Grégoire Monnat

Grégoire Monnat

Rue du Carro
1896 Vouvry (Switzerland)
+41 79 704 72 73

Grégoire Monnat was born in 1976 in the Canton of Jura in French-speaking Switzerland. He is currently still living in Switzerland, by Lake Geneva. He started from a very young age to listen to and play classical music (Stravinsky, Bach, Prokofiev) and pop music (Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa). In his teenage years, he studied baroque music. After obtaining his secondary school leaving certificate, he studied guitar at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (EJMA, now known as HEMU) in Lausanne. He graduated in 2002, which was when he started a series of collaborations as a guitarist with several singers and composers, some of whom enjoy international status (the Canadian Martin Ferron and jazz singer Sylvie Bourban). 2002 was also the year when he focused on musical composition. He studied orchestration and started writing an impressive work for numerous instruments. He also wrote film scores. Late 2012 he released the album entitled Grégoire Monnat Trio for instrumental guitars, featuring original compositions, which also drew inspiration from Bach, Goran Bregović, Schubert and Pink Floyd.

Igra Ensemble


Igra Ensemble – w/Dimitar Ivanov

Listen to an excerpt : or

Classic guitarist Dimitar Ivanov was born in Silistra, Bulgaria. Rock/jazz guitarist and composer Grégoire Monnat comes from Porrentruy, Swizerland. These two musicians together have already performed on many stages throughout Europe. Grégoire Monnat’s original compositions blend classic and electric guitar ; while the duo in concert weave a tangled, airy blend of thoughts and sentiments, places and times, moving from the universe of Kusturica films to the jazz, rock and classical influences of Western Europe, linking the traditional songs of the East to the American Surf music of the 60s. A component of their virtuosity rests in the simplicity with which all these influences harmonize, making for a sweet and captivating – and unforgettable – performance.

Dimitar Ivanov

Dimitar Ivanov hails from Silistra, Bulgaria, where he has taken part in regional and national guitar competitions. In 2005 he began his musical studies at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia. In 2006 begins his Bachelor follows by his Master of performance in 2012 and finish with his Master of pedagogy in 2014 at the Conservatory of Sion (Switzerland), with the guitarist and pedagogue George Vassilev.
He has performed or participated in masterclasses with Dusan Bogdanovic, Zoran Dukic, Pavel Steidl, Kaltchev Duo, Francis Coletta and others and has written arrangements of contemporary works by Gyan Riley, Leo Brouwer, and Dusan Bogdanovic.
Dimitar is a member of various groups, performing at prestigious Swiss festivals including Cully Classique and Forum Wallis in Sion. His participation as leader, co-leader and sideman in different musical formations led him to tour widely throughout Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Canada in addition to giving solo recitals in France, England, and Germany. Since 2014 his concert repertoire features contemporary composers inspired by Balkan music.
He recorded and produced the album Beyond Borders for guitar/violin/cello trio in 2015 and in 2017 Dimitar records the album “Balkan Fragments“ with the cellist Noémy Braun.
Between 2015 and 2018 Dimitar studies in sound recording program at Zurich University of the Arts where he develops his work entitled “Through the right translation” exposing the relation and quality matter between the musical performance and the sound recording processes.
Since several years his parallel interests to the Brazilian music and polyrhythmic leads Dimitar to develop a new repertory and in 2018 to a record of a new album in a quartet formation « Quatro Vozes » with music from the Brazilian multi-instrumentist and composer Egberto Gismonti.
In September 2018 Dimitar will begin his studies in HEM Genève with Dusan Bogdanovic where he will developpe new compositions, improvisational, technical and musical skills and explore new dimensions with his new 10-strings guitar.

Grégoire Monnat

Swiss Jurassien Grégoire Monnat, now established in Valais, is a graduate of the professional musician’s diploma program at the EJMA-Lausanne (Ecole de Jazz et de Musique Actuelle = Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music).
After getting his diploma, he has divided his time between playing his beloved electric guitar, inspired by David Gilmour, Steve Morse, Eddie Van Halen and Steve Hackett, and composing or arranging, using as models Arvo Part, Franz Schubert (for their profound and refined contributions), Philip Glass and Steve Reich (for their ecstatic and cutting-edge compositions, along with their feeling for the polymetric), Magma, King Crimson, Stravinsky and the Balkan tradition (frenetic, organic and polyrythmic), and finally just a pinch of Frank Zappa (for – well – everything : the humour evoking hysterical laughter, enormous risk-taking, and his « conceptual continuity »).
Grégoire also composes for quite diverse instrumentations, music for children’s shows, pieces for choirs, scores for short films, as well as several musicals (Une saison en enfer inspired by Rimbaud, Mon grand-père est un héros) using all the tonality, modality, asymmetric measures, polymetry, humor, and subtile depth at his command.
Teaching is a big part of his day-to-day existence : having worked as accompanist, side man, and leader in such areas as French song, classical music, jazz, rock and, reflecting his personal favorite, in progressive rock, Grégoire brings his experience to his teaching at Vouvry.
Grégoire Monnat is an eclectic musician : his style as a guitarist is clearly « rock », his baggage « jazz », and his writing « classic ».

