Comment expliquez-vous l’origine de votre créativité

Comment expliquez-vous l’origine de votre créativité


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About musical creation How would you explain the origin of your creativity?Creativity essentially depends on the way one apprehends reality. The more its picture, the truth, satisfies us, the less we feel the need for developing and deepening the experience of reality (passing through the observation and the criticism). The subjective representation we have from reality is to a large extent conditional upon culture, language, manners, habits and believes. All of these allow the assimilation of norms essential to a functional relationship with our species and our environment. But creativity nourishes itself from an ability of assimilation that oversteps the functional frame, relative and reducing, of any culture. My creativity originates from the relativity with which I consider the functional representations characterized with the language, the culture, the History, etc. That sense allows me to better reach what is common and absolute in the mankind. However, I am less interested in the shape taken by music than in the meaning this shape gives. The more things appear to us in a relative way, the better is our ability to assimilate and subsume them to reveal an obvious meaning. And to me, music is an art of the obvious sense. I have been capable of assimilating the aesthetics of classical music, electro-acoustic music, choral music, jazz, and more, simply by listening to it, by experiencing it. Behind all these styles of music there are common ...



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About musical creation
How would you explain the origin of your creativity?
Creativity essentially depends on the way one apprehends reality. The more its picture, the truth, satisfies
us, the less we feel the need for developing and deepening the experience of reality (passing through the
observation and the criticism). The subjective representation we have from reality is to a large extent
conditional upon culture, language, manners, habits and believes. All of these allow the assimilation of
norms essential to a functional relationship with our species and our environment.
But creativity
nourishes itself from an ability of assimilation that oversteps the functional frame, relative and reducing,
of any culture. My creativity originates from the relativity with which I consider the functional
representations characterized with the language, the culture, the History, etc. That sense allows me to
better reach what is common and absolute in the mankind. However, I am less interested in the shape
taken by music than in the meaning this shape gives. The more things appear to us in a relative way, the
better is our ability to assimilate and subsume them to reveal an obvious meaning. And to me, music is an
art of the obvious sense. I have been capable of assimilating the aesthetics of classical music, electro-
acoustic music, choral music, jazz, and more, simply by listening to it, by experiencing it. Behind all these
styles of music there are common feelings, common needs, an absolute language, and I can compose both
classical and electronic music due to this perception.
But what is this absolute language you are referring to?
The absolute language is the obviousness. Thus, there is a Socratic part in my search of aesthetics;
however, I believe in the virtues of obviousness only in the field of subjectivity.
Beauty is the name one
gives to obviousness when its representation is aesthetic. One may associate all kind of canons,
conventions, reasoning, interpretations, techniques, often linked to the History, an age or a fashion, to an
aesthetic representation but a work of art holds the formidable power of surpassing these contingencies to
absolutely deliver its beauty. When I saw for the first time
The Birth of Venus
from the painter Sandro
Boticelli, I was around 7 or 8, I ignored the origin of it, its meaning, and nevertheless, I was experiencing
beauty. I could not explain it, but I knew it. I knew there were things beyond the language taught at
How do you associate this obviousness to complexity? A nursery rhyme has an obvious
character, but it remains childish.
One often associates obviousness and simplicity. But in most of the cases, obviousness solicits our
intuition, our ability to organize complexity. As soon as one perceives the solution of a problem as a
coherent whole, then the solution is obvious. In fact, for an artist, the obviousness is the ability of
organizing with perfection what escapes to the attention of most of us, either because we are disconcerted
with what appears highly complex, either because we are prisoners of a representation « conventioned »
with the culture and the customs. It is this ability that is named originality. A solution is more obvious as it
breaks a preconception or a habit. In
The Act Of Creation
(1964), Arthur Koestler claims that « the more a
discovery is original, the more it appears simple afterwards. The creative act does not create from
nothing, it dis-cover, mixes, combines, and synthesizes some facts, ideas, faculties, techniques that were
already existing. » I will not say that a nursery rhyme is obvious, because its shape is inherent to the
function it occupies in the social interaction qualified as infantile, and it is transmitted by the accepted
custom. Nothing of what a culture carries on is a priori obvious.
Do you contemplate learning musical notation, to improve your techniques of composi-
tions or to discover new ones?
