Sunday, 28 March 2010

Dear Diary...

Dear diary…
It’s nearly the end of the month and I have hardly had the time to write one single line. The concert is coming near. A little more than two weeks. The older one grows, the quicker time flies, the closer the final moment gets!
I’m happy. Really happy. I have no time to think about anything else than music and my current work. But this state of emergency does fills me with energy and excitement.
Everything seems to be in place for the concert. I can only hope the crowd will be a real crowd. Since I don’t give that many concerts, I don’t have much room for mistake. And anyway, I don’t even think of it that way. What matters is to have fun. Enjoy myself; enjoy making music and the audience will naturally share it with me.
The songs are now all finished. I finished the arrangement of the last ones, two upbeat numbers: Being Human (a minor inconvenience) and Running Wild. For the latter, my violinist friend Alex recorded the string parts from Toronto and sent them to me via email. I marvel at what we can do now with technology. My album is aptly entitled Hyperbody, not only because of the fact it’s been recorded in Taipei, Chicago, Toronto and Paris, but also because it’s some kind of Frankenstein musical creature. I gathered leftovers from other musical projects, I recycled elements that were not (well) used in them to refashion them into new songs. I know many composers do so, but that couldn’t be more remote from the received idea people have of artistic inspiration…
The set list is done. I know what I’m going to wear. Nicolas is in charge of that. I had some idea of how I wanted to look. I showed him the coat I bought from Yasuhiro Mihara in Tokyo. I hadn’t found many occasions to wear so the concert would be one. The rest of the outfit will be simple: singlet under a waistcoat, black trousers and converse shoes. I’m growing my hair now to try a new look à la Lee Byung-Hun as he appears in The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  Sometime I have to repress the urge to run to the nearest hairdresser!
Bévinda brings me her precious help as stage coach. The musicians are good; I’m in top shape; both physically, mentally and vocally. Yet I feel this nervousness. As Sarah Bernhardt said to a young actress who claimed that she never felt any stage fright or pressure before going on stage: “that may come with talent”…

Amidst the concert preparation, I have managed to start writing the music for my next project with Jo. It was quite tricky for me to shift from composing songs to composing ballet music. Nevertheless, one scene has been done so far. Jo had to struggle to fit his choreography to it. But from,his part, there is satisfaction and elation for what I have done. Fortunately, the libretto is written so I don’t necessarily have to follow any order in the composition; just what inspiration tells me. Yet, I find this way of writing a bit difficult, because that compels me to use another approach to composition, a more classical approach, actually. Then I think of what Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky or Debussy have written for dance and I feel crushed by those giants!

This time, I want to use more musicians for the recording, the original idea being that I recorded it in Taipei at Archimusic Studio. But I’m in Paris and Jo has already started rehearsing. Even though he said musical drafts would be enough for the time being, perfectionist as we both are, it would be frustrating to do things half way. I could never send him half composed music as it would be unsatisfactory for him to stay on the surface of his choreography. A problem is only a path that leads to unexpected answer. I’d be curious to see how I handle the challenge. A musician friend of mine has told me about this fantastic new recording toy that can be directly connected to the computer; some kind of external hard drive with a microphone. He played me what he had recorded and I was deeply impressed by the warmth of the sound.
That is the key to my little problem.


Bévinda introduced me to this Japanese gentleman who does massage. A former fashion photographer, he decided to give up everything and leave his country to come to France. His two gifts: painting and massage. He discovered the ability to sense and work with energy from his fingertips. It’s not just about feeling the sore muscles and the body tension, but also soothes the inner soul.
He was surprised – and so was I, when he realized that there wasn’t much to do with me. He massaged me anyway and later told me that music wasn’t the only thing I could do. “Boundless possibilities” he said. “You shouldn’t limit yourself to music alone”. The thought is flattering, but I know how it goes when one has these ‘boundless possibilities’, because I end up doing everything myself. Anyway, I have this life to live and if I have many cards to play, may as well play them. There’ll always be time to rest in the next dimension!

Working with Bévinda is so pleasant. She’s a generous, kind-spirited and fun loving woman. We have written a new song together especially for the concert. She’s such a welcome external eye for me, firstly because she doesn’t judge people. There’s no game of power. I’m letting my guard down and allow myself to… be me without any limit!
The last challenge is to come with some cool dance moves which will not leave me out of breath. The mistake is to try to move too much. I remember how the Kaiser Chief lead singer was hardly able to sing his songs because he was hopping across the stage like a goat on acid!
Now I’m watching pop music videos. Justin Timberlake is such a good dancer, so is Tae Yang. Fine. Did someone say anything about boundless possibilities? Ha ha!

Rue de la Folie-Méricourt

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