Joan Jeanrenaud: A Fourth Approach to Performing Music

Joan Jeanrenaud: A Fourth Approach to Performing Music

The Electric Cello

A Fourth Approach to Performing Music: Excerpt #02

JOAN JEANRENAUD: And now that I’m starting to get into electronics, and that whole world, you realize there are even more possibilities there. I’m using with my Zeta Electric cello, I’m using a Lexicon guitar processor which is sitting back there, I haven’t unpacked it from a gig yet.

FRANK J. OTERI: I’m looking at it…

JOAN JEANRENAUD: It looks good, but you see I put it on a stand but they don’t really come this way. This is the first Zeta cello ever made too.


JOAN JEANRENAUD: Kronos had a set of Zeta instruments made, but we never really used them very much, just in a couple of pieces. There are ensemble problems, you know trying to play exactly together like Kronos does, but now I’m using it and I’m realizing there are a lot of possibilities, and I find that I can do things on my electric cello that I can’t do on my acoustic cello, and visa versa. I mean this cello will never get the sound that my acoustic cello does which is really beautiful.

FRANK J. OTERI: Now you also use a pick-up on the acoustic cello too.

JOAN JEANRENAUD: I do, that’s true.

FRANK J. OTERI: Which is another whole weird mixed world of sound.

JOAN JEANRENAUD: That’s true. So yeah, there are all these combination of things. I’m having this young guy in France, Frederick Coe, who’s making me an electro-acoustic cello. And who knows when he’ll be finished with it, but I think that’s real exciting. He had a prototype that he had made and I was very impressed with it, I liked it a lot, and I felt it was very much in between my solid body and my acoustic. It was also just another possibility and so hopefully we’ll finish that within the next six months.

FRANK J. OTERI: Do you ever play a five-string instrument?

JOAN JEANRENAUD: I haven’t, but I think that would be a really interesting thing to try.

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