Today computer music ensures a technically efficient interface between the musical notation and its
transliteration into codes as precise, and sometimes more intuitive to create with. Musical notation is
basically meant to retrieve an object of creation, and I do not feel the necessity of mastering this
particular mean of retrieval to create what I can create via the sequencer tool.
The function of any
codification applied to arts is to save the result of a creative impulse. Besides, a rich palette of digital
effects exists; sometimes these effects are extremely sophisticated as they simultaneously modify a
played sound. They introduce a new type of virtuosity on some sounds, which is impossible to restitute
through usual method of notations. Anyway, if I experience some limitations related to my lack of
knowledge of musical notation in my work of creation, I will not hesitate learning more about it. Time is
very precious. I am aware that the abstract knowledge of harmony, modulation and tonality, would allow
me creating more rapidly music. But I have the chance to create music rapidly enough by exploiting my
intuition and the immediate possibility of listening what I imagine from the software I use. Thus, I
compose very efficiently.
Don't you think you deprive yourself of a useful grammar, because any language has its
own grammar?
Numerous music professionals sees the acquisition of the musical knowledge (harmony, composition, etc)
as a grammar allowing to better structure a work,
as the grammar of a language allows expressing
correctly oneself. Music, as a vector of art that nothing substantiates in Nature, is not a language
comparable to other ones. And the analogy with a grammar is very abusive. Some composers have
conceived several methods of composition based on strict and abstract rules. By attempting to conciliate
music with something that surpasses human emotions and aspires to an abstract purity, they « compose »
by applying algorithms. Because they hope that by giving a musical shape to the mathematics of
numbers, what they dangerously call the purity of truth can be reached. Thus, they confuse the true
character of math with the musical aesthetics, which is situated in obviousness and not in some abstract
truth. The grammar is a set of rules codifying the language; it can be an end per se for those choosing to
play music, the professional musicians. Creation goes well beyond the codes, which are a possible
consequence of its manifestation, as technical elements of a representation (the making of a color, the
musical notation, the material used, the software used to design, etc).
To measure the distance between the grammar of the language and the way an artist formulates his
aesthetic coherence, let consider the case of a concerto. His creation obeys to some strict rules derived
from the sonata. These rules define the choice of the key, of the movements and their imbrications. They
have been proposed to reinforce the feeling of coherence when listening to such music and they also
enable the comparison between several composers. As they codify an expression, they also define a kind
of musical grammar. However, the analogy ends here, because this grammar does not allow introducing
notions of syntax and grammaticalness. The artistic content of a work obeys a grammar created by the
artist. From this point of view, one may propose a better analogy by considering a sport such as the
soccer (or any ball sports). Indeed, there are many ways to play ball, but by enacting rules on its
manipulation and by defining a frame within which one may apply them, one allows the public to better
appreciate the play and develop an interest increased by the possibility of drawing comparisons between
the teams (and support the most appreciated one, for reasons independent of the aesthetics). Besides, to
ensure the players an equal possibility of expression, there is a referee to promote the rules. Does this
mean we should assert soccer’s grammar exists? We all know shooting in a ball, similarly, we all perceive
the coherence of a chord. One may codify the way of shooting in a ball or of establishing chords. But
should we associate to this index, more or less descriptive although very useful, a grammatical value that
would be essential to know? That would be the case if the soccer was a virtual game as it becomes useful
in music as soon as a composer writes his score without having the possibility of physiologically testing its
contents. In fact, what we name a grammar is a codification intended to virtually play or create. But the
correct aspect of an expression (provided that it would be in accordance with some canons or rules) must
be dissociated from the obvious aspect of it. The art tends to obviousness, perfection, but does not comply
with correctness. That is the reason why, despite of the few 6000 human languages practiced on this
planet, we only understand those taught to us, whereas we are all able to seize the obviousness of a
musical work whatever its origin is. With regard to the rules of construction, unlike the commonplace, they
facilitate the expression or the creation. In art, the better a frame is defined, the easier it can be filled.
The rules indirectly help generating a coherence, But in the artistic domain, most of the time, the artist
defines the rules and the aesthetic coherence inherent in it. The originality of the rules the artist produces
is the reflection of his creativity.
So you believe talking about grammar to write or describe music would be too reducing?
