Recognized and respected musicians in their respective fields, drummer Ahmad Compaoré and guitarist Jean-Marc Montera have known each other for 20 years. They first met in 1990 when they worked together on the creation of the rock opera "Helter-Skelter" by Fred Frith, in Marseilles for an eight-month residency: an unlikely encounter around an insane project! Ever since, their paths have been marked by creations, concerts and various collaborations.
In 2000, Ahmad is called upon by Jean-Marc and dancer Michèle Ricozzi (Collectif Skalen) to create a score for the performance "WalkAbout Stalk" at the Dansem festival. In 2003, he is involved in the creation of "La Mer Intérieure, Voix-Algérie", a musical play by Frédérique Wolf-Michaux: conducted by Jean-Marc, the score is improvised at each performance, thus creating a "sound piece" echoeing and blending in with the "visual play". The same year, Ahmad is invited to Nuit d’Hiver festival held at the GRIM (Improvisation and Music Research Group) managed by Jean-Marc Montera: there, he gives a praised solo performance and an unexpected duet with percussionist Pablo Cueco. In 2005, Ahmad takes part in the creation of "Opus Mêkhanê" in Limoges, an orchestral piece written by Gilles Colliard and Jean-Marc Montera mixing classical, contemporary and improvised music.
More recently, the collaboration between the two Marseilles-based musicians has taken a closer turn with their personal project DESPERATE MONKEYS, mainly as a duo or a trio with guest musicians (André Jaume, Louis Sclavis...). The duo is the form in which their common past can express itself to the full but also which leaves the door open to all experiments. A punchy music that feeds on all music styles exposing themselves to diversity and not afraid to face all kinds of differences.
AHMAD COMPAORÉ: drums, percussions
Of Egyptian and Burkinabé origins, Ahmad Compaoré confirms his singular talent alongside Fred Frith, Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Otomo Yoshihide, Barre Phillips or Egyptian choreographer Karima Mansour. With a constant craving for exploration and discovery, he shares his creativeness between music, dance, theatre and digital art. Twice recipient of the Culturesfrance "Hors Les Murs" award, he lived in India and Japan as part of residencies of creation. Free from boundaries, he equally enjoys the most extreme experiences in alternative and improvised music, jazz and fusion.
JEAN-MARC MONTERA: guitars, objects, electronics
Co-founder and artistic director of the GRIM, Jean-Marc Montera comes from the rock world. Nicknamed the « John Lee Hooker of noise », he draws on the whole range of amplified and acoustic strings, resonance, percussion, distortions, extensions and all types of diversions to evoke a world of abstract sounds. Since the 1970s, he has experienced cross-disciplinary exchanges with other artistic fields (theatre or choreographic creations, film scores). His most notable collaborations include Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Barre Phillips, Thurston Moore, Michel Doneda, Jean-François Pauvros and Lee Ranaldo.