Richard was a founding member of the French avant-rock group Etron Fou Leloublan in 1973, and remained with them until they broke up in 1986. He was also a member of Alfred Harth's group Gestalt et Jive in the mid-1980s, and collaborated with Fred Frith in 1989 to record Dropera (1991). Richard also formed his own group, Ferdinand et les Philosophes in 1990, and recorded two solo albums, En Forme!! (1981) and En Avant (1983).
Hervé Richard-Cochet, known under the name Ferdinand RICHARD, was born in june 1950 in Meknes in Morocco, but spent his childhood between 1951 and 1964 in Saint-Malo in north-western France, from where his family comes. From 1969 to 1971 he studied Medieval Literature and Law at Grenoble in south-eastern France, then attended a double-bass course at the Conservatoire Régional de Musique de Grenoble. He is living in south-France and Marseille since 1964.
(Business activities, see below)
In 1971 Richard abandoned his studies, adopted the pseudonym "Ferdinand", played in several local rock groups, covering Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, etc... even tried improvisation with anarchist group Libre Cours (1971), and joined in 1973 a local iconoclastic rock group called Etron Fou Leloublan, playing bass guitar, singing and composing.
Etron Fou Leloublan, French for (roughly) "Crazy Shit, the White Wolf" or "Mad Shit, the White Wolf" were a "nonconformist" avant-rock group that produced a blend of punk rock, jazz, French music hall, comedy satire and "avant-garde mayhem". Their music was a "viable [...] alternative to both French rock'n'roll and French free jazz", which had stagnated at the time. Richard played his bass guitar in ways that went beyond its traditional "metronomic role" – he used "double stops, chords, harmonics and onomatopoeic sound effects" to add melody to the group's songs. He also tuned his instrument "up minor third" to match better his partner alto saxophone. Later on, in the early 80's, he bought himself in a New-York pawn shop a sample of the legendary and rare Fender-6 bass guitar, which became his sole instrument.[ Richard remained with Etron Fou Leloublan until they broke up 13 years later, during which time they recorded six albums and performed at hundreds of concerts in Europe, including the Soviet Block, and North America.
While still with Etron Fou Leloublan, Richard also released two solo albums, En Forme!! and En Avant in 1981 and 1983 respectively. En Avant, subtitled Huit Chansons en Huit Langues (Eight Songs in Eight Languages), is scored by Richard for two bass guitars and a cello (played by Tom Cora), and consists of eight songs sung in English, Vietnamese, Arabic, Polish, Dioula, Spanish, French and German. On En Avant Richard explored his interest in language and culture, and wrote the lyrics for, and sang seven of the eight songs (the German song was composed and sung by Urs Engeler).
In 1984 Richard also formed a duo, Bruniferd, with saxophonist Bruno Meillier from Etron Fou Leloublan that was dedicated to "precise and condensed musical poetry". Bruniferd made three albums and toured Europe and Japan.
Near the end of Etron Fou Leloublan, Richard joined the german saxophonist Alfred Harth's multinational avant-rock group Gestalt et Jive in 1984. They performed regularly in Europe and North America for four years, during which time they made two albums, developed their "instant composition" technique, and gave their farewell concert at the 6th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Victoriaville, Quebec in Canada in October 1988.
In 1989, Berliner drummer Peter Hollinger, east-German saxophonist Dietmar Diessner and Richard decided to start a power-improvisation trio, "Falaq", which never recorded but delivered several dozen of performances in Europe and north-America. In 1993, US drummer David Moss replaced Diessner.
In 1989, during one of the first "artists residencies" supported by Marseille Culture Department, Richard creates an urban musical concept with Czech violinist Iva Bittova and Czech drummer Pavel Fajt. The project was recorded for the Czech national radio and television (at the time part of the soviet block).
In 1989 Richard formed his own band, Ferdinand et les Philosophes, a trio of Richard, guitarist Alain Rocher (followed by Laurent Luci) and drummer Dominique Lentin (from "Les i"). Les Philosophes performed at the 9th Victoriaville festival in October 1991, and went on to record two albums.