Film scores/music for pictures


Grégoire Monnat is a great fan of film scores and theatre music, and is very aware of the important narrative function they have. He likes music that conjures up images, where you can imagine scenes (Stravinsky, Pink Floyd, for example).
Grégoire’s music is often admired for its evocative power, making it completely normal for him to embark on an exploration of this area with his music.
There are several compositions he has written for “moving images”, which can be mentioned.
In 2013 Grégoire composed audio illustrations for the portraits filmed of the winners of the Fondation Leenaards awards (produced by Le Flair, directed by Lila Ribi). Original tracks were composed in particular for the sinologist Jean-François Billeter, comic book author Alex Baladi, industrial designer Christophe Guberan and visual artist Elisa Larvego.
Here are some of his other compositions in this area:
Score for the short film Le téméraire (Impetuous) by Lila Ribi, selected at the Locarno Film Festival in 2009.
Score for the short film L’homme du trait d’union (Hyphen Man) by Pascal Parizot for TPC (Transports Publics du Chablais), in 2009.
Score for the short film Evastrasse by Veronika Karyuk, for the Movie Marathon Contest in Zurich (2009).
Score for the short film Shabbat, Dieu merci ! (Shabbat, Thank God!) by Jean-Guillaume Sonnier, 2011 Action Light prize at the Locarno Film Festival.
Regular collaboration with director Dominique Othenin-Girard (score for the short film L’éveil au goût (Acquired taste) in 2011, for instance).
The music for the musical show Une saison en enfer (A Season in Hell), produced for the theatre by Pascale Güdel, based on the fateful, definitive masterpiece of Arthur Rimbaud (2006).

There is one example in contrast to this, where the pictures do not move:
The comic book Barbochard: la porte bleue (The Blue Door) by Julien Cachemaille ( Grégoire composed the original soundtrack lasting around 20 minutes, an unusual occurrence in the comic book world! (2011).

Other compositions


30-minute profile on the RFJ radio station
2002, the year when Grégoire Monnat graduated from the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (EJMA, now known as HEMU) in Lausanne, marked, in particular, the year when he started to make musical composition his main artistic focus.
Grégoire has listened avidly, since he was a child (thanks to his parents!), to every kind of music in which he has become immersed for the rest of his life: Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Andrzej Panufnik, John Coltrane, J. S. Bach. Then, Pink Floyd, Genesis), King Crimson, Magma), Frank Zappa to name just a few.
He then developed an interest in certain kinds of jazz: the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Helen Merrill
He is a great fan of Arvo Pärt and is particularly partial to the “new music” of Philip Glass, as well as to Balkan music (Goran Bregović).
Grégoire has “absorbed” all these types of music and started to compose, at an ever-increasingly rapid rate, music bearing his own personal stamp, an obvious fusion of all these different types of music he had listened to.
His works are composed for a very wide range of orchestral arrangements.
There are numerous pieces composed for guitar ensemble, which have a separate section of the website devoted to them.
There are also his original soundtracks and film score compositions.
His other works should not be overlooked either, including:
La vie continue (Life continues): a long piece comprising several movements for a woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon/contrabassoon), written in 2011.
Several pieces for the vibraphone, marimba and flute (in particular, Temps immarcescible (Unfading time), written for the Ovale trio, Argo or Satte tango), written in 2011
Fata Morgana, for violin and acoustic guitar, a piece in 4 movements lasting 20 minutes (2011).
Several orchestral compositions : Kassiopeïa, for piano and orchestra, Capitulation, for orchestra.
An extensive repertoire of pieces for accordion – guitar – alto sax and piano (Circeïa group).
Les retrouvailles du catoblépas (Return of the catoblepas) for woodwind and brass : 2 flutes, 1 clarinet, 1 alto sax, 1 alto saxhorn and 1 baritone saxhorn (2007).
Several compositions for string trios (violin, viola and cello), written in 2007.
Several compositions for solo classical guitar with “unusual” tuning (2003).
Some “pop” numbers for various singers, particularly Onésia Rithner and P’tit Greg (2008).
Several “electronic” style compositions (2005).