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    Posted: August 18 2019 at 15:22
***Hello ! Since I was missing infos on that very outstanding french band, I did some research and was fortunate to be granted a listen to an interviewing session Aymeric Leroy had with the trio back in october 8th, 1995 at Éric Delaunay's.

It didn't make sense for me to show the whole session itself (more than 1h30 long...), so I decided to present it as a kind of small bio. Rémy Chauvidan and Jean-Jacques Toussaint were kind and patient enough and helped me completing and tidying it.

Anyone interested in helping me reformulate in better english and work on any details is welcome.***


Tiemko was a French trio formed by Rémy Chauvidan on guitars, Jean-Jacques Toussaint on keyboards, bass and double bass, and Eric Delaunay on drums, vibraphone. Delaunay and Toussaint sang on the last album.
The repertoire was built out of a wide variety of ingredients from all kinds of musical worlds, and is characterized by an important use of synthetic sounds (drums are hundred percent electronic in first album and partly, carefully thought up and designed, in Clone, the last one; there are regular drums in the albums in between) , a taste for contrasts and playfulness. Chauvidan or Toussaint used softwares when composing; Delaunay recorded all the parts with his voice or with a vibraphone, and looked later for the right tones/ patches in team with Toussaint.  Everything was precisely composed in advance except the drums parts that were invented or fine-tuned during rehearsals.

1985 Pre-Training

Some compositions featuring piano, vibraphone and drums were recorded on revox, on cassette and elaborated in a spacious duplex which had been used as a studio by Sonia Delaunay, Éric's grandmother, in the 7th district of Paris. rue Saint-Simon, by Toussaint and Delaunay - who have known each other since 1976 after responding to an ad by a rock band.

1986 Tiemko's Christening and first concerts at La Pinte

Music by François Bréant triggered Chauvidan's curiosity for music that was unknown to him back then, and he became i.a. fond of Zappa, Varese, Charles Yves, Messiaen (as for Toussaint and Delaunay they would mutually enrich their musical cultures during whole afternoons playing also Zappa, with special mention to "Does Humour Belong to Music"; King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Art Zoyd etc. than Deep Purple, Queen or Shostakovich, Bartok, Dutilleux, Messiaen, Stravinsky ...); he accompanied pop singers , was guitarist in groups of (hard -) rock and then played with Les faucons blancs;  later while playing with Tiemko he took lessons in a jazz school; during studio sessions he met Jean-Marc Thiébaud , who had played keyboards on the solo album by Delaunay, to whom he was introduced to, along with Toussaint. The future trio rubbed shoulders with other musicians; Delaunay encouraged Toussaint to play keyboards since neither a keyboardist nor a bassist adheres fully to the modus operandi of the band of his dreams; a first rehearsal took place at the studio Sartori, and around a table where a borsch was served at the "Tiemko" (now disappeared) next to the Sorbonne, the trio decided that restaurant's name would became the band's.

Tiemko played its first concerts at La Pinte a tavern near the Odeon theater, where its members were loyal customers;  jazz concerts would then take place thanks to a very cordial tenant who'd offer past a certain time drink mixtures of its composition; despite playing only one piece presented as jazz, which theme Toussaint had composed on purpose, the band had carte blanche. Delaunay playing very loud, electronic drums were the solution found to avoid concerts at a deafening volume.

1988 First album - Espace Fini

Delaunay was nearly facing legal proceedings after having sold, in order to supplement his incomes, preparatory paintings by his famous grandparents, to a forger who'd added signatures ; otherwise he lived on annuities and could record any time. In July 1988, Toussaint, after starting a career as an archaeologist - a passion to which he will later get back as he became a professor of archeology - was a school teacher; holidays were a particularly good time to record, though he'd also compose and play during some teaching days; he'd never stop pursuing regular musical activities, even after Tiemko. Chauvidan worked at a jackhammer on a construction site and could only contribute to Tiemko in the evening. Studio owner - and musician known for his work with the group Eskaton - Marc Rosenberg, secretely recorded a jodling Toussaint, a move the band acclaimed – the track  "Chant transylvain du sud-ouest tyrolien" would no less than start their first album !... The CSTA studio provided only 16 tracks, and the electronic drums used half of them, so this was felt as very limiting. The trio recorded the following albums at the ADAM studio where more tracks were available.
1989-1993 Ocean, Parade and bigger venues

Also recording these albums during the long school holidays, Tiemko decided to organize his own concerts despite the difficulty of reassuring the tenants due to a lack of simple label to define the proposed style of music, and was given an opportunity to play in Brittany with Minimum Vital who chosed to open for Tiemko; this could happen thanks to comrades of the band Halloween who'd become close after Bernard Gueffier, co-founder of Musea, had played their music to an enthousiastic Delaunay. Tiemko performed at de Nesle, Clavel (where according to Delaunay, Tiemko played their best concert in 1991 with Halloween) theaters, at the Salle Curiale in 1993 with the group Xaal, considered musically by Delaunay as a good concert, in spite of wrong instruments plugged into wrong amps; and at the theater Treviso a week later, a last concert with lights and smoke that went up in Toussaint's nose, hiding the keyboards, considered by Chauvidan as their best.

