Eric Serra began to play the guitar when he was five years old. He went on to master the drums, bass, percussions and keyboards, and formed his own band at the age of 15. A year later he became a professional musician playing with such prominent artists as Didier Lockwood, Youssou N’Dour, Mory Kanté and Jacques Higelin.
The turning point in Eric’s career came at the beginning of the 1980s when he met French film director Luc Besson, who asked him to compose the score for his first short film titled L'Avant Dernier (1981) and later, his first feature film The Last Combat (1983). Since then, he has written the music for every Besson film (Subway, The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, Atlantis, Léon aka The Professional, The Fifth Element etc.).
From 1980 to 1988, Eric was musical director and bass guitarist for French singer rock star Jacques Higelin and released a pop music album entitled RXRA – whose title sounds like the artist's name when pronounced as initial letters in French.
In addition to his film work with Luc Besson, Eric has composed the music for Kamikaze (1986) directed by Didier Grousset, Rollerball (2001) by John McTiernan, Jet Lag (2002) by Danièle Thompson and Paul Hunter’s Bulletproof Monk (2003). Between 2003 and 2005, he worked on several collective projects, producing and co-composing the soundtracks for L’Art délicat de la séduction directed by Richard Berry and Wasabi directed by Gérard Krawczyk. Also, together with Phil Collins, Eric produced the French versions of Walt Disney’s Tarzan songs.
CRISS ANGEL Believe has a distinctive look, tone and mood, and Eric Serra says his music has been written and arranged to blend with the visuals and with the personality of Criss Angel. “It’s very varied,” he adds. “There’s a lot going on and it’s all very rich. There are rock moments that reflect the Criss Angel we’re all familiar with, but other parts of the show are very classical, even symphonic in tone, and there are some ethnic, tribal passages too. The fact that the show is a kind of dream means we are inside his spirit and that gives me great freedom and an extremely broad palette.”
Eric Serra was born in 1959 near Paris.
“I see OVO as the immersive surroundings of a world where the insects are magnified,” says Jonathan. “And to accentuate that immersive aspect we’ve worked with a full surround system – which is unusual for a big top show. When you walk into the tent there’s already a sense of a different space, which I would never try to compete with. On the contrary, I embrace this uniquely sounding environment and work to enhance the captured presence of the performance inside the Big Top.”
As with every other Cirque show, Jonathan works very closely with the composer, Berna Ceppas. “The audience will hear a lot of insect-inspired and other bug-sounding elements which are incorporated into the score and the sound design,” Jonathan explains. “By playing with pitch, tempo, mix and rhythm we are able to create many different ‘flavors’ of sound.”