The Wind Cries Satie
When my previous project started collapsing, I decided to start all over again from scratch.
I found myself alone with my talents, two viola da gamba, acoustic (Michel Collichon 1640 model) and electric (Ruby Gamba), a software (Live Ableton) with effects and the possibility to make as many loops and tracks as I wanted.
The idea was to create a new repertoire for an ensemble of viola da gamba completed with other types of instruments, a "Broken Consort", as it was called during the Baroque period.
For educational reasons, instead of presenting the compositions that clutter my shelves, I thought better to prepare my audience by using known territory, but adding my grain of salt - an obvious practice in jazz and improvised music. For me, playing the music of someone else like everyone else has no interest, others do it better than me.
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I was already playing Satie´s first Gnossienne in concerts, a simple basis for improvisation. One day, I came across a midi files site and a version of the second Gnossienne supposedly arranged by Frank Zappa. As I listened, unsurprisingly, this was obviously not from Zappa, but the tempo was rather fast and kind of rock... I stored it in a corner of my memory for later...
After spending some 10 years with JS Bach, it was quite natural to move on to something more recent: Erik Satie's universe. For each piece, I first improvised around the score, with a study / harmonic experience of the modes used by Satie.
The arrangements I did are intended to be played with other musicians, unfortunately this would involve financial means that I do not have, as well as find enough musicians who can play them, which is not easy at all, because even if today there are relatively many violists, most are incapable to improvise, not only in solo, but also, and especially - as in jazz - collectively. So this would also mean some teaching and training.
Would I find them, I would still have to create a repertoire... the lack of staff could therefore not be a sufficient reason not to achieve my vision.
I see violists at night, indeed...
Work on improvisation is the very foundation of music. A musician must use the rules of a mode to bring out the associated effects. The fixation of musical events on paper (or by recording) significantly impairs these effects.
The modern bad habit of having everything turned into and "end with songs" leads to a mediocrity of music, a constipation of the state musicologist and a clenching of the roles of each instrument / personality.
The ignorant is captivated by the singer, until the hypnosis induced by the rhythm (“slave to the Rhythm”) kicks in, which is btw the very reason for the hyper sexualisation of the artists (Rachmaninov played with stilettos, it is cool, but it distracts enormously from the magnificent world of Rachmaninov´s music).
It seems to me that contemporary music with its imposed genres, poured everywhere today, is made to keep people in the state of hypnosis imposed during their childhood (school, social environment...) and keep them stored in the compartments of the world apathy.
One can maybe understand better why, in all my music and arrangements, I always question the roles of the various elements: a bass can intervene in the theme, as a soloist can go through a moment of accompaniment, all is allowed, only conditions: to respect the atmosphere of the place, while leaving the possibility for the children to have fun, and to LIVE!
Because each piece creates a universe, a new "site / lieu" (the meaning of the oriental terms maqam or raga to describe the modes) in which the musician walks, enlightening or leaving in the shade certain aspects.
I wish you nice walks, dear listeners!
Arrangements, all viols and other instruments, production and mix: Gilles Zimmermann.
I am very thankful to Rüdiger Maul for his Frame Drum parts, as well as Eddie Burns for his Bodhrán intervention in the 2nd Gnossienne.
Hartmut Welz for mastering, new music = questioning habits, even for the EQ master.
My creative image-maker friends, Gerhard Ehrmann and Manouchehr Abrontan, and Xavier Mignon, poet photographer metaphysician.
This CD is naturally dedicated to my daughter Aurélie.
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