In 1992, Denez revolutionised all clichés taking up the bet to sing in the " Transmusicales " of Rennes in front of a rock public. This concert was a real triumph which opened him the doors to major musical events like the Festival Coup de Coeur Francophone in Quebec (1994) or Euromusica in Portugal (1995) ...
After his first a cappella record, entitled Ar gouriz koar (1993) mainly composed of traditional songs, he entirely composed his second record Me ’zalc’h ennon ur fulenn aour. This record which praised by the generalist and specialized press is one of the first having dared and succeeded in the combination of both song and new electronic music : " His requirement and his formalism make him the only singer to have really succeeded. " (Le Monde 02/06/1999). Ensue many concerts : Les Francofolies of La Rochelle in France (1999), La Cigale in Paris (1999), Les Vieilles Charrues of Carhaix in France (1999), Le Bataclan in Paris (2000)...
His third record Irvi asserts again this meeting willingness. The singer which does not have any prejudices remains loyal to his devices. If some of his recent compositions still show his deep loyalty to his roots, the others propel the listener to other lands and call to mind the Far East, Ireland, or result directly from Trip Hop, liturgical song or vocal improvisations rooted in Jazz. It provides him with the opportunity to invite those who stood out his sensibility such as Davy Spillane, the undisputed master of modern uilleann pipe and Louis Sclavis, one of the major figure read of European Jazz.
In 2001, being charmed by his voice, the American director, Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) and the composer Hans Zimmer (Rain Man, Pirates of the Caribbean) integrate one of his composition which is sung in duo with Lisa Gerrard, in the musical band of Black Hawk Down movie who won two Oscars.
The same year, Denez was asked by the French composer Yvan Cassar to participate in the soundtrack of the documentary film L'Odyssée de l'Espèce by Jacques Malaterre. He wrote two songs Migration and Au bout du monde which he co-wrote the music with Yvan Cassar.
In his fourth record called Sarac’h, Denez resorts to some of the major female voices in the world, namely : Lisa Gerrard, Yanka Rupkina (Mystery of Bulgarian Voices).
Ever since, Denez performed in the Stade de France in Paris (2003), Les Transmusicales de Rennes in France (2003), Le Théatre de la Ville de Paris, the Stimmen Festival in Germany (2004), La Filature Scène Nationale de Mulhouse in France (2004), Le Fanal Scène Nationale de Saint-Nazaire in France (2004), the Festival Celtic Connexion in Scotland (2004), Les Trans en Chine in Beijng (2005), the Vestfold Festspillene in Norway (2005), the Festival Mitte Europa in Czech Republic (2006), the Théâtre Rozrywki in Poland (2007), the Théâtre Antique de Vienne in France (2008), L'Equinoxe Scène Nationale de Châteauroux in France (2009), the Théâtre Anne de Bretagne Scène Nationale de Vannes in France (2009), L'Espacio Cultural CajaCanarias in The Canary Island (2009), in La Halle au Château in Delémont in Switzerland (2010), in la Salle des Musiques Actuelles La Carène in Brest, France (2011),, in the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, France (2011), La Passerelle Scène Nationale de Saint-Brieuc in France (2012), in the Festival Eurofonik (2012) in Nantes, France....
In 2012, The French Director Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose won two Oscars and a Golden Globe) and composer Guillaume Roussel include Denez Gortoz a ran song in the soundtrack of Les Seigneurs.
Denez, the poet singer has invented a culturally mixed style of music, very open to world-wide influence where his voice comes to the fore. It offers a musical voyage in which celtic, greek, slavic, gypsy and yiddish themes are mixed together in new compositions. The instruments follow one after the other to create different musical landscapes The andalousian cajon, the gypsy violin and the breton guitare come together in a fisel dance. And in a Gwerz with oriental influences. The armenian duduk, the subois, the irish whistle play in harmony. Borders breakdown and give way to a musical mosaic which is carried by an original and universal voice.
Stéphanie Pontfilly (Rennes 1992, Last update 2012)
From the press
" The most talented Breton artist." Bretons (magazine) - June 2012
" Denez - Best of : The 14 pieces sparkling with a dazzling beauty ... An artist of exceptional and universal scale." Le Télégramme - April 2011.