I think that before using some terms one needs to understand how they apply and to which extent they
may apply. Today, in cognitive sciences, the classical ideas we have on the acquisition of the language’s
grammar are totally called into question. One considers that statistical analysis mechanisms would be
largely responsible for the language acquisition. Psycholinguists can model the formation of linguistic rules
from a simple connectionist network, reproducing a neuronal network, which reveals learning processes
only based on exploiting the language statistical regularities. I am profoundly convinced that acquiring a
musical aesthetic sense goes through the (assimilative) listening of music. This is what seem to be both
the most natural and the most efficient to generate a meaning that would be itself regulated by a
grammar, in the case of a language, or subjected to obviousness in art. In music, the obviousness we
perceive during a musical listening is actually linked to our perceptive capabilities, so that our brain can
recognize to the frequencies it treats mathematical ratios triggering a pleasant aesthetic feeling. But, as a
consequence of it, the ratios we perceive are « humanized » and thus rarely as precise as the absolute
reading of frequencies would suggest. That is why I am prone to favor an artistic development based on
intuition and perception.
Do you have the feeling your music evolves?
Yes, it constantly does. In 2001, I needed to artistically express a large part of what I had lived. The
music I composed was descriptive of a state or thoughts that were overwhelming. It was a mean to
express myself on topics for which I had meditated for a long time, and offer some genuine musical
paintings. One has to live enough to inventory emotions and memories inside an album, and I think the
experience of life will drive me to create music this way again. Today my music becomes more and more
abstract. Especially the classical music, although I always compose by having a clear mental
representation of my theme. The more my objective is precise, the faster I reach it.
Electronic music gets
more abstract too. This allows me to better focus on the creative process that is relieved of emotions
usually involved in its orientation. I am trying to get rid of the emotional path of inspiration to approach
new aesthetic expressions. Of course, I do not deny the way of composing I elected in 2001, and I may
adopt it again at any time (I only have to listen to an album again to create a new perfectly matching
piece), but I hate repetition and I prefer exploring possibilities which are not yet familiar to me. I have
composed many musical pieces that were abandoned when
Allegories of Light
was shaping up in 2003,
because they did not correspond anymore to what I was looking for. I have a bushing creativity that
prompts me to incessantly look for new ramifications to the paths I follow. However, sometimes I have the
feeling that someone has already followed some of these paths… I am more and more convinced that the
existence by itself of these paths does not depend on me, but on something else, which is related to our
human nature. I cannot understand it, but it happens to me to uncover the spoors left by some past
composers when I compose myself, without even looking for them. I think there is a profound unity in the
creative approach of all human beings, and I have often experienced and noticed the presence of such
unity in my works.
How do you abstract yourself from reality? By composing a more abstract music, do you
become more indifferent to the outside world?
It is clear that a state of creation is a particular state requiring some preparation. One must imagine new
objectives, get enough motivation for them, have an enormous self-confidence (this might be called
certitude), and abstract oneself from the everyday happenings to succeed in it. I can easily abstract
myself from the often tough vicissitudes of life. In fact, music is my universe of freedom, I can reconstruct
perfection according to my own criteria and I have the immense chance to do it with a lot of easiness. To
me, the highest comfort is not material, nor human; it stands on the easiness and the spontaneity with
which I create. I may appear selfish if I say that, no matter what, the possibility of creating one’s own
world of representation overrules the immixture of the real world or distort the latter. But that way, an
artist preserves his freedom of creation. It is very moving to explore a creation that no one else has the
power to extract from nothingness. It is an intense feeling of discovery and freedom. So many men have
dragged their kind into devastating utopias because they had the power to convince or oblige a large part
of humanity in the name of ideals and beliefs. The artist has the opportunity to pacifically bequeath to his
kind some representations lasting much longer than empires and so much useful to the fulfillment of
epigones. The creator is a conqueror of the unknown, not a conqueror of the power on nature. The man
and the artist are two distinct beings, and sometimes a necessary state to the first becomes a handicap
almost destructive to the latter. I always make a distinction between my artistic capabilities, which are
what they are, and my other human capabilities, which have nothing in common in most of the cases.
Thus, even though I aspire to perfection as a composer, I am not perfect as a man.
Your creations are very different from each other, how do you switch an expression with
another and why?
I consider a composer must learn how to express his creativity under different forms to rapidly evolve and
get a better control over his own work. In addition, I like all the musical styles because, as I previously
said, I am sensitive to the language of obviousness and to me, there are as many languages of
obviousness as musical styles and they all deserve to be considered.
