Pierre de Surgères

Pierre de Surgères has been playing piano since the age of seventeen, though his music theory learning really began in earnest after his studies in philosophy and journalism: firstly at the academy, where he devoured harmony books and played up to twelve hours a day, then at the Flemish Conservatory of Brussels where he took lessons with Nathalie Loriers and Diederik Wissels. Through contact with the saxophonist Bo Van der Werf, he discovered the work of Olivier Messiaen whose modes and rhythmic theories he studied. On a trip to New York, he met musicians like Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi and Drew Gress, and listened to the music of Steve Coleman, which would strongly influence him.

In 2008 he invited the French saxophonist Alexandra Grimal for a series of concerts with her quintet the ‘Improvising Gang’, which included the drummer Teun Verbruggen and the bassist Félix Zurstrassen in particular, with whom Pierre felt an immediate affinity. In this rhythm section, Pierre de Surgères found the perfect partners to develop his compositions in total freedom. From this partnership emerged the critically acclaimed debut album Krysis in 2013. The pianist’s compositions are unconventional and based on rhythmical inventions inspired by his various experiences, requiring a quasi telepathic interaction between the trio members. The result is a music that is certainly complex, but completely accessible even to the most uninitiated listeners, where the pianist finds support both from Félix Zurstrassen who brings the necessary stability to the narrative and from the very creative playing of Teun Verbruggen on drums and various gadgets.

At the end of 2017 the trio’s second CD Zed came out, an album with a more acoustic sound where we hear that the years of playing together have made the music evolve. The repertoire is more advanced and more mature than on the first recording, while maintaining a desire to “give the listener a good time, without them feeling the difficulty of the composition”.

Contact information

Pierre de Surgères
+32 486 472 371
pierredesurgeres@gmail.com
pierredesurgeres.com

Cathy Lorge (booking agent)
www.so-what-productions.com

Author:
Jean-Pierre Goffin

Jean-Pierre Goffin (1953) has been writing jazz cronicles, interviews and concert reviews for the magazine L'Avenir for more than 20 years already. He also writes for several websites and magazine LARSEN

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