Les Reines Prochaines

About Les Reines Prochaines

In 1987 as Les Reines des Couteaux (the queens of the knives), Muda Mathis, Teresa Alonso and Regina Florida Schmid showed their first performance in a underground space in Basel. It was all about political statements, rebellion against the bourgeois society and, last but not least, about feminist aesthetics and action. All of the founders are visual artists, and created music by chopping vegetables for a soup, singing and some synthesizer sounds. One year later they continued as Les Reines Prochaines, creating music and multimedia-performances with new members associated with the group: Fränzi Madörin and Pipilotti Rist. Since then Les Reines Prochaines are on tour with changing group members, but held by a strong core. The present line-up is: Michèle Fuchs, Fränzi Madörin, Muda Mathis and Sus Zwick. Almost all of them learned to play their instruments just by joining the group. „The use of music as a medium is just as important to us as the performance itself and the visual environment. This mixture gives us the freedom to cross cultural borders and categories of the various arts“. Over the years, creating shows and music have developed in their own personal style – sometimes they would call it professional dilettantism.

Each band member writes her own songs about personal musical worlds, everyday images, memories and fantasies. They all sing, and they all take turns providing accompaniment on the trumpet, saxophone, euphonium, accordion, guitar, bass, drums, strings and synthesizer. The instruments regularly change hands between the different band members, though some tend to be played regularly by the same one.

Les Reines Prochaines, the 4-woman combo that has skilfully made its mark in the music scene, is the epitome of creativity and is rich in imagination. The band’s varied performances are widely famous. They view themselves as multimedia musicians who transport their colorful prose via channels other than music. Fränzi Madörin and Muda Mathis, who have been with the band since ist formation, as well as Sus Zwick and Michèle Fuchs who joined later, make democratic music. For example, they alternate accompaniment and solo performances in rapid succession. The Queens take turns in the spotlight, they swap instruments, dance, sing, celebrate – every performance is a party! Even though the laughter sometimes gets caught in your throat, Les Reines Prochaines have a keen perception of the overall picture. They don’t mince their words, yet these words are poetry and their use of language is always affectionate.

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