Once a work is accomplished, it is
actually very difficult to modify the approach. By regularly passing from an electronic to a classical
expression I renew more efficiently my creativity. One beneficial consequence of this practice is the
maintenance of my ability to forget, of my ability to not turn round on what is accomplished, in order to
not always decline the same thing under poorly interesting variants. Music must remain a discovery and I
never play twice the same thing because repetition is boring and counterproductive.
In addition, to me, music forms a whole and whatever are the instruments or the sounds used to create it,
the composer remains subject to the same needs and impetus. We should especially get rid of all these
preconceptions, maintained by the radios and the TV, that keep us from considering classical music as
something that is not elitist or specialized. It is because these media are interested with or decorate their
contents with a certain type of music that the public is prompted to accept as a reference this music only.
Unfortunately, the picture of music we have is too largely reliant on the choice that a handful of individuals
impose to the public through the media they control. Yet, I observe that the public, as a non-specialist, is
nevertheless very enthusiastic when attending classical concerts, provided that it makes the effort of
breaking all these surrounding preconceptions (very often under some assistance). I must repeat music is
one, and those confessing appreciating just one musical style, or one single artist, do not make the effort
of understanding that music is not the natural instrument of sectarism, of nationalism, of a cause, of an
identity, etc.
Many people and the youngest ones especially, use music as an instrument of identity, for
the same reasons as those personalizing the sounding of their portable phone. Music is an art, not the
vector of a message, promotional or meant to serve an identity or an opinion. This may explain why I am
so skeptical about a song, which is less intended to promote the music than to deliver a musically
decorated textual or visual message. And I may hope that my modest contribution may help people
grasping the artistic essence of music and open up even more to other kind of music expressions.
Music is
a discovery as long as one makes the effort to remain free of searching for it, because to me, music must
remain a support of the individual freedom.
But an artist must often take a stand or express what he feels to create. If a composer
creates by need or by impetus, he must also reckon on ideas and opinions.
I do not question the fact that an artist instills a meaning to his inspiration or his productions; however,
one shall not mistake opinion for expression. Expression is artistic, opinion is human; it has a very relative
importance with regard to the existence and the evolution of an expression. We all need to relate art to its
history, to a frame of reference, to the life, the thoughts and the ideas of artists, but is the will to
rationalize something whose expression is both absolutely subjective and abstract realistic? Myself, I do
not create from opinions but themes ; notions more vast including the projections, the colors or the
intentions deriving from a need, which consists in discovering how I can express myself in a given
imaginary environment.
I am not insensitive to the world or things, but the opinion I have about it does
not condition my productions. I do not try to promote messages, to support causes, to defend an
expression to the detriment of another one if it is truly artistic. I rather try my best to nourish the
privileged link existing between my imagination and the desire to serve it. What I call impetus corresponds
to the movement of the will exhorting me to build up such link.
All what we may say
a posteriori
about a
work is just the reflection of that desire, which takes the glares that reason gives to it.
But one does not
create with reason, nor commitment or rightfulness. Creation cares nothing about all what may justify or
prevent its shapes.
When manifesting itself, creation dominates the reason and takes the paths that
nothing would be able to justify or predict
a priori
. A « committed » artist is in fact a committed being; his
artist status shall not overlap with what he is committing for. We have attempted to logically justify all
what exists and becomes for more than a century (essentially marked with the development of sciences
and the scientific or logical spirit), including any artistic productions, by some logical, justificatory,
utilitarian, materialist, humanitarian or moral reasonings. While the artistic activity and productions were
essentially justified through religions or faith prior to this period. The way we consider arts is necessarily
modified, as we intend to relate it to rational causes that can be identified and understood to better grasp
it, explain it, and likely also to package it and insert it as a product in the consumer society. As an artist
experiencing almost daily the creative process, I cannot agree with such drifting (either due to some
religious canons or some needs for rationalizing), indeed well characteristic of human nature, but totally
overlooking the reality of creation. The quest for a meaning cannot only be based on a belief or the truth
(that reason always fabricates on believes). This position can be compared to the theorization that a
scientist would apply to the manifestation of a phenomenon by only considering the causes that would suit
the best to his own expectations. Objectivity is a notion rarely used, but if we used it more often, we
would admit that most of what we consider as rationally or morally grounded is the fact of believes only.
Painting seems to influence your work and the way you represent music to yourself.
Could you precise the nature of the bindings you establish between painting, or some
other forms of art, and the musical composition?