Richard also collaborated with English experimental guitarist Fred Frith from the English avant-rock group Henry Cow in 1989, as Fred & Ferd, to record Dropera (1991), a "twisted rock opera".
In 1993, Richard produced a concept album and performance, "Arminius", with japanese violonist Takumi Fukushima (After Dinner), german violonist Helmut Bieler-Wendt (The Blech), and Czech bass-player Vladimir Vaclavec (Dunaj) based on Roman era famous writer Tacitus "War of the Gaules" book. In 1995, this music has been reconditioned to be the Sensurround (8-channels) music score of the theatre play "La bataille d'Arminius" by Jean Jourd'heuil in Théâtre des Amandiers/Nanterre in Paris
In 1996, Richard transformed "les Philosophes" in "Ferdinand et les Diplomates", with Marseille drummer Gilles Campaux and turn-tablist Dj Rebel, a cult figure from the french hip-hop scene. In 2007, they released the album E-Pop (Richard's last recording) through the cryptic Japanese label Out-One-Disc .
As a guest artist, Richard has participated in:
- 1980 with EFL to MORGAN-FISHER's "Miniatures" project,
- 1980 with EFL to Fred Frith's solo album "Speechless",
- 1980, to "Arthur et les Robots", EFL drummer Guigou Chenevier's solo album
- 1989 to Quebec/Les Quatre guitaristes de l'Apocalypso Bar "Fin de siècle" album
- 1991 to austrian violonist Mia Zabelka's "Possible fruits" concept album
- 1992 composing "Pas mal à l'heure", a piece of music for the project "Hardis Brut" as an hommage to Art-Brut visual artist Emile Ratier
- 1993 to former "Les i" female bass player Christiane Cohade solo album
- 1997 to japanese multi-instrumentist Tadahiko Yokogawa's "Solocism" album.
As a studio producer, Richard has delivered several works with groups: - "MÖGEL", a female punk group from Sweden,
- "Les Batteries", a drum trio founded by former collegue Guigou Chenevier with british Charles Hayward (This Heat) and american Rick Brown (V-EBusiness activitiesfecbt),
- the 3 albums of "Les i", a french avant-rock combo.
In 1985, Richard founded the Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices association (A.M.I.), and in july 1986 launched the first Movement International des Musiques Innovatrices (MIMI) summer festival that takes place each year in the south of France dedicated to all kinds of innovation in musics. MIMI has featured such acts as After Dinner from Japan, Iva Bittova from Czech Republic, Les Têtes Brulées from Cameroon, and André Duchesne's Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar from Quebec, groups from New-Zealand, Russia, Vanuatu, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Middle-East, etc... but also Fred Frith through diverse formations, Ornette Coleman, Jeff Mills, Terry Riley, The Ex, and many then-unknown groups which will become famous later.
2017/1992: Founder-member of Friche de la Belle-de-Mai/Marseille in 1992. On the 12 hectares of a former industrial site, La Friche hosts today about 70 different cultural structures.
Associated to the Direction under the presidence of famous architect Jean Nouvel from 1996 to 2002.
2017/1985: Once based in la Friche de la Belle-de-Mai in Marseille, A.M.I. became a Centre for the Development of Popular Musics, and, as an urban development platform, launched various training workshops, artists residences, festivals, an incubator for cultural micro-businesses, and a consistent program of international extensions.
017/2005: Board member of The Roberto Cimetta Fund, supporting mobility for artists and cultural operators in the Euro-Arab dimension. Chairman since 2009.
2017: Founder-chairman of Global Grand Central, global virtual platform presenting global archives about artistic projects of all kinds and all countries.
2017/2016: "Qualifyed Personality" representing the Institut du Monde Arabe/Paris at the governance of Institut du Monde Arabe/Tourcoing/North France.
2017/2006: Expert/collaborator of « Agenda 21 Culture » commission, part of CGLU/UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) network.
2017/2002: "Qualified Personnality" at Observatoire des Politiques Culturelles/Grenoble. Board member since 2009.