" The new season of “La Carène” started strong on Saturday night with Denez Prigent. On the occasion of his coming, nearly 1,200 spectators turned out to hear a unique voice ... Denez Prigent still has, after 20 years career, beautiful and tragic tone, (...) He is definitely among the greatest voices of the century. " Le Télégramme - January 2011
" In front of a packed concert hall, Denez Prigent has succeeded in creating a very special atmosphere. (...) It's hard to stand still in his seat when the pace is accelerating and it is impossible to be moved by the voice of the artist. after more than two hours together, the crowd welcomed the poet with a standing-ovation." Le Télégramme - November 2010
" The gwerz singer Denez Prigent had a full house for his concert tonight at the “Espace Gradlon” (2400 seats) in the “Cornouaille de Quimper” (...) The spectators applauded the singer loudly stood up in front of them (...) There was an obvious fervor." Ouest-France - July 2010
" The magic Gwerz of Denez Prigent. The theatre "Le Carré Magique" full to bursting to salute the subtile combination of acoustic music and Gwerzioù (...) His work is freed from the pure tradition to get to the universal. " Ouest-France - May 2009
" His lament which is coming from forgotten times strikes even the more sneering listners by one unwaiting emotion..." Le Canard Enchaîné - July 2005
" For him, the music is like a huge land which doesn’t know any frontier. And when he sings, his voice is like a song, so far, so near. But always marvelous." Le Nouvel Observateur - September 2004
" The success of multi-track encounters, especially with the most jagged electro, has resulted in a determinedly new language, which has grown continually richer. The proof is this new album, imbued with Sarac’h gravity." Les Inrockuptibles - November 2003
" Phenomenal performer (...) Denez Prigent has combined his tradition with rock, pop and electronics. Today, he declaims a luxuriant music, a fusion that stretches from China to Finistère… The miracle occurs when it is conveyed by a voice that combines power and vibration." Libération - October 2003
" Great Denez Prigent…Denez Prigent reinvents secular poetry with unbelievable talent. While the assembled media tend to emphasise the fusion of traditional singing and techno, we should not forget that Denez Prigent is also one of the major Breton-speaking wordsmiths of recent years." Ar Men - November and December 2003
" Recorded during the 2001 Interceltic Festival of Lorient (...) this live record is giddyingly captivating." Les Inrockuptibles - May 2002
" With hat in hand, we are swept away by the liturgical nature of the profound songs on Irvi..." Les Inrockuptibles - August 2000
" He develops a sense of drama and space that belong more to a sort of Shakespearean emotional universalism than the usual breathing of current Celtic music." Le Monde de la Musique - June 2000.
" Uniting opposites means exposing oneself to bad taste. Yet with rare exceptions, some artists have managed to square the circle by naturally harmonising ultramodern sounds with their organic vibrations. This is especially the case for singer Björk and, in another style, Denez Prigent. " Libération - May 2000
" The greatest voice of the young Breton generation, he marries – for better – venerable Gwerz and the excitement of Techno... The sensation is impressive. Teeming, danceable and majestic..." Le Figaro - July 1998
" Heartrending and magical." Le Nouvel Observateur - May 1993
" A golden voice, clear ideas and stature… Denez Prigent succeeded in holding the rock audience of the Transmusicales de Rennes festival spellbound." Le Monde - March 1993
Some prizes obtained
- Album Irvi nominated for 16th Victoires de la Musique (album of traditional music of the year - 2000)
- Album Irvi selected Choc de la Musique by Le Monde de la Musique - 2000
- Album Me ’zalc’h ennon ur fulenn aour selected by the newspaper Liberation of the best discs of 1997
- Drafted by Les Inrockuptibles among the leading artists of 1994
- Revelation of Transmusicales 1992
- Album Denez Best Of - Barclay Universal (2011)
- Album Sarac'h - Barclay Universal (2003)
- Album Live - Holl a-gevret ! - Barclay Universal (2001)
- Album Irvi - Barclay Universal (2000)
- Album Me ’zalc’h ennon ur fulenn aour - Barclay Universal (1997)
- Album Ar gouriz koar - Barclay Universal (1996)
OST of the film Black Hawk Down
- Song : Gortoz a ran (lyrics and music : Denez)
OST of the documentary film L'Odyssée de l'Espèce
- Song : Migration (lyrics and music Denez: Denez and Yvan Cassar)
- Song Au bout du monde (lyrics and music Denez: Denez and Yvan Cassar)
OST of the Movie Lords
- Song Gortoz a ran (lyrics and music : Denez)
Denez is an associate artist at la Scène Nationale "La Passerelle"
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