You have put your finger on a very important aspect of my inspiration, the very sources of my artistic will
and my creativity. The avant-gardes of the early past century play a large role in the thought I have about
the musical creation. Paul Klee and Vassili Kandinsky were able to capture harmonic rhythms and
chromatic contrasts to produce abstract paintings from which obviousness delivered from its objective
elements could emanate. They have shown, with Mondrian, Malevitch and many others, that a
representation of the beauty may extricate from all the expectations generated from the knowledge of the
real by using abstract figures, imagined by the mankind, such as a triangle, a line, a square, a rectangle, a
circle, etc. Kandinsky is probably the one that has carried this concern to the most sophisticated level, by
using shapes (no more geometric) with contours totally subjected to the search of the sole harmony. As
music (here, I exclude the songs, ersatz of poor quality) is a particularly abstract art, the painters of that
period with the composer Arnold Schönberg were dazzled by the relation between abstract representation
and musicality. I am even more susceptible to this approach that art is what aims at obviousness in the
representation. Consequently painting exerts a strong influence on me. Today, music is associated with
the picture in motion (cinema, video report, and video clip) or the human movement (dance). The music
of a picture in motion has decorative values, « atmospheric » and totally interchangeable. Generally, I do
not pay much attention to it because it does not add to the meaning of a picture; it decorates the picture
like a wallpaper buffers the border between domestic objects and the materiality of the walls, it buffers a
container with its content, nothing more. On the other hand, the binding between music and dance
(classical or contemporary), is sometimes so intimate that one may live a truly aesthetic experience
during a representation.
I am especially fascinated with the links relating dance, in what makes it
abstract, with music. Somehow, it is astonishing.
However, in spite of all the bindings one may establish between music and some other forms of art, one
must keep in mind that music is both the most subjective and the most abstract art. It should be noted
that this is a paradox revealing the nature itself of any creative activity, in that one often associates
abstract and objective. It is the most subjective art because it diffuses the greatest originality and
nuances of feelings and human emotions, whereas it leaves to anyone the possibility to associate his own
representation (pictures, memories, projections) and sensitivity. It is also the most abstract because no
peculiar interpretation can unequivocally account for the nature or the meaning of any musical object, and
consequently, any explanation is pointless and arbitrary even though one cannot prevent oneself to look
for it. Although a musical object has an obvious and exact character that renders objective its existence,
we are unable to maintain that the words used to interpret his shape are appropriate or that our
interpretation is meaningful in itself. Thus, the link uniting music and representation of reality is
unfathomable but we need to generate such link to better objectively apprehend the existence of the
musical object. This is a paradox common to arts and sciences, and it is behind any creative approach.
That paradox is the most difficult to resolve in music. In painting, a square is a square; in sculpture, a
face is a face; in poetry, the meaning of a word is precise; in literature or cinema, a story, even fabulous,
sounds more concrete as words and everyday or dreamed situations support its development. The artist
must create from shapes and pre-existing meanings, from permanent entities, whose existence depends
on reality and culture. This is why all these artistic forms often have in common the search of beauty or of
verisimilitude. On the other hand, with music, one cannot represent the shapes we are the most used to,
but rather notions, and even if we claimed it, their perception would be too subjective to win unanimous
support. Music, as an abstract representation,
may not suggest beauty, but only perfection, especially
because it is a mean of representing notions particularly difficult to formulate in the usual language such
as will, love, compassion, joy, good, pain, etc. One may not appreciate the musical aesthetics of a work
but acknowledge its absolutely perfect character. These characteristics give to music a special and
unclassifiable position in the arts. The links between painting and music are essentially related to the
abstract structure of the elemental entities they organize.
In general, a color does not evoke anything in
particular as long as it is isolated; similarly to a note of music that does not awaken curiosity in itself.
Thus, abstract art, which consists in formulating a harmony from a composition of abstract entities, may
become common to both painting and music. Just as the human movement that has no particular meaning
in itself, becomes comparable to the note of music as soon as it organizes itself on the time axis. The
bindings between music and dance are mainly due to this parallelism.
I know that any meaning given to my own works, as intending to explain their genesis and what they say
to me, is absolutely subjective. And I do not think the music lover needs to know my thoughts to
appreciate the forms my music takes, he is free to formulate his own emotion. Music maintains tight
bindings with the notion of freedom; I do consider music as an abstract representation of it in all cases
(music, but not songs because they pertain to another category). This makes music a major art, enigmatic
and fascinating.
