Once he’d founded his septet Lousadzak in 1993 and then was due to make another recording the following year, Claude Tchamitchian soon felt a burning need to set up some kind of organisation that would assure the production, distribution and promotion of his music according to a totally autonomous artistic logic. So together with Françoise Bastianelli, Marc Thouvenot and sound engineer Gérard de Haro, Tchamitchian created the Émouvance label, launching it with the recording and release of the CD Lousadzak in 1994. An association was soon formed by the small group of people involved, so that what had originally been conceived and designed to produce and distribute Claude Tchamitchian’s work, gradually included and federated a loosely defined number of important musicians – Raymond Boni, Barre Phillips, Michel Doneda, Stéphan Oliva, Jean-Pierre Jullian, to name but a few – who had been neglected by the major record companies. The organisation was now committed to turning the spotlight on certain valuable types of music: live, marginal, and/or experimental via the shop window of its label as well as through the organisation of concerts and the subsequent follow-up in other venues.

By the late 90’s, Émouvance had become a real production tool from start to finish, so the team decided to settle in Marseille, making it easier for them to ensure their place in the cultural life of the city, e.g.  by organising residences, teaching and other projects in schools as well as concert programmes with the GMEM (Group of Experimental Music in Marseille) in the framework of the biennial event Caravanserail.

By the year 2000 and beyond, the cultural economy became more fragile and Émouvance moved into a new era, turning to the DRAC* for support for its projects and their organisation, until it finally became part of a contractual logic. Thus, from 2006, Émouvance began to assume its professional status in the way it handled its affairs, continuing its record production activity (the label currently has some forty CDs to its name…), the production and diffusion of Claude Tchamitchian’s projects, plus the organisation of an annual festival in Marseille known as Les Émouvantes. In 2016 Émouvance was granted CERNI status (National Company with National and International Influence).

*Direction régionale des affaires culturelles / Regional Cultural Affairs Office