In July, I was saddened to hear of the death of Jean Marie Mathoul.
I had been an admirer of many of his 48 Cameras recordings, including, After All, Isn’t Tango The Dance of the Drunk Man, and I Swear I Saw Garlic Growing Under My Fathers Steps. In fact, the titles were compelling even before hearing the music! Michael Gira, in the early years of Young God Records released a great collaboration between Jean and David Coulter, working with Charlemagne Palestine. The record, Maximin, highlighted his prominent skill as that of an audio collage artist.
Jean first contacted me in 2010, or thereabouts, and we consequently collaborated remotely on a few of his releases, including “Right North”, She Said… , We Could Bring You Silk In May, with Scanner, and From A River To A Hill, with Angus McLise, an early member of the Velvet Underground.
I suspect that Jean was not without his demons and, on occasion, one could sense how he was overwhelmed by them. But he was always a charming correspondence, and I much admired his enthusiasm and capacity to bring together many disparate contributors into a coherent whole.
Looking at my inbox, I have something in the region of 200 emails from him. I’ll look through a few of them now and think fondly of him.