updated 11 February 2022
© Hugues Pascot

Augustin Braud

French composer born 21 May 1994 in Poitiers.

Augustin Braud began teaching himself music composition in 2006 at the age of twelve. He studied it formally at the Conservatoire de Poitiers with Jean-Luc Defontaine while getting a master’s degree in musicology at the University of Poitiers under the direction of Cécile Auzolle. A student of drumming and percussion for over fifteen years, Braud also took masterclasses with Ivan Fedele, Michaël Levinas, Yan Maresz, and Michael Jarrell at ManiFeste, the IRCAM multidisciplinary festival and academy. He also took private lessons with Yann Robin and Martin Matalon.

A sound engineer, mainly for jazz and rock groups, Braud possesses an advanced understanding of computer-assisted music within a repertoire that includes both classical and contemporary music. He is particularly sensitive to sound textures and spectral music, often using sound spectra and gradual transformations to construct harmonies. Braud has not, however, ventured into electroacoustic or computer-based music for fear that technological obsolescence will quickly date his work.

In December 2021, Braud defended his thesis in musicology at the University of Poitiers’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in History, Art History, and Musicology (CRIHAM). His research explores links between features of timbre and bodily movement in twenty-first-century music. It compares the vision of timbre of two schools of composers, namely the French saturationists, such as Robin, Raphaël Cendo, and Franck Bedrossian, and the American heirs of New Complexity, including Aaron Cassidy and [composer:22254)[Timothy McCormack]. Braud thinks of musicians’ gestures as painterly movements. Indeed, he has been inspired by many painters. Anselm Kiefer inspired him to create long transformations of sound materials, while Cy Twombly and Zao Wou-ki inspired his search for clarity. Braud wrote Étude no. 1 d’après Paul Klee (Study No. 1 after Paul Klee) (2017) in homage to the painter, and has cited Mark Rothko as another inspiration.

“For me, it is essential to use every instrument in the group to its full potential,” Braud said. “Above all, I am looking for expressivity and intensity, which pass through a physical tension — the combination of unusual playing styles with the more typical sound of the instrument.” Braud’s approach to harmonies and energy is exemplified in Le Soupçon des tombeaux (The Suspicion of the Tombs) (2020), in which instruments and voices blend in equal measure and synergy. In his pieces, each instrument is presented as a soloist, allowing for an independence of sounds and textures. The resulting melodic lines resemble counterpoint rather than a mass effect.

I get a lot of pleasure in imagining each phrasing as a facet of one identity, alternately archaic and crude or, on the contrary, well defined and sparkling, as is the case in the soloists’ parts of my concertos GOLEM (for double bass and five musicians, 2017) … and Dans les pas de la main [In the Steps of the Hand] (for solo percussion and ensemble, 2018).1

In 2018, he composed an urban sound portrait for the city of Poitiers. In Terres proches (Nearby Lands), for saxophones, clarinets, percussion, synthesizers, and field recordings taken by DJ Gardien d’Ether, Braud veers toward free jazz and minimalism — his first foray into electronics.

Braud has collaborated with and received commissions from many ensembles. These include Accroche-Note, Ars Nova, L’Instant Donné, Proxima Centauri, Ensemble Zellig, Ensemble Alternance, Ensemble Erasme, Quatuor Kaliste, Chamber Cartel, and Nebula Ensemble.

Braud was composer-in-residence at the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Aquitaine for the 2017-2018 season. He wrote Ceux qui restent (Those That Stay) (2020) for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, which was premiered and recorded in 2022. He won the 2020 SACEM Claude Arrieu Prize, awarded to young composers of symphonic music. In 2022, the Ensemble Alternance recorded a portrait disc of his chamber music, which was released in 2023.

1. Guillaume KOSMICKI, “Augustin Braud, jeune compositeur français d’aujourd’hui,” ResMusica, 15 January 2020. 

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site du compositeur ; éditions Artchipel ; La Nouvelle République ; Resmusica.

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(liens vérifiés en février 2022).