Monday 17 May 2010


Been working a lot with Isabelle. She’s going through some heavy time with her family; her mother who’s obviously reaching the end of her earthly stay has lost all connection with 'real' world. She needs constant care, she is constantly in a state of fear and has become a helpless little girl again. A broken shoulder bone has weakened her even more and she had to be hospitalized. I hope she reaches a more peaceful state of being. How long does she have left, it could be a question of months, weeks, a year or two… Maybe her soul has decided it was time to go.
Working together on Hoffmann is a good escape for Isabelle. She has three arias to sing, one for Olympia and two for Antonia, as well as some incidental scenes.
Jo and I have been exchanging countless emails. The past two months were very intense and highly creative for both of us. Each morning, we would wake up and wait for news from each other; he, new music from me, and I his feedback and comments. Out of the two hours of music I have written, maybe half of it had to be redone, revised or readjusted. If PLAY 2 PLAY and NINA came from our imagination and creative impulse, I felt much less freedom when I composed the score to Hoffmann. It wasn’t a simple matter. Jo had to find a way to approach the tales, and I had to find a way to approach his approach of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tales. It was like creating music blindfolded. I can’t wait to see what he has done with the choreography. I haven’t the slightest clue about how it’s going to look like. Jo promised to send me a video of the rehearsals. If I was anxious and reluctant to get his feedback, I gather he must feel the same. We laughed and joked a lot in our exchanges. I was on the verge of losing my faith and my patience more than once when a scene would still not fit his idea. There is still one scene that hasn’t found its completed state: the final state: the final scene when Antonia dances to her death. Three attempts miserably failed to meet his expectation. I have decided to let it sit for a few days.
Now that he’s got 99% of the music, I can take it easy, think about my move to Taipei, get done with all the paper works, get a new passport, since my stolen belongings were not returned to me. 

Some self-portraits I did for Noism for the program,
showing me at work.

The good news is that Gilbert Castro, Bévinda’s producer and the one who launched Cesaria Evora in Europe, has showed interest in my new album. He set for an appointment by the end of the month. I came to him when I was still doing the demos of Circlesong. He declined because he felt he wasn’t the right person for the kind of music I was doing. Bévinda told me that he listened to it again recently and really liked it. The last concert didn’t leave him a good impression, mostly because of the poor sound.
However he bought one of the USB keys that were for sale and listened to the six tracks which were on it. The verdict: he liked what he heard.

For now, I am writing a new song with Bévinda. Our last one, Ja Fui was met enthusiastically by the audience during the concert. This new song is aimed for the next Hôtel Costes compilation. Damien asked me whether I had a song for it and I thought of doing one with Bévinda. Oriental groove meets dance-hall dub with a zest of Latin feel and zest and the addition of strings and piano. It’s a going to be a ‘fuck you, I can do without it’ song, in a light and tongue-in-cheek mood.
If the song isn’t selected for Hôtel Costes, it’s going to feature on Hyperbody and possibly be the third song for the album we’re doing together.
Nous verrons bien!

Isabelle at work

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