Lucien Dubuis and Regula Schwab

The Groningen Report

During the big bike jazz fesstival, the Zomer Jazz Fiets Tour happening August 27 – 2016 in the north of Groningen, The Netherlands, I met the Swiss duo “KROND – Flast” with Lucien Dubuis on bass clarinet and his partner Regula Schwab on baroque violin. My visit to this church was not planned, a friend told me about this duo and I just followed him. Both musicians played two sets in a very cozy and small church in the village Adorp with a maximum of 150 seats. Between their two sets we had a nice chat, sitting together on the edge of a very small stage, which you can read and hopefully enjoy, like the three of us did!

Interview: Bernd Eilts, for

Photos: Lucien Dubuis, Maarten Kerkhof.

Lucien Dubuis and Regula Schwab

Bernd: How did it happen you came here to the Zomer Jazz Fiets Tour (ZJFT)?

Lucien: It happened, because I already played here before with my trio. Once for the ZJFT and once for the Grand Theatre in Groningen, on another festival called “SoundsofMusic”. Then Marcel Roelofs asked me, if I would like to come and perform here again.

Bernd: He caught you again!

Lucien and Regula both laughing.

Lucien: I have to say, I really love this place! To be here in this church in Adorp and also in Groningen. Also I love the hotel, where we stay this time, called “Hotel De Doelen”, located directly at the big market in the city center. That place I really like so much. Then this beautiful atmosphere here on the festival, to go with a bike everywhere, it’s so charming!

Bernd: It is very friendly, very open, very warm! Like in a garden, isn’t it?

Lucien: Yes, indeed!

Bernd: After you played your last song with the title “The Garden” I immediately wanted to ask, if your garden in Switzerland looks like my shirt?

Lucien Dubuis and Regula SchwabRegula: Yes, absolutely! Your shirt looks a bit like a video clip of our garden! (Both laughing). I like it here on the ZJFT also, because many volunteers help on this festival. That creates a very nice and welcoming atmosphere. The community here is really rich like this.

Bernd: Here on the ZJFT they have about 300 volunteers this year, Marcel Roelofs told me recently. People make food themselves in their homes next to the churches and barns where the concerts happen. It’s not from companies, it’s coming directly from the private kitchens. And this you can taste as well!

Lucien: That’s beautiful!

Regula: It is very special! And I think, it’s great, at least this is my impression, people are curious to try a surprise menu. It is nice to see, that this festival is able to create this special kind of curiosity. That all the people are going along with that.

Bernd: How did you both meet? Are you a couple?

Lucien: Yes!

Bernd: I thought about that.

Lucien: Why?

Bernd: The way I saw you both together outside before the concert started. Then I thought about that.

Regula: We met in a project some years ago.

Lucien: It was during a big project, where someone wrote a text and then they asked five different composers to write the music and I was one of them. It was with a big orchestra.

Regula: Actually, it was a big band with a string quartet!

Lucien: And there was also a guy speaking the lyrics in that composition, telling a story. We met in that project and I wrote four parts of this composition, that was about 15 minutes of music. I played there with my trio, which was a bit wild music-wise. We played a style you decribe as a mixture of rock, jazz and punk. Then we invited again the string quartet of that project and made a CD together of that music. (CD – Lucien Dubuis Trio & The Spacetet “Design Your Future”). On the Song “Suite en Eb” we met.

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Bernd: So, you met on that festival. Did you first decide to work together or did you first decide to fall in love?

Lucien: We decided first to fall in love. And then we had almost the same time the idea to play together in a duo. For our first rehearsal I wrote a tune called “Fläck in EMinor”.

Regula: Then I wasn’t first sure, whether to play the modern violin or the baroque violin. But then we both thought, it would be more fun to play with the barock violin.

Lucien: Yes, it’s funny, because it’s tuned on a 415 Herz, it’s almost a bit more than a half tone lower, what means I have to adapt with my instrument to be in tune. That is very funny. I play different saxophones and also the contrabass clarinet. With my trio we made a recording with Marc Ribot. In that combination we played on the “SoundsofMusic” festival earlier in Groningen 2011.

Bernd: Do you have plans to come back here with special projects?

Lucien: Not at the time, but I hope for the future. Also, because I have a lot of ideas. (Laughing!)

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Bernd: Can you please describe your musically background? What is your inspiration and what do you want to give to the world with your music? Is it energy or some kind of spirit?

Lucien: You know, there exists life. And that life represents magic everywhere and we are all part of this magic. For me, music is a very nice expression of that life’s magic. Maybe that is my main inspiration. Then of course in music, I like to play with different kinds of possibilities, different styles. Sometimes we have borders, then there are all kinds of music. I very much appreciate to play with all those borders and to transcend them and go further. Just create my own mix of music and styles and sounds.

Lucien Dubuis and Regula SchwabBernd: Dear Regula, what is your kind of magic in music? Why do you play violin? What do you find in music and in this combination?

Regula: I don’t know. The violin just do something to me. The instrument and its sound just touches me, it makes me vibrate. So, I have an addiction I guess!

Bernd: Really?? (We all three are laughing!) I think, you too, Lucien, right?

Regula: Just to know, I love to have this feeling of this vibration and all the different sounds, that come out of the violin. Especially to play with the baroque violin, the sounds are very broad and wide. You can make the most awful sounds too! (Laughing). Very easy! Even beautiful ones, if you like.

Bernd: This I understand. When I watch, how you play, it’s not just an instrument you play. All the sounds and energies are traveling even inside your body! You as a person are highly involved! Even you, Lucien, I can imagine, you breath through all of your body creating these sounds with your instrument, right?

Lucien Dubuis and Regula SchwabLucien: Yes, that’s totally right!

Regula: Of course! The vibration goes from the instrument directly into my body, I press the violin below my head. From there the sound goes everywhere. And that’s where the magic comes in again!

Then it travels through the air even into YOUR body Bernd!

Lucien: Then you can enter the feeling, that you are becoming the music.

Bernd: Do you regard your life in a spiritual way?

Lucien: Yes yes, of course. For me, this is important.

Regula: I think, everybody feels that, if they take some time. Then you can imagine sitting in the garden, together with all living creatures. It’s just life!

Bernd: Do you have future plans together? Musically?

Lucien Dubuis and Regula SchwabLucien: Yes! We hope to be able to perform again! We play now as a duo and we will play soon in Amsterdam together with a singer, her name is Kristina Fuchs. She is Swiss, like us, but lives in Amsterdam.

Regula: As it is in life, we just keep exploring! We will see, where the path leads us.

Bernd: Thank you very much for this talk!

Lucien: Thanks to you!

Regula: Thank You! After the two sets Lucien Dubuis and Regula Schwab offered their audience free CD’s, even from the Lucien Dubuis Trio. They got grants for the production of these CD’s and thought, it would be nice, to give them away for free. The audience was surprised and appreciated this gesture very much!

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The photo gallery, pictures taken from Lucien Dubuis, Maarten Kerkhof