2017/1997: Lecturer for various cultural management training institutions (Institut d'Etudes Politiques/Grenoble, Lyon-2 master, L.Senghor University/Alexandria/Egypt, UniSavoie/Chambéry, Ecume European Master/Dijon, Sciences-Po/Bordeaux, ARSEC/Lyon, Université Fribourg/CH, Eigabigaku Uni/Tokyo, etc...).
2015/2010: Coordinator of the experts panel at the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity.
2015/2012: Kedge-Euromed-management High School, Marseille, Member of the admission jury
2015/1994: member of EFAH (European Forum for the Arts and Heritage, main european platform for cultural networks) now Culture Action Europe. Chairman 1996 to 1999.
2007/1997: Board member of the European Certificate in Cultural Mangement Orientation Board, Marcel Hicter Foundation/Bruxelles. President 2001 to 2004.
2005/2004: Founder member and president of Gondwana, regional federation for an african arts biennale in Marseille.
2005/1998: Founder-member and Secretary of "Fanfare", international network dedicated to urban arts emerging initiatives.
2001/2002: Task-force member in the frame of Fabrice Lextrait's mission ("A new era for cultural implementation"), commissioned by M. Michel Duffour, State-Secretary for Cultural Decentralisation/France.
1999/1998: President of Medinma, first mediterranean music market held in Marseille (now « Babel Med Music »).
1998/1997: Steering-Comittee Member of the National Committee for Popular Musics, commissioned by Ms Catherine Trautmann, Minister of Culture and Communication/France.Etron Fou Leloublan
Batelages (1977, LP, Gratte-Ciel, France)
Les Trois Fous Perdégagnent (Au Pays Des...) (1978, LP, Tapioca, France)
En Public aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique (1979, LP, Celluloid Records, France)
Les Poumons Gonflés (1982, LP, Turbo, France)
Les Sillons de la Terre (1984, LP, Le Chant du Monde, France)
Face Aux Éléments Déchaînés (1985, LP, RecRec Music, Switzerland)
Classic guide to No Man's Land (1987, Compilation, NML 8813 C.D.)
Compilation festival MIMI 1986 (1986, Oblique Musique)
43 Songs (1991, 3xCD box set, Baillemont) – compilation
À Prague (live) (2010, CD, Gazul)
Réédition intégrale Etron Fou Leloublan (1991, Baillemont, 3Cds)
Gestalt et Jive
Nouvelle Cuisine (1985, LP, Moers Music, Germany)
Gestalt et Jive Trio (1986, 2xLP, Creative Works Records, Germany)
Bruniferd (1986, LP, RecRec Music, Switzerland)
Un Putch Kitch (1991, CD, SMI, France)
Pas Sages, Secrets (1997, CD, ST, France)
Compilation Festival MIMI 1988 (1989, AMI 2002)
Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar
Fin de Siècle (1989, LP, Ambiances Magnétiques, Canada)
iplomatesrd (Fred Frith and Ferdinand Richard)
Dropera (1991, LP, RecRec Music, Switzerland)
Ferdinand et les Philosophes
... Enclume (1991, LP, RecRec Music, Switzerland)
Ensableur de Portugaises (1994, CD, RCollaborationsecRec Music, Switzerland)
Ferdinand et les DiplomatesE-pop (2007, OUTONEDISCDDCO 1008)
Ferdinand / Fred FrithDropera (1991, RecRec)
En Forme!! (1981, LP, Celluloid Records, France)
En Avant (1983, LP, RecRec Music, Switzerland)
Arminius (1993, Stupeur&Trompette)
Morgan-Fischer, Miniatures (1980, PIPE REC)
Guigou Chenevier, Arthur et les Robots (1980, SAPEM)
Fred Frith, Speachless (1981, RALPH REC)
Les Quatre Guitaristes, Fin de Siècle (1989, AMB.MAGN)
Mia Zabelka, Possible fruit (1991, EXTRAPLATTE, EX 172 C.D.)
Compilation Hardis Brut (1992, IN- POLY-SONS, IPS 0592)
Christiane Cohade (1993,C.D.)
Tadahiko Yokogawa, Solocism (1997, DIW-SUYN Japan)