New year goals ?

When I think about it, I feel very warm realizing I just want my life to keep bringing me beauty and emotions (from the brightest to the darkest), and it’s how it has been for the last couple years. Wait, I don’t say here my life is perfect and easy; I’m not living in a fairytale. Not at all. It took and takes a lot of work, different types of work, investments and engagements; and endless hours. But music and the path I chose give me so much, I am simply grateful. I started pretty early on to “work on myself” and growing as a human being has been the main reason why my music and artistry grew. I believe it’s fondamental to remember that music is an art that needs to be fed, always. Art needs to be alive. Here is a beautiful video, full of hope, strength and well-being

“It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going.”

Gustave Mahler

2020 is calling

And I want to wish all of you a new year, and the beginning of a new decade, full of smiles, fulfilling projects, wonders, laughs, light, excitement and well being. It’s apparently kind of a new tradition to say what the year about to finish brought. It’s quite impossible for me as this year as been the fullest, and most challenging one. A very important one in my personal growth. And, to make me smile, this year is surprising me up until the very last minutes of it. I would just say 2019 was time to be strong & resilient, 2020 will be time to bliss out & be whole.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Poetry, slowness and emotions

This video totally captured me. As a musician, I can’t help talking about the power of this music; C major does look peaceful. The choreography & dancers totally match in this breathtaking moment of absolute poetry. The dancers are emotions, flesh, love, beauty, struggles, dreams…

All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

On this day, offer yourself few minutes of alone and quiet time to experience and feel this music full of Absolute and Beauty.

Here are Messiaen’s words about it” Jesus in considered here as the Word. A broad phrase, infinitely slow, on the cello, magnifies with love and reverence the eternity of the Word, powerful and reverent, whose time never runs out. Majestically, the melody stretches into a kind of supreme and gentle distance.”

With it, I’d like to share a Chagall’s stain glass I do love.

In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of Love.”

Marc Chagall

Such a treat

Merci, Danke, Jenaer Philharmonie for this great time together for the second concert of my residency. This was my first real experience to work as a “conductor” with an orchestra, and I absolutely loved it. Thank you for experimenting with me with Love, Joy and Patience. I learned so much in just a couple days. And it was fun! Thank you Donata, Christian, Jörg, Ina… all of you!

Our concert was sold out since mid November, and I couldn’t dream of a better last concert of my year.

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This morning, I met a 6 years old philosopher at Rhapsody in School: “Warum Klavier heisst Klavier?”, “why a piano is called piano?”; and I felt like a rocker playing Bach and seeing the kids jamming out on their seats.

Also, it was a pleasure to go back to my favorite coffee spot, Nordic coffee shop Holz & Hygge for their delicious latte. Impossible not to mention the best and only hang open past 11pm where we musicians enjoy delicious smelly Quattro fromaggi pizza, debate about Thuringian beers and elaborate very advanced technics to recreate double bassoon sound.

I couldn’t dream of a better way to close 2019. What a ride this life is.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

Victor Hugo

So.. what is freedom ?

As I was doing an interview recently, the journalist noticed I talk a lot about freedom, so he asked me “what exactly is freedom for you..?” Such a hard question. Here is a try. It’s true, I believe in freedom; in life, and so, in music. I believe we all try to fight for it; consciously or unconsciously. Somehow life (everyone will put a personal definition here), jobs, relationships… so many factors can put us “in a box”. It’s not even something to be questioned, -it’s like that, anyway, there is no time to do it an other way-. When we want to be the person we imagine will be loved and appreciated, when we want to please someone, when we think about what people are thinking about us, when we chose to do something because we imagine this is the right thing to do. How many times are we the subject of our decision? How many times are we taking time to think about what’s important to us? Am I praising being selfish here? I don’t think so and truly hope not. I just firmly believe the only possible way to give (to others, to music, to audiences, to friends and family) is to have something to give, therefore to have taken the time to feed ourselves first, to find our freedom, to find our own sweet way. How to give if we are empty? And how being able to give with authenticity and generosity, if only -expected standards- are what we have been looking for? Especially as young musicians, we all tried to please our teachers, and that’s the normal way; but at some point, we have to break free, embrace our freedom and trust it. No matter what it means. There is no such thing as one foot on the safe earth, and one foot in the swimming pool trying to swim. To engage fully is the only option, when commitment and integrity are at stake. That’s the reason why I highly encourage spending hours working on technique, to gain the necessary tools to become capable of expressing something. As a musician, my ultimate intention is to deliver a message, and here is the power of music. Music gives us a story, emotions, beauty and a way of communicating with each other, but unlike verbal langage, it has no fixed references. Sometimes this is a difficulty humans have to face: communication. The magic of music is that there is no precise references, it’s free. My aim is to deliver something with my heart, but you as a listener receive it as you wish, it’s up to you to create your own story. Make it personal. I have no control over that, and don’t want any.

Music happens in the moment, like all intense emotions, beauty and love; connecting in the presence, through emotions, heartbeats and vibrations.. then we can create some piece of eternity.

Freedom has a high price, but the result is priceless.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be”

Voltaire.

Feel

Transcendance can flow through us.

Different times, different lights, different occurrences.

Beauty on the altar. Again. Always?

Eyes open, heart open.

An evanescent light becomes an irresistible Guidance.

What a joy to experience a non contentious need, devoid of any usefulness.

LdlS

That has been disturbing me

.. for couple weeks now. Writing here seems to be the most appropriate thing to do. I won’t mention names nor places on purpose. So here is my story. Couple weeks ago; I was touring and playing many concerts, I received many reviews and all of them were extremely flattering; I’m thankful for that. But something happened and has been disturbing me deeply ever since. First, I would like to express my feelings & thoughts about critics. What a tough job. I don’t envy them, so many qualities are required to be a good reviewer. As far as I understand, the very difficult task of a critic is to understand the music, to have the historical and musical background needed to talk about the pieces; to understand the artist’s choices, positions and statements; to analyse all of that and their relationships, and to refer and compare his conclusions with what the established (does it exist?) “standards of taste” are. Wao.. that being said, here is what happened. In one of the very enthusiastic review I got, the conductor I played with was -destroyed- by the journalist, in a very nasty and arrogant way. Is this ever necessary to be disrespectful towards an artist, that first, has enough courage to be on stage and offer his/her entire vulnerability, second, put hours of work, thoughts and commitment into the music..?

And even more disturbing was when the readers of the article learned that the composer himself would have loved my playing.. hhmm, I mean, thank you very much but who is this person who knows what the composer would have loved, or not? I wish I could find more moderate words, but this is absolutely ridiculous. And the apotheosis was when the journalist talked about the ending of the first mouvement cadenza (he was very specific and gave enough details) and stated it was the third movement’s one. So, who knows the piece here ?

I’m sorry, but this is not okay. Being treated like that by someone who might not be able to play a scale on any instrument, nor ever experienced what it feels to be on stage should not be tolerated.

I used to say I don’t give much credit to reviews (good and bad ones), and will absolutely continue to do so.

Integrity has no need of rules

Albert Camus

Happy Birthday Jim Morrison

76 years ago was born one of the 20th century genius. Founder and leader of The Doors, provocative and excessive, wild and dramatic, he is one of the most iconic figure in rock history.

His bewitching voice, his profound poetic words and his intellectual engagement in The Protest Song (even if he refused any political stamp) are signs of his uniqueness.

Today I toast you, Jim! Thank you for the beauty, the emotions, the strangeness, the meaning of words and opening doors.

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large- scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality, their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with Love if they are afraid to feel ? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.

Jim Morrison

PS: today is also Jean Sibelius’ birthday, treat yourself and celebrate him with this