Documents fondateurs
AMI english presentation

AMI english presentation

janvier 2003
Ferdinand Richard

Association Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices
Centre National de Développement pour les Musiques Actuelles


Presentation in english

(updated 2003, january the 29th)

A.M.I. association, National Center for the Development of Actual Musics, is commissioned to develop and generate a platform of services for music practitionners ( rather than a consumer terminal for music customers) going from the creation tools (workshops, rehearsal studios, residencies,) up to the distribution tools ( always in an attempt to reach new types of audiences, of concerts, integrating cultural-social-economic dimensions).

Since 1994 the association headquarter is located at Friche La Belle de Mai in Marseille, former tobacco factory. There, in this gigantic workshop where anyone is able to shape, study, experiment, it tries to open new spaces for artists voices. This work is relayed from the Friche by external activities such as the MIMI Festivals (Mimi in Frioul islands in front of Marseille, Mimi-Nor in Narian-Mar, capital city of Nenetzs/North-Russia, Mimi-Sud in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo), all of them presenting important workshops developments, such as regional mobile workshops in the south of France, such as " Stupeur et Trompette", the label and record shop in Marseille, and such as the international workshop exchange program (Middle-East, Japan, Russia, Africa).
In the cultural field, A.M.I. is a significant player in local development, and has a widespread national and international resonance.

A.M.I is not concerned by the conventional musical divisions, the association works out the emergence of original voices, it guarantees a constant flow between professionals, amateurs and audiences, between aesthetics, and tries to facilitate access to equipment and knowledge.


1) A.M.I runs four empty (equipment provided on request) rehearsal studios at the free disposal of musicians. Average time of residence is about 4 weeks per group.
This is in fact the first contact between performers and A.M.I.
In 2002, nearly 80 musicians, amateurs and professionals, had the opportunity to use these facilities.

2) A.M.I. runs a serie of musical workshops directed by artists who share their experiences. These units function on a daily and weekly basis and are free of charge. These units can be mobile on request from social centres, schools or associations, in the region or nationaly.
In 2002 : scratch, sample, computer music, lyrics writing, street fashion design.

Confronted to the increasing demands to find new ways in cultural cooperation within the popular musics field, A.M.I. organises international crossed-workshops. The aim is not neccessarily to produce finished works, but is more oriented towards human exchanges, long-term productive relationships amongst the invited musicians, and re-creation of local networks for music micro-enterprises. Most of them are based on a real cultural exchange with 2 annual sessions (one in the city abroad - one in Marseille). Some of them are opened to trainees, some others are strictly art-production oriented. Most of them request a three-years dedication.
Marrakech/Marseille, (completed)
Dakar/Abidjan/Marseille, (completed)
Tokyo/Osaka/Marseille, (completed)

3) A.M.I. organises artists residencies, based on the knowledge transmission between renowned professionals and young talents. Each residency is articulated around a project defined by the invited artist for several sessions during the year.

1994 Maggie Nichols,
1995 MC Solaar, the guitarist Noël Akchoté,
1998 Otomo Yoshihide and Christian Marclay
1996 Noir Désir
2000/2001 Electro Friche
2002 Cutler/Greaves/Racaille
2003 Pierre-Yves Macé


All along their ways, A.M.I. shares the trajectories, the itineraries of the musicians.

"Concerts de voyage" in downtown Marseille small venues happen more or less every month. The stage is open to musicians on tour, offering an innovating approach of sounds and music. The concept is of "aperitif-concert", and it is held on mondays at 07:00pm. In most cases, a second performance is given in a totally-packed AMI record-shop on the following day, as an experimental-in-the-middle-of-records-show-case at the end of the afternoon.

Hip-Hop and urban music events are in most cases the following of one-month workshop processes gathering several individuals or groups, and they are presented in the same music clubs than "Concerts de Voyage", under the name "Direct Usine" (direct from the factory), as a freshly made product. This training-and-production mix is programmed about six times in a year.

MIMI Festivals (International Movement for Innovative Musics) constitute the strong and visible spine of the whole frame. One of them is the emblematic action of AMI since 1986, and was the first of the serie. It is now located in the Frioul islands in front of Marseille, and is an open-air event taking place every july. The second one, Mimi-Nor, is located in Narian-Mar, capital city of the Nenetzs Region in north-Russia, and happen every spring since 2002. The third one, Mimi-Sud, will happen in Kinshasa/Democratic Republic of Congo, from november 2003 on.
Beyond the fact that they are concerts moments, all of them are considered "workshop-festivals", and are the support for trainees or musicians exchanges coming from many different countries.

Stupeur et Trompette ! record label can be found in the best record shops in France and abroad.
Stupeur et Trompette ! is dedicated to innovative musical projects, mostly inspired or linked to other AMI activities. Volontarily using a low key strategy, Stupeur et Trompette ! is in search of original signatures.

Stupeur et Trompette ! record shop is located downtown Marseille, 36 Cours Julien, in the area of music clubs. There, are available the titles one cannot find in big record stores, and the best catalogues such as ORKHESTRA international presenting companies from all over the world (Tzadik, Cuneïform, Materiali Sonori, RecRec, Ambiances Magnétiques, Enemy Records, Knitting Factory, Pandemonium, Metamkine, Daydream etc.) as well as regional productions of good interest.


Since the early days, being a transmitter rather than a terminal, crossing new territories, A.M.I. has been actively involved in cultural networks weither they are regional, national or international, such as the European Forum of the Arts and Heritage (EFAH), main european platform for action and debates concerning cultural policies, and was one of the founders members of FANFARE, network dedicated in the support for new artistic trends birth.
Since many years, AMI-director Ferdinand Richard is also involved in several culture management training courses (Certfificat Européen Marcel Hicter, DESS/Grenoble, ECUME/Dijon, etc...), and cultural policies theoritical groups (Observatoire des Politiques Culturelles/Grenoble, etc...).