Thursday 20 October 2005

Working in Japan

I am in Japan !
Twelve hours on a plane and four more on the train to reach Niigata do not help me realize that I was travelling. Travelling now has become so unnatural. Hours long on your seat, eyes fixed on the screen in front of you, that horrible smell of plane food - whatever they call 'food', the same horrible smell tickling your nostrils…
A bit of sleep, getting out, and then suddenly, everything is different. The body does not understand. As I am reading the Piano Tuner, in which the main character travels to Burma by boat and sees the landscape slowly changing, I’m making this wish that my next trip will be more on a human scale.
And now I’m in Japan! I still expect to bump into some Swan Lake dancers, and meet Simon and Nolico for sushi or tonkatsu!

To think that only a few days ago, I was preparing for a concert which now seems not have not taken place at all. Or maybe it did in another time dimension to which I will reconnect again once I’m back in Paris.


Jo and the dancers have showed me what they’ve been working on for the past month. They haven’t wasted a second. So much done in a month! I was wondering why Jo kept asking me for new music if he wanted me to come to Niigata to collaborate.
Most if it is written now. We shall use parts from W.h.a. as well as Nina’s hidden glass. I was reluctant at first; the music was written for Simon, and we’re going to perform the piece in London next January. But Jo's approach and his use of the music are so different, I am equally happy with both ways. Actually, I couldn’t write an ersatz music. It would sound fake.
Once again, W.h.a. proves to be quite a goldmine in terms of musical ideas. And I can see at last some real dancing to it, and not the conceptual, nihilistic gesticulations of Régine Chopinot.
The next step will be to write for real musicians, and not rely so much on the computer. It was such a joy to sing with Haïm, Jean-Marc, Simon and Jan during the concert. I already start to have some ideas for a new album…
I know I am self sufficient, I enjoy doing things by myself, but I now want to work with other people, instead of remaining in my remote world.
Build more bridges between the two worlds… My own soil needs nurturing.

Satisfaction is on both sides for NINA (that's how Jo has called his piece). Jo apparently feared I might not like his choreography as much I feared he might found my music inadequate.
The dancers are great, and exhale good personality. I’m always full of admiration when I see a dancer at work.
I’ve set myself to come up with the remaining music before next week. Jo wants something for a boys group dancing. Rhythmic, and maybe less intense than the rest.
I’ll try to develop a movement from piano loops.

The music that I intended for the heavy ballerina scene works well. The sound of timpani, long strings, a grotesque and silly choir, frenetic techno rhythm topped with playful strings playing pizzicatto.

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