Season 2: Episode 7

Musician Marion Ruault talks about improvisation and listening to the self and others.


This season I am talking to artists and thinkers about the art of listening.

In this episode I’m talking to French musician, improviser and composer, Marion Ruault. While she has studied jazz, classical and many forms of world music and performed in various collaborations with around Europe, during her two years living in Berlin, Marion focused on expanding her improvisational practices.

We spoke about the freedom and responsibility that comes with playing improvised music about the need to find a balance between one’s impulses on what’s happening in the group. Listening is an important part of this practice.

We also spoke about her first solo performance and the challenge of making mistakes in public,  and how making mistakes can be the best way forward for one’s development as an artist.  

I think it’s no different in life and in music, for example. But in improvisation, it’s a big question, actually. To listen to yourself, to listen to the other, and to find a balance.

– Marion Ruault

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Marion Ruault is a French double bass player, a musician, improviser and composer. She studied jazz, classical music and world music at the National Conservatory of Lyon in France and is currently enrolled at Le Centre des Musiques Didier Lockwood in Paris. Navigating between several styles of music, she collaborates with prestigious artists and improvisers such as Scott Hamilton, William Galison (Baghdad Coffee / Sting), Sandy Patton (Lionel Hampton ensemble), Daniel Huck (Eddy Louis), Marc Thomas (Claude Bowling Big Band) and performs in many venues and festivals in different countries. Since 2018, she maintains a strong link with the Berlin scene where she regularly performs, mostly jazz and improvised music. She recently launched a project to interact with artists from different backgrounds, mixing performance, theater, dance, music, immersion and improvisation.

“As a musician, I play various forms of music but I am drawn to interdisciplinary collaborations and improvised music. For me, improvisation is a form of meditation. In working with others, I am confronted with the question of how to listen to others yet be myself. Improvisation is a process of putting my ego aside to be in the service of the present moment, dedicated to something bigger than myself. “



Photo credits: Luz Scherwinski