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The COMPASS Group > October 2011

Emily DavidBy Emily David
Translated by Angel Pu

Emily David is DJ at International Community Radio Taiwan (ICRT).

Flaneur Daguerre's brand of expermental jazz gains broad appeal

Flaneur Daguerre's brand of experimental jazz gains broad appeal

When we hear the term "experimental", it usually makes us wonder whether we're dealing with something we'll understand or not. This uncertainty in our minds means that we often end up with a 50-50 positive-negative perception of whatever's being referred to.

Flâneur Daguerre, however, is the exception to the "experimental rule". Their brand of experimental jazz is unique but not at all uncertain. The musical flow is strong, smooth and very addictive--which is exactly how the band wants it to be. Formed in June, 2009, Flaneur Daguerre was founded on the belief that modern, or "avant-garde", music can be made available to--and enjoyed by--the same audience that typically listens to mainstream pop. The band's members, both foreign and Taiwanese, come from diverse musical backgrounds and are among the finest improvisers on the island. They explore free jazz and Eastern European music, mix in a bit of rock and pop, stir in some humor and irony, and--voila!--create music that is unlike anything you have heard before, yet so instantly appealing that it makes you wonder why it took you this long to discover it.

Flâneur Daguerre’s name comes from the philosophy of Walter Benjamin, who wrote that early photographs, known as daguerreotypes, had the ability to capture the true essence of a subject's time and place. This serves as the main inspiration for the band members, who are careful to select their music with a keen sense of "essence", always sensitive to the origins of a piece and the atmosphere it evokes. In April, 2010, Flaneur Daguerre took this "essence" to a much wider audience when they performed at the annual Spring Scream Music Festival in Kenting. In June, 2010, they performed live for millions of radio listeners islandwide on ICRT. The band has been featured in The China Post, Taipei Times, Marie Claire Magazine and Renlai Magazine, and has also played shows at venues such as Marsalis Bar (Kaohsiung and Taipei), The Taipei Symphony Orchestra's Reykjavik Lab, A House, The Pipe, Roxy Roots and Roxy Jazz, and recently at the TEDxTaipei Salon's "The Road Less Traveled" event in September. The band continues their regular, biweekly Friday spots at Sappho de Base in Taipei's Xinyi area.

The members of Flaneur Daguerre are: Louis Goldford, soprano sax; Martijn Vanbuel, piano; Lionel Pinard, accordion and melodica; Kelvin Chuang, bass; and Weichung Lin, drums. The band's debut album, "Big Big Intersecting Clusters!" (大大星簇交錯), is currently available worldwide.

For more information, please visit www.flaneurdaguerre.com.

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