Arthur B. Gillette

Every record, every song, every project is an epitaph. A song is immortality on a small scale.

Founding member of the band Moriarty, the guitarist and composer Arthur B. Gillette has a taste for the open road and otherworldly landscapes. His melancholic universe, haunted by the legends of American music and literature, is music for daydreaming to.

Updated on 04/07/2019

2 min

Arthur B. Gillette, born in France to American parents, has always been captivated by the landscapes, sounds and words of that distant fantasy-land. In 1995, when he co-founded the group Moriarty, their songs were inevitably inspired by the rocky blues of their parents’ homeland.

Over the course of six studio albums and hybrid projects — like a radio adaptation of Mikhail Boulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita (France Culture, 2013) — Arthur B. Gillette created a contemplative universe.

Since 2014, he has written and produced creative documentaries for France Culture (The Naruto Whirlpool (“Le Tourbillon de Naruto”), in 2018), composed for film scores (Gabriel and the Mountain (“Gabriel et la Montagne”) by Fellipe Barbosa, in 2017) and launched the Astéréotypie and Mick Strauss projects.

Taking its name from Dean Moriarty, the protagonist of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, Arthur B. Gillette's group draws inspiration from the poetry of the Beat Generation.

The guitarist’s music seeks to capture the moment, to bring out the emotions wrapped up in the landscapes. With Moriarty he developed a minimalist aesthetic, using acoustic sounds and recording in unusual places, like an attic, in 2008, for their cover of Enjoy the Silence.

His solo adventures with the Mick Strauss project saw him explore languid, rock-influenced atmospheres, while his work with the Astérétotypie collective of autistic singers speaks to his love of hybrid formats and raw, stripped-down expression.

Even before Moriarty’s successful concerts took him from Japan to Quebec, Arthur B. Gillette had entered into a fruitful dialogue with cultures from around the world.

In 2001, he embarked on a one-year journey of personal discovery with his bandmate Thomas Puéchavy, from the shores of the Mississippi to West Africa, in search of the sources of the Blues which he finds so inspiring.

There he met musician Ali Farka Touré, who fed his love of musical fusion. His radio projects – Nonsense Melancholia won the bronze medal at the 2016 New York Festival  – and his work as a composer – the music for Gabriel and the Mountain was nominated for the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize – prove the universal, international appeal of his music.

  • 1995


    Arthur B. Gillette co-founds the band Moriarty.

  • 2001


    He travels to West Africa and the United States in search of the roots of blues. Meets Ali Farka Touré.

  • 2007


    Release of Gee Whiz But This Is a Lonesome Town, Moriarty’s first album, which goes gold and is nominated for the Constantin Award. The group creates its own label, Air Rytmo, 3 years later.

  • 2014


    His debut as a radio producer of creative documentaries at France Culture.

  • 2018


    He is nominated for the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize for original music for the score of Gabriel and The Mountain by Fellipe Barbosa.

  • 2019


    His first concerts with Mick Strauss, a solo singer-songwriter rock project (album to be released in 2020).

The Institut français and the artist

Arthur B Gillette received the support of the Custom Residencies programme offered by the Institut français to work on his project in the United States from December 2018 to January 2019.


Find out more about the Custom Residencies programme.


L'institut français, LAB