François J. Bonnet

Franco-Swiss composer and electroacoustic musician François J. Bonnet is based in Paris. In addition to being Director of INA GRM (Institut national de l’audiovisuel / Groupe de Recherches Musicales), Bonnet is also a writer and theoretician – his books ‘The Order of Sounds, a sonorous Archipelago’ and ‘The Infra-World and After Death’ are published in English by Urbanomic. As a musician, Bonnet often works under the project name Kassel Jaeger. He has been collaborating with artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Giuseppe Ielasi, Stephan Mathieu, Stephen O’Malley, Jim O’Rourke, Akira Rabelais or James Rushford.


1: A nebula is an interstellar cloud of ionized gas and dust that can unfolds over hundreds of light-years.

2: Old Tjikko is the name of a 9,550 years old Spruce clonal tree located in Sweden.

3: Berlin’s name come from the  Polabian  stem berl- /  birl-  meaning swamp.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The listening experience.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
I don’t remember any key moment when I told myself “I will make music”. Guess I always tried to make music since I was a child. Still trying.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I honestly have no idea. I did try to make a list, but it was quite impossible. Instead, here’s 5 among my favorite records that reader might not know. A good occasion to share.

Phonophani – Genetic Engineering
Régis Renouard Larivière – Contrée
Mikel Rouse Broken Consort – Jade Tiger
Glenn Tomasetti – Folk Songs
Giancarlo Toniutti – La Mutazione

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Cycling across the city at night, feeling the distances.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live in Montmartre, in Paris and, despite the tourists, I still love that hill.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Probably writing more.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Abandonnée / Maleja by La Tène.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
The great friends and artists I’m already collaborating with.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I have attended so many great concerts… Maybe not the best, but one who made a big impression on me. I was young, living in a small town, and for some reasons Pan Sonic and Coil were sharing the bill. It was something.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s fundamental, because it allows to compose the music in a feedback loop of listening / making that only recording technology has been able to offer. Technology permitted “composed” music to get out of its programmatic curse.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Do people care?

With ‘Trilogy de la Mort‘, MaerzMusik presents one of the masterpieces of the French electronic music pioneer Éliane Radigue (*1932), diffused by François J. Bonnet aka Kassel Jaeger at Zeiss Großplanetarium on 23rd & 24rd March.

Photo © Eleonore Huisse