The representation of abstract notions is certainly not unique to music. Notions of temp-
tation, faith, love, charity or freedom have been the source of numerous works, in pain-
ting, sculpture and literature.
Yes, this is what we call allegories. One may quote the Dante’s
Divine Comedy
; the notion of temptation
represented by several painters and used in the famous
Temptation of Saint Antony
by Gustave Flaubert
after the work of Saint Athanasius;
Freedom guiding the people
Eugène Delacroix; The Rodin’s
etc. All these works and many more have a suggestive power deriving from the use of an image to
represent something that does not have objectively any. But it is important to understand that such
allegoric or metaphoric representation uses elements referring to objects with unambiguous meaning. As I
previously said, these elements can be words, faces, movements or precise forms; the representation of
abstract notions necessitates the use of very concrete objects. A composer can attribute to his music an
evocative title, but its appropriateness with music would only be prehensible if it was based upon
allegories. Music does not allow associating unambiguously a specific image to one of its specific form. I
have myself created a work entitled
Allegories of Light
, based on the idea that the representation of light
by sounds may be possible, but the allegories thus depicted have only an obvious sense to me; I am not
sure anyone can uncover the images of light I have seen. In fact, if one aimed at associating to each piece
of work a unique word, one would realize that each individual would fabricate a dictionary resembling to
the expression of his own freedom, and that words would never have the same definitions for everybody.
The impossibility to unambiguously codify the meaning of music gives to this art a dimension that
surpasses the codes themselves and refers to the intimate use of freedom. What claims a composer is
sometimes intriguing but certainly not necessary to the specific existence of a work.
Once a work is
created, it does not belong to anyone.
Do you pay attention to the music of other composers and is that inspiring your artistic
Before composing music, I was just listening to it; today I assimilate it, I recompose it. I do not listen to
music since many years; I have neither the time nor the will for it. Besides, each time it happens that I
listen to a work, I cannot prevent myself from rebuilding it in my own way, in my head. The forms of
music that are less subjected to this reconstruction are most of the time classical. But in general, the
contemporary music I hear seem to me unfinished, it contains some interesting elements but organizing
themselves into a dubious, clumsy and noisy coherence. However, I love all kind of music due to my
abilities of assimilation and understanding. There are always few times to appreciate because of their
bright constructions. I am not inspired with what I hear even though I probably get influenced with it. My
music nourishes itself with so many influences and styles (classical music, sacred music, world music,
electronic music, jazz, new age, rock, hip hop, etc) that I feel difficult to draw up an exhaustive list of my
model composers. To some extent, it is rather the respect I have for some composers that prompts me to
resemble them through my approach and my style.
However, you are not prone to composing songs, why that?
A song has always been very annoying to me; I have never been able to listen to it without hopping up
and down with impatience. Music is never as beautiful as when it neglects the words, and, if it does not,
when it dissolves their meanings. The human voice stimulates the listening and modifies the perception
because we are more sensitive to its frequencies, but isn’t it more emotional when the voice turns into an
instrument and absorbs the meaning of words? A song offers, in a combo specific to its nature, an
eclecticism rarely releasing an artistic value. It is a mediocre mix of aesthetic entities that reveal many
more qualities when they are separated than when they are assembled. A word, by arbitrarily
appropriating the notes of music to express his meaning, detracts music to a level of simple support.
Besides, a word may eventually put up with their presence to be more tinged, but the emotional and
evocative color of notes played with an instrument is far superior to the color of the words a singer strives
to make intelligible. Thus music must content itself with providing accompaniment for words, by covering
them with too gaudy and ill-assorted touches, in a patchwork depreciating its aesthetic potential and
making it servant of a master that misuses its services. A master using gold thread while he does not
know weaving. But, if the masters of yesteryear tried to use the voice as a spit curl, a honey of soul,
capable of caressing the sensitivity and making it trembling, they are now less and less concerned about
it. Since the late nineties, one observes an evanescence of the melodic song, for the benefit of an
expression more and more mediocre, answering to the criteria of a consuming and affirmative
functionality, which grazes more than it stimulates. A song is a consumer good having the appearance of
music and the imperfections of a text adjusted to the poetic illusion.
