Erwan Keravec is a highland bagpiper, composer and improviser. In seeking out the more unusual sounds, and ways of playing and listening to his instrument, far from its original cultural setting, he is exploring improvised music, free and ‘noise’ jazz, and establishing a repertoire of contemporary music for solo pipes, trio with solo voice and with choir. With an interest in movement and in settings associated with reinvention, he also writes, plays and improvises for dance. In this area he worked with choreographers and dancers like Gaelle Bourges, Raoul Batz-Gruppe, Cécile Borne, Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, Mickaël Phelippeau and Alban Richard.
Trained by luthier and piper Jorj Botuha, and tutored in the playing style and repertoire of Scottish bagpipes, Erwan Keravec made his debut in Lokoal Mendon’s Bagad Roñsed, and as a twosome with his brother Guénolé Keravec on the bombard. Starting in 1996, he explored free jazz and improvised music. Since then he has played in a wide variety of band formations and constellations.
Since 2007, he has pursued his quest for a style of piping that's removed from its original setting, with the projects “Urban Pipes I” (2007) and “Urban Pipes II” (2011), on which he wrote and improvised solo, with his brother Guénolé, and with the Basque singer Beñat Achiary. To make his intentions clear, he commissioned composers with absolutely no knowledge of bagpipes to write solo pieces for “Nu Piping” series (since 2011). So far, he has been behind 13 works for solo pipes, by Sébastien Bérenger, Bernard Cavanna, Benjamin de la Fuente, Xavier Garcia, Lars Kynde, Heiner Goebbels, Philippe Leroux, Zad Moultaka, François Rossé, François Sarhan, and Susumu Yoshida. For the Sonneurs quartet, comprising wind instruments from the Breton tradition (bagpipes, bombard, biniou-koz, and trélombarde), since 2015 he has been developing the repertoire with Pierre-Yves Macé, Wolfgang Mitterer, Samuel Sighicelli, Susumu Yoshida and Frédéric Aurier.
At the same time, he has been working on the repertoire for “VOX” (since 2013), for bagpipes and voice (soprano and baritone) with Oscar Bianchi, Philippe Leroux, José-Manuel López López, and Oscar Strasnoy, which he'll further expand in “Extended VOX” (2019) with Les Cris de Paris – a 24-piece choir led by Geoffroy Jourdain – featuring commissions by Bernhard Lang and Wolfgang Mitterer.
In 2019, he is adding to the solo bagpipe repertoire with works of Heiner Goebbels, ÉLiane Radigue and Philip Glass: Heiner Goebbels’s “no28/50” was premiered in 2018 at Festival Schlossmediale Werdenberg in Switzerland, Éliane Radigue’s “OCCAM OCEAM XXVII” 2019 at Le Vivier in Montreal, Canada, and “Two Pages” represents an adaptation for bagpipes of the Philip Glass work “TwoPages” for Keyboard. In 2020, he'll add to the quartet repertoire with pieces by Otomo Yoshihide (world premiere January 2020 at Philharmonie de Paris) and Dror Feiler (world premiere April 2020 at Weiwuying National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan).
As of January 2020