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In memoriam: Patrice Cramer (1955-2016)

The leading French recording engineer and musician remembered

French recording engineer and musician, Patrice Cramer, has died at the age of 61, writes Guillaume Schouker.

“Patrice was a drummer, Patrice was a musician, Patrice was an engineer, but above all Patrice was a formidable human being, a tender father, a wonderful fellow, he was our friend for 24 years,” said Nagui Fam, television presenter, producer and president of the Air Productions television company.

“The sound of the [long-running , live music showcase] Taratata TV show, it was him,” added Fam, “it is him and it will be him forever, his know-how, his unique style! We think of his children, his family, Patrice will keep resounding for us in each musical note.”

Born on 18 April 1955, Patrice Cramer was not only one of the leading recording and mixing engineers in France, but also a cutting-edge producer.

A trained drummer, he released an eponymous album with his band So & Co in 1974 (it was mixed by British recording engineer Andy Scott). At Studio Aquarium in the South of Paris he met with producer/engineer Dominique Blanc-Francard in 1975 and this period marked the beginning of his interest in engineering. Through the years, Patrice Cramer has worked with a great number of French artists, including Louis Bertignac, Jacques Higelin for twelve years, Véronique Sanson, Michel Jonasz, Liane Foly, Eddy Mitchell, Lara Fabian, Laurent Voulzy, Diane Tell to name but a few, and officiated as the sound and mixing engineer for French show Taratata from 1994 onwards.

Patrice Cramer was one of the founders, with Yves Jaget, of the company CJA (Cramer, Jaget and Associates) which bought out the very first Le Voyageur mobile studio from Laurent Thibault, who was working at the famous Château d’Hérouville.

More than fifty recording sessions of Taratata and other major television shows such as Les Victoires de la Musique awards ceremonies in 2009 and 2010, and the Johnny Hallyday 70th anniversary live at POP Bercy concert venue on 15 June 2013, were produced and engineered within Le Voyageur 1.

“During all these years, he had become a model, a shining light, and a friend to us, he leaves us the legacy of his talent and of his professionalism,” wrote the current Le Voyageur team (Laurent Israël-Alexandre, Jérôme Blondel and René Weiss).

Patrice Cramer was awarded a Victoire de la Musique [French version of the BRIT Award] in 1993 as Best Recording Engineer for his contribution to Michel Jonasz’s album, Où est la source? and also two Sept d’Or [French television award] in 1994 and 1997 for Best Sound.

Based in Miami, Florida, Patrice Cramer “passed behind the speakers” on 12 May 2016.