French of Moroccan origin (born in Jerusalem in 1953), Armand Amar spent his childhood in Morocco. Imbued with the sounds of instruments considered exotic at the time, the pull of that “world apart” exercised by extra-European music soon fascinated him. Autodidact, he was constantly searching for physical experiences in the early years of his musical apprenticeship, whereas in the following years his search became a commitment; he learned to play tablas, discovered the zarb and congas, and studied under various masters of traditional and classical music.
Armand’s discovery of dance in 1976, following an invitation from South African choreographer and trained anthropologist Peter Goss was another decisive moment. Suddenly what he’d been looking for was right there in front of him – a direct relationship to music, the power to improvise freely, the advantages of authentic, on-the-spot exchanges. Since then he has worked with various choreographers from the different branches of contemporary dance (Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Carolyn Carlsson, Francesca Lattuada, etc.). Two challenging new ventures broadened his scope even further: his involvement in Patrice Chéreau’s actors’ school and his teaching at the Conservatoire National Supérieur [Higher National Music School] focussed on the relationship between music and dance.
The musical and spiritual influences at play show through in his film scores, such as that of Costa-Gavras’ Eyewitness (2000) and The Axe (2005), The Trail by Eric Valli (2005), Radu Mihaileanu’s Live and Become, Rachid Bouchareb’s Days of Glory (Indigènes), Julie Gavras’ Blame it on Fidel (all 2006), Gilles de Maistre’s The First Cry (2007), Gilles Legrand’s The Maiden and the Wolfs, Diane Kurys’ Sagan (2008), Yann Arthus-Bertrand's HOME and recently Radu Mihaileanu's The Concert.