometimes even two octaves higher. Which sounds quite hilarious if you listen to the music with Bruce in your mind.

Me, Michel Geiss and Dominique, 29-11-2022..
November 2022 I stayed a couple of days at Dominique's place. Combining it with my more or less annual visit to Paris. One of the evenings Michel Geiss also came along, because we wanted to discuss the mastering for the new Space Art album. Which ended into a wonderful evening with a lot of stories and memories from times gone by.

Peter Dekker, me and Dominique, 13-1-2023.
January I visited Dominique together with Peter Dekker. Also to discuss the last bits about the then upcoming new album. We had an entertaining evening, where Peter brought some rare single releases (related to productions by Dominique) from his own collection. A couple of these were totally unknown to Dominique, and he was clearly moved when Peter gave these to him as present.

One week before the July 14th "Personal Duty" album release, I again visited Dominique to hand over the new CD and LP's. Exactly that weekend, he had been admitted to hospital due to ongoing heavy headache.

I planned to visit Dominique in the hospital once more within coming days because of worsened health conditions, but unfortunately he didn't make it that long. Now I am making up for the final farewell, during the funeral, coming Thursday.

I miss you, dear Dominique!
Visiting Paris will never be the same again.
Hopefully you are having a great musical party there where you are!
Au revoir mon ami!

3 opmerkingen:

  1. Thank you for this very interesting post.

    I'm a big fan of Space Art music, and actually, became fan of Stone Age, too without knowing at first that Dominique Perrier was in the project.

    I believe in god and I think Dominique's music really help us aproach the paradize.

    Especially the Space Art track "Ode A Clavius " is my most loved electronic music tune, combine a kind of children theme with some nice experimentations.

    Dominique, Roger and Christophe must really jam together in paradise.
    God have a lot of luck.

  2. Thank you for this note. I can't help the deep feelings of nostalgia when having Space Art in my mind. Space art opened a new mystical world for me and I will carry this legacy, with love and honour, for the rest of my life.

  3. Dominique was one of the kind of person who made the world a better place to be, because is music of course, but also because he was a nice person. We'll miss him very much.