Artists: Jean Philippe Rykiel

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Jean Philippe Rykiel Biography

Jean-Philippe Rykiel is a French composer, arranger & musician, primarily a keyboard player. He has been blind since his birth in 1961, and is the son of fashion designer Sonia Rykiel.

Rykiel exhibited musical precocity as a child, sitting in with jazz greats like Miles Davis. With his recognized talent and strong connections, he could have been a famous child prodigy. When asked, at age twelve,''Why not put out an album?'' he replied that he would wait until he was an adult, when his music might be evaluated purely on its merit, rather than having people buy the music of ''that blind musician kid.''

Rykiel first came to public attention via his synthesizer duets with Tim Blake as part of the Crystal Machine  audio-visual project in the late 70's, which staged large events involving music and laser-based light shows in France and Japan.

Later he spent much time collaborating with world musicians, notably Mali singer Salif Keita, Tibetan monk Lama Gyurme and Senegalesesinger and percussionist Youssou N'Dour.

In 1992 Rykiel composed and performed music for the soundtrack of Les Pierres bleues du désert, directed by Nabil Ayouch.

Rykiel and Blake reunited as Crystal Machine to perform at the Gong Unconvention Festival in Amsterdam in 2006.

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