Jean-Claude MARA autobiography
I was born on the 18th November 1942 at ISSOUDUN, a small town
in the center of France, in an area named "Berry".
My parents were very fond of music and they both played the violin
as a hobby. When I was seven years old I asked them if I could
go to music school. After spending two years learning musical
theory, and not playing an instrument, I decided to leave and
continued my education at college. At the same time I began to
teach myself music according to my inspiration. At first I played
on a small mouth organ, then I learnt the banjo, guitar, piano
and saxophone. All instruments fascinated me and made me feel
very happy. During these years, I went to Technical School to
learn Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
When it was time for me to do my National Service : I accomplished
it as ...a conductor for a Military dance orchestra ! At the same
time I discovered the many possibilites of the recorder.
When I left the military, I started to to play the "Kena"
a flute from South America.
I first heard the wonderful sounds of the Pan-pipes from Romania
in 1972, I immediately felt that it was the right instrument for
me to express my own feelings and music. So I set off to Romania
to look for Pan-pipes but without success.
After many difficulties and a long, long time, I succeeded in
having some very beautiful Pan-pipes made for me by a French Instrument
In the year 1976 I met my first accompanist : the organist Georges BERNES. It was in the
church of Marciac, a village in South-West of France where I was
on holiday. I explained to him my musical project : to play freely
and spontaneously, making room for emotion, impulse, and without
the rudiments of theory, but with a deep spiritual concentration.
In 1977 we gave our first concerts in France and recorded our
first record : "Le Mystère de Noël" (the
Mystery of Christmas).
We then gave more and more concerts in France, Germany, Belgium,
Japan, Israël, Switzerland and also made more records, I
have also met other musicians who accompany me : Jean
DAHAIS (organist), Elisabeth
VALLETTI (harpist), Ulrich
MARXCORS (percussionist), Magali
ZSIGMOND (harpist), Jacques
BURTIN who plays the "kora" an instrument that comes
from Africa (Senegal) which is similar to a harp, Katrine
HORN (harpist), and lastly Michel
All these musicians are really fantastic and are in possession
of the rare talent to be able to express themselves spontaneously
with their instruments, with a very deep feeling, they help me
to go on my way to new horizons....