Born in 1970, a second-generation Australian of French-Swiss descent, the teenage François Tétaz was fascinated with electronic music and musique concrète. In 1992 he co-founded experimental music trio Shinjuku Thief. He scored student short films and released a solo album The Drunken Taxicab of Absolute Reality (1998). Following this, he divided his time between producing and composing scores for film and contemporary dance. Tétaz: “I also dabbled in pop music in my early 20’s, and learned a lot of my music engineering skills from Mark Forrester, who had been the in-house engineer at Prince’s Paisley Park studios in the early 90s. That was invaluable. I saw mixing and engineering as a practical necessity. I had become obsessed with sonics and textures and I wanted to be able to articulate and realise my own musical ideas in the studio.”
“I built my own studio in Melbourne in 1998. It was a place where I could do all the different things I wanted to do with my own music as well as work on other people’s projects. Mastering was something I had a real fascination with, and I spent a lot of time in my late 20’s learning the craft and listening to records. One of my major projects was mastering Merzbow’s 50 CD box set of noise music, Merzbox . It’s 50 hours of mind-bendingly brutal noise music spanning 20 years of Masami Akita’s career.”
From 2001 onwards, Tétaz increasingly spent time writing and scoring film music. His film scores include the award-winning soundtrack for Wolf Creek (2006), Nash Edgerton’s The Square (2008), and Luke Doolan’s short film Miracle Fish, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. He scored choreographic works for Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin and created soundtracks for artist Patricia Piccinni, including her installation for the 2004 Venice Biennale.
Tétaz also continued to be active as a producer. He mixed and co-produced Gotye’s international breakthrough album Making Mirrors (2011), including the enormously successful single “Somebody That I Used to Know” which won the Grammy for record of the year and pop duo/group performance. The album also won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album. Tétaz co-wrote, mixed, and produced a number of songs on Kimbra’s debut album Vows (2011), co-wrote and produced Bertie Blackman fourth studio album, Pope Innocent X (2011), and has co-produced albums by Architecture in Helsinki, Sally Seltmann and Lior.
In 2012 Tétaz composed the score for Underground, a Julian Assange bio pic, directed by Robert Connolly. He has just completed the soundtrack for Fiat Lux, a permanent light sculpture in collaboration with Drew Berry at Walter Eliza Hall Institute and a new work for Patricia Piccinini From within for her show at Haunch of Venison in London. Since 2009, Franc has been the musical director for the APRA Music Awards. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Biography by Paul Tingen
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