Christophe Ayrault is a teacher and researcher in acoustics at the Université du Maine, as well as a saxophonist.
He holds an engineer’s degree in electronics and a PhD in acoustics. His scientific activities focus on acoustics metrology, acoustic materials, room acoustics and urban acoustics. He is mostly involved with the professional degree in contemporary music at the Université du Maine and is in charge of the sound master design acoustics module at the École des Beaux-Arts in Le Mans.
He studied classical and jazz saxophone in Cholet and Le Mans. He was part of the big band at the Université du Maine and became a member of the saxophone quartet Ophonius in 1999. He also featured on four albums and in several festivals, including the European festival of college music L’Œuf de jazz in Le Mans, the Europa Jazz festival in Le Mans, the Alma Jazz festival in Bologna and Les Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre in Nantes. He co-organized L’Œuf de Jazz and is now president of the Association Orchestre Universitaire du Mans.
Olivier first started playing music aged 9 when he taught himself how to play the guitar. He then discovered the joy of playing music with other people when he was 13, with the ROCKFELLER band. That’s when he came across the electric bass (the large 4-string guitar). He was inspired at the time by Pink Floyd, Téléphone, Police, Van Halen, Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Hendrix, among others. In 1984, H. RIGAUD (Garage RIGAUD) joined the band and Olivier started discovering jazz through such bands as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis in his jazz rock period (The Man with the Horn, Star People, Decoy) and Jaco Pastorius Big Band (a major revelation!!!), John Coltrane, Charlie Parker…
After graduating from high school in 1985 and starting an experimental associate degree at the Université de Poitiers, he decided to study the bass full-time with Joël Ferron (1985–1986). In 1986, while holding a state-subsidized job at the Théâtre de Poitiers and then at the Ateliers musicaux Syrinx, he continued to learn jazz with JF Bercé, M. Anthony Touret and Manolo Gonzales as a semi-professional musician. By then he had decided to become a full-time musician. Many musical experiences followed. Besides playing the bass and the double bass, he has tried several other instruments, such as the guitar, the saxophone, the trumpet, the euphonium, the cello, the drums, the oud and the Indian sitar.
Jean Marc Dormeau
Jean-Marc Dormeau has been a professional musician for over twenty years. After getting a prize in chamber music and a leaving certificate in saxophone from the conservatory, he soon started playing jazz, learning and working with Michael Brecker, David Leibman, Laurent Cugny and Andy Emler. While playing the saxophone and multiple other instruments, as well as writing music and lyrics, he wrote about twenty educational books (Fuzeau publishing company) about song repertoires et musical tales. He has worked as a musician in different bands since 1990, featuring on fifteen albums. He facilitates creativity workshops about jazz and ethnic music in schools of all levels, from preschools to universities. He founded a street band in 2008 and has led the big band of the Université du Maine for 15 years, developing art projects with European musicians such as Michel Marre, Andy Emler and Jean-Louis Pommier.
Fabien Eckert has been a professional musician for 17 years. After taking drumming classes with Jean-Marc Drouet, Olivier Besembval and Stéphane Véra when he was only 12 years old, he studied at the Centre d’Information Musicale (CIM) in Paris for two years. He went on many national and international tours and featured in festivals such as the Europa Jazz festival, Jazz en Ré, Festival de Québec (Canada), Nuits d’Afrique in Montreal, festival of Kalmykia and Moscow (Russia) among others, with different bands and artists in various styles such as jazz, ethnic music, rock, blues and singing. Fabien Eckert featured on several albums with Travis Burki (2 albums), Avis de tempête (one three-star album in the Jazzman magazine), Indigos Stories (2 albums), Richard Kara (2 albums) and Ophonius (1 album).
He has been teaching drumming and contemporary music for the Unités d’Enseignement Libre at the Université du Maine for 5 years and has been a teacher-coordinator for the Compagnie TDM (artistic coaching for playing contemporary music) since 1996.
Bruno Gazengel is a teacher and researcher at the Université du Maine in Le Mans, as well as a saxophonist. He holds an engineer’s degree in applied mechanics and a PhD in applied acoustics. While teaching and researching, he worked as a research engineer for three years at the Centre de Transfert de Technologie du Mans with companies looking for expertise in acoustics. His current activities are teaching acoustics, research (electroacoustics and physics of musical instruments), administrative management of graduate education and scientific mediation.
Besides playing the saxophone, he also writes and arranges contemporary music. While he mostly taught himself music (with the help of music schools and brass and reed bands), he benefited from many encounters during training courses with François Cottineau, Eric Barret, Sylvain Beuf, David Liebman, Bobby Rangell for playing the saxophone and with Laurent Cugny and Andy Emler for working with a big band. He created the big band at the Université du Maine in 1992 and the saxophone quartet Ophonius in 1999. He took part in the recording of eight music albums as a saxophonist and a writer-arranger and wrote two short-film soundtracks. He still plays the saxophone and writes and arranges music for the band Ophonius and supports the practice of wind instruments in community activities.