Musea is now investing for more expensive studio sessions, but insists in controlling how the covers will look: it refused the Ocean image submitted by Tiemko, for the reason it recalled ECM Records' graphic style , and will be moved to the disc's "ass"; the painting and drawings submitted by Delaunay for Parade suggested the band would (but didn't) play medieval music, they were even described as "gross" (perhaps exaggeratedly in order to value another option); it took Toussaint one whole month to finally have them cleared for becoming Parade's artwork.

Since that album, regular drums replaced the electronic ones, and would only get used for special purposes in the album Clones. Ocean was presented as a composition by every member, although Toussaint is the main author: he started, everyone came to graft and add his own ideas, and the long development that follows a "piece of bravery" for guitar invented and already played by Chauvidan at la Pinte.
In the album Parade, the song "Moment" was dedicated to lyricist Gilles Canuto; "Hymn" was dedicated to poet, author, composer and performer Patrick Deny that Delaunay had played drums for.

1995 Clone: ​​disbanding yet recording

For the first time the artistic direction, as much for the cover, which avoids typos, as for music, was provided by the band. Chauvidan announced his intention to "take off" and leave Tiemko in December 1994, but not without taking part in the recording of the album where everyone would take turns and record lines at the studio. Toussaint seeked to find a playful dimension that was impossible in the very written music of Tiemko, while preparing new compositions. Clone remained for him the band's most interesting and mature album. Delaunay wants to work for a project called Clones (sic) whose name became DeBoCo. Musea distributed and paid off the costs of the making, but did not promote it.
The piece In Memoriam is possibly an uniquely known example of "musical exquisite corpse" – the very idea came from Delaunay who composed the beginning, revealing only the last bars to Toussaint who did the same to Chauvidan (with the particularity of using exactly the same musical motif as in the bars revealed by Delaunay). This piece is also the only one of Tiemko where the three musicians have, so to speak, equally contributed to the composition.

1996 DeBoCo - Éric Delaunay's deadly illness

Maybe the trio would have played again some time, but that was not to happen. Delaunay died from illness , before a second musical exquisite corpse, a synthesis of the themes developed in the DeBoCo project, could be completed.

1998 reedition of Espace Fini, posthumous releases
Espace Fini  was remasterised in 1998, and Chauvidan and Toussaint added each one his own composition after a theme by Delaunay they'd played at la Pinte. They recorded those new pieces Requiem and Espace Fini, at studio "La Station" with the help of singers Marie Grenon, baritone Benoît Méjean, soprano Bevinda, drummer François Verly. In 2003 Excerpts of jams recorded at rue Amelot in 1994, as well as a composition of Toussaint of 1996, can be found on the CD "Ça Tourne ..." where we can find a live video of 1990  by Alain Tyr – the only video of the group in circulation - several other videos in quality VHS having been treated like rubbish when the apartment in Delaunay was emptied after his death – as well as an animation featuring the beginning of the piece "Clone"in background, by Jean-Michel Brière.

2006 Travelling

This solo project produced by Toussaint presents rare passages that recall the music of Tiemko and could have been played by the group, also a piece by Chauvidan. However, because the compositions of Travelling are no longer limited by a fixed number of musicians (especially since no concert, simplier to organize for a trio, was planned), instrumentation and the field of sound exploration were extended, and twelve musicians ended up being part of the project. Pip Pyle rehearsed for that album but died before the album was made.

2012 Droit de rêve

This album's music is defined after lyricist Jean-Pierre Bobillot's "sonic poetry"; it does not particularly recall Tiemko but some of the lyrics of "Célimène" play with the same type of rimes as Clone's song , "Rock'n'Roll Alice".


Tiemko released songs in only one album, Clone.
The group has three lyricists: Gilles Canuto, Éric Delaunay and Jean-Jacques Toussaint.
Canuto wrote the lyrics of Rock'n'Roll Alice, all rhymes end in / s /;
Sung by Toussaint, this title evokes a venereal disease caught by the narrator in Memphis in Egypt.

Delaunay wrote and sang Inadéquation and Apocalypse, the first is about relational problems, the latter about existential ones – personal and general discomfort, a song that evaporates in a feeling of uselessness, having to deal with others' shambles, going nowhere. He also sings In Memoriam, whose lyrics are taken from a review on Ocean published in 1990, and draws attention with a derisional sense of humour, to what was written on the band at the time.

Toussaint wrote and sang Décadanse and Désamour, using ambiguous wordings so as to not reduce these songs to one sole meaning; it can be said, however, that the first song relates to the nonsensical impunity of violence by the strongest ones on the weaker; the second is the difficulty of harmonizing dreams of a long lasting relationship with good sexual alchemy.

Edited by jayem - August 29 2019 at 15:54
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NotAProghead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NotAProghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2019 at 18:19
^ Good job! Thanks a lot.

Edited by NotAProghead - August 19 2019 at 14:18
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