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The French group Philharmonie originally consisted of electric guitarists Laurent Chalef, Bernard Ros and Frederic L'Eple, who together play complex, improvisational music.
Self-taught guitarist Laurent Chalef has a background in jazz and fusion. At age 18 he established an acoustic guitar duo in which he worked as a composer and studied improvisation. Bernard Ros is grounded in rock, and has worked on composition and improvisation. On Philharmonie's 1994 Cuneiform release, Nord (North), he plays Chapman Stick exclusively.
Frederic L'EpŽe comes from a rock background, where he became heavily influenced by the style of Robert Fripp. He founded the group Shylock at age 18. The band released two albums on CBS in 1977-8. He later entered conservatory, and studied harmony, fugue, counterpoint and composition. He founded Philharmonie in 1988.
Philharmonie self-released their first CD, Beau Soleil, in 1990. Their second CD, Les Elephants Carillonneurs (The Elephant Bell Ringers) was released by Cuneiform in 1993. Drummer Jean-Louis Boutin joined Philharmonie in September 1993. Boutin attended Nice Conservatory and studied with André Ceccarelli and Bob Guletti.