The past century has been
characterized with its spectacular development, and our century will probably show its failure as its
substance will progressively become mainly commercial and « mediatic ». So the future songs are meant
to drive the attention of the youngest generations for a determined period of time (generations that are
the most concerned about affirmation, recognition and fashions).
How do you see the future or the evolution of music?
We live an era where anything becomes musical. Music (in fact, songs in most of the cases) becomes a
simple commercial object whose design obeys to consuming and standardized criteria. Just about like
these cars resembling each other because they aim at a same functionality and follow the same criteria to
comply with it. But the object of art is not in a functional formatting intended to answer to some
consuming expectations. By assimilating music with a mass consumer good, one despoils it from its value
and leads it astray from its mission. Today, turning to the past becomes a common reflex whenever one
desires listening to quality music. In addition, the quality of today’s musical works is particularly mediocre,
which generates an explosion in the demand and the expectations of music lovers. Fortunately, there are
some artists doing exceptional progress, in almost all the musical styles. However, there are still a lot of
efforts to make in order to integrate the immense electronic sound possibilities and go beyond the current
styles, which are making a too minimalist use of it by not sufficiently integrating the effects of signal
processing to the musical expression. I also regret the lack of classical composers capable of imparting a
new impetus to the classical music. The cinema industry attracts many composers in a style much more
lucrative for everybody but far from flattering the good taste. Some great composers have been able to
draw their inspiration from it to create some masterpieces, but how many of them are talented enough to
do it? Medias are interested in soloists, in conductors, in the voice of a lyrical singer, valued through the
repertoire. One knows many more names of interprets than alive contemporary composers, even
associations and official institutions are more supportive of interpretation than creation. Moreover the
interpret and the artist skills are confused because one admits, since the nineteenth century, that a player
instrument or a singer develops artistic talents comparable, or at least parallel, to those composing music.
This confusion of role likely originates from the fact that classical composers of the past centuries were
also highly skilled musicians. Today I am not sure the freedom taken by a musician in the technical use of
his ability to play (then, one says to interpret) a piece of music justifies the confusion made between
technician and creator. It should also be noted that a conductor directing the interpretation of an
orchestral work exhibits striking similarities with an electronic music composer mixing his tracks according
to an intuitive and subjective approach. But should we recognize the person directing the mixing, either by
directly controlling the expression of each musician, or by controlling the fabrication of sounds and effects
in his studio, as an artist or as a technician of sounds or of a work.
In sciences, the term scientific evokes the qualities of a scientist or a researcher by opposition to a
technician or an engineer, even though the latter manifest himself inventive talents demonstrating a great
imagination. Similarly, the reader of a literary work or a poem interprets the meaning of what he is
reading but does not take the title of artist. I think the term of artist has become too ambiguous by
covering fields of competences too vast, which have often nothing in common with the artistic creation.
However, we have never had so many artists in our societies.
This is exact; as a consequence, we have never been so many to claim a status of artist, although I note
the lack of audaciousness, itself related to the lack of originality. We should stop being obsessed with
money, career, rewards and Medias, and show we deserve our so hackneyed title of artist. Artists are
supposed to be unique phenomena, rare and prominent. If I look for some of them today, I only get a
ridiculous number of artists capable of marking my perception of the world. The unique characteristic of
any artist derives from his ability to associate to reality a set of meanings overstepping our condition, to
subsume what appears scattered, distinct and often uninteresting, to introduce in this world colors we do
not see without his help, to restore the ability for us to see these colors. Colors that are more and more
important to perceive in a world subject to the incessant assault of dispersion (news, advertisement,
sport, games, TV, etc).
In the past, we have never had the possibility of using our freedom to that extent,
when learning, being informed or entertained. But we suffer from a lack of structures and models. One
remarkable feature of an artist is that he knows how to obtain a form of coherence and a meaning that
allow people to live a better life. He knows how to stimulate a life without resorting to notions of interest
or profit; he knows how to bring enthusiasm. Our societies need and will need more and more artists as
the complexity and the freedom of action and thinking will engage people to build themselves their «
humanitude ».
Do you consider yourself as one of these rare artists you are referring to?
I try resembling them as much as I can, and I work a lot to succeed in it. I also spend a lot of time
thinking about what I do and the value of my creations (other than pecuniary). I know I have a huge
potential and some quasi-extraordinary gifts (not just in music), but it belongs to me to develop them,
protected from values not compatible with their fulfillment. Considering that the most productive artists
are also those for which no result is definitive, I hope to never get this feeling of definitive. Because the
day I will think: your work is achieved, you can rest now (on your success), I will not deserve to be
considered as an artist anymore. My motto is « walk to not fall ». I am very tough to myself, to the quality
of what I do; useless to precise I am also particularly critical and lucid with regard to the production of
anyone else and my appreciations are rarely indulgent. In all what I am doing of creative, including during
my researcher career, I always aimed at excellence, perfection. I have never been able to stand the
exploitation of my results by people imbued with their ego, manipulator, careerist, and only focused on
plagiarizing other’s ideas. I have quitted research due to this intolerable situation. Besides, in Europe, too
many decision-maker scientists feel harmed by the success and the creativity of juniors having the ability
to produce independently of their « helps ». To me, independency, freedom and creativity are the values
of any progress. So I have displaced my creative potential to music creation, and I do not regret it as I
can finally express freely myself without looking down in front of those developing as a unique talent the
one consisting to exploit and appropriate, by a breach of trust or a misuse of power, other’s talents.
How do you explain the attitude of some people towards yourself?
Myself and many others… In my professional relations, one has always tried to press me into a mould, to
oblige me to follow a discipline to respect the state of things, to file me according to a functional category;
whereas I could see how slanted and paralyzed this state was. One has interpreted my autonomy and
creativity as marks of arrogance, independence and rejection of the others, mainly because those seeing
the fruits of it were even more aware of their mediocrity or uselessness, and rather than holding out their
hands to follow my creative progress, they wanted me to stop distinguishing from them, hoping that I will
join them to not suffer the existence of something that escaped to their control and power. People have
never done the effort of understanding me whenever they were unable to follow my progress and, furious
about their frustrations, they hid behind suspicion, or any prerogative derived from their power and their
insincerity. In France and some other European countries, people are particularly trained at quashing the
creativity to appropriate all what may serve their career-oriented interests without any dignity and respect
for the human person. This recurring difficulty in freely expressing my creativity in Europe within a
professional frame inspires me this metaphor on the condition of people endowed with creativity. We
never look at the source of light allowing to see, too attentive we are to what the light captures in its field;
it is only the day it turns off we dare looking up to this source with a reproach assorted with respect and
astonishment. But what to say about such respect; is it sincere or circumstanced to the loss of what the
light revealed? I prefer not to know, but I am sure that nothing is as misunderstood and disgraced as an
artist or a creator (alive).
Can the music play a useful function in our societies?
We live in a society where the notion of usefulness is fundamentally materialistic. The value of things is
measured according to their material usefulness (objectively justified from economical considerations) and
we have the greatest difficulties in evaluating the value of an object or a benefit which is not material.
Nevertheless, an infinitesimal part of what surrounds us is directly useful to our material existence. Most
of the things and beings surrounding us have no direct influence on the comfort and the development of
our lives. Although negligible for us, their usefulness pertains to a more global functionality, both
ecological and economical. The notion of usefulness is intimately bound to the comfort it provides. Even
though the consumer society originates from the quest of an individual material comfort; it is nonetheless
true that the moral comfort and the psychological one occupy an essential position in our search of well-
being. A city exhibits an undeniable material usefulness; however as a tourist when we visit it, we turn
away from this usefulness. Affable neighbors have no influence on our material comfort; however they are
socially indispensable, as the people sharing with us spiritual values are. A sport, although useful to the
body and the « advertisement » economy, delivers a type of social usefulness that acts as community
cement. An art, that is qualified as useless, develops itself within a market economy because its
productions drive a non-materialistic support and interest. We need art to acquire a form of spiritual
comfort, to get the meaning of freedom, which is decomposed by a society taken it away or diverted it
from us. Whatever the type of material condition, music insinuates itself within the same interstices to
provide to anyone the right to feel free, the right to access a universe that no one owns. The art and
especially the music allow anyone to temporarily perform or experience a role, idealized, seen as perfect,
and which is ruled out by the society in the use it makes from us. Thus, listening to music is, to a certain
extent, experiencing the art of composing, identifying oneself with it, because music requires our
participation to reveal its full meaning. And the more one appreciates it, the more one measures how one
should have or one could have created it, as a loved being. Music enables anyone to freely experience the
creation, and, with its help, the spirit acquires novel capabilities and a will much stronger from the use of
that freedom. Music can make us better, as loves does, provided that it does not serve the purpose of a
functional materialism.