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.


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”



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.


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

Nuit en enfer. Night in Hell

I am fascinated by his beauty. His darkness is not my miroir but the words’ attraction is real.


I have just swallowed a terrific mouthful of poison. – Blessed, blessed, blessed the advice I was given! – My guts are on fire. The power of the poison twists my arms and legs, cripples me, drives me to the ground. I die of thirst, I suffocate, I cannot cry. This is Hell, eternal torment! See how the flames rise! I burn as I ought to. Go on, Devil!

I once came close to a conversion to the good and to felicity, salvation. How can I describe my vision, the air of Hell is too thick for hymns! There were millions of delightful creatures in smooth spiritual harmony, strength and peace, noble ambitions, I don’t know what all?

Noble ambitions!

But I am still alive! – Suppose damnation is eternal! A man who wants to mutilate himself is certainly damned, isn’t he? I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am. This is the catechism at work. I am the slave of my baptism. You, my parents, have ruined my life, and your own. Poor child! – Hell is powerless against pagans. – I am still alive! Later on, the delights of damnation will become more profound. A crime, quick, and let me fall to nothingness, condemned by human law.

Shut up, will you shut up!… Everything here is shame and reproach: Satan saying that the fire is worthless, that my anger is ridiculous and silly. – Ah, stop! …those mistakes someone whispered, magic spells, deceptive odors, childish music. – And to think that I possess the truth, that I can have a vision of justice: my judgement is sound and firm, I am prime for perfection… Pride. – My scalp begins to tighten. Have mercy! Lord, I am afraid! Water, I thirst, I thirst! Ah, childhood, grass and rain, the puddle on the paving stones, Moonlight when the clock strikes twelve…. The devil is in the clock tower, right now! Mary! Holy Virgin!… – Horrible stupidity.

Look there, are those not honorable men, who wish me well?…Come on… a pillow over my mouth, they cannot hear me, they are only ghosts. Anyway, no one ever thinks of anyone else. Don’t let them come closer. I must surely stink of burning flesh.

My hallucinations are endless. This is what I’ve always gone through: the end of my faith in history, the neglect of my principles. I shall say no more about this: poets and visionaries would be jealous. I am the richest one of all, a thousand times, and I will hoard it like the sea.

O God – the clock of life stopped but a moment ago. I am no longer within the world. – Theology is accurate; hell is certainly down below – and heaven is up on high. – Ecstacy, nightmare, sleep, in a nest of flames.

How the mind wanders idly in the country… Satan, Ferdinand, blows with the wild seed… Jesus walks on purple thorns but doesn’t bend them… Jesus used to walk on troubled waters. In the light of the lantern we saw him there, all white, with long brown hair, standing in the curve of an emerald wave…

I will tear the veils from every mystery: mysteries of religion or of nature, death, birth, the future, the past, cosmogony, and nothingness. I am a master of phantasmagoria.


Every talent is mine! – There is no one here, and there is someone: I wouldn’t want to waste my treasure. – Shall I give you Afric chants, belly dancers? Shall I disappear, shall I begin an attempt to discover the Ring? Shall I? I will manufacture gold, and medicines.

Put your faith in me, then. Faith comforts, it guides and heals. Come unto me all of you, – even the little children – let me console you, let me pour out my heart for you – my miraculous heart! – Poor men, poor laborers! I do not ask for prayers; give me only your trust, and I will be happy.

– Think of me, now. All this doesn’t make me miss the world much. I’m lucky not to suffer more. My life was nothing but sweet stupidities, unfortunately.

Bah! I’ll make all the ugly faces I can!

We are out of the world, that’s sure. Not a single sound. My sense of touch is gone. Ah, my château, my Saxony, my willow woods! Evenings and mornings, nights and days… How tired I am!

I ought to have a special hell for my anger, a hell for my pride, – and a hell for sex; a whole symphony of hells!

I am weary, I die. This is the grave and I’m turning into worms, horror of horrors! Satan, you clown, you want to dissolve me with your charms. Well, I want it. I want it! Stab me with a pitchfork, sprinkle me with fire.

Ah! To return to life! To stare at our deformities. And this poison, this eternally accursed embrace! My weakness, and the world’s cruelty! My God, have pity, hide me, I can’t control myself at all! – I am hidden, and I am not.

And as the Damned soul rises, so does the fire


J’ai avalé une fameuse gorgée de poison. – Trois fois béni soit le conseil qui m’est arrivé ! – Les entrailles me brûlent. La violence du venin tord mes membres, me rend difforme, me terrasse. Je meurs de soif, j’étouffe, je ne puis crier. C’est l’enfer, l’éternelle peine ! Voyez comme le feu se relève ! Je brûle comme il faut. Va, démon !

J’avais entrevu la conversion au bien et au bonheur, le salut. Puis-je décrire la vision, l’air de l’enfer ne soufre pas les hymnes ! C’était des millions de créatures charmantes, un suave concert spirituel, la force et la paix, les nobles ambitions, que sais-je  ?

Les nobles ambitions !

Et c’est encore la vie ! – Si la damnation est éternelle ! Un homme qui veut se mutiler est bien damné, n’est-ce pas  ? Je me crois en enfer, donc j’y suis. C’est l’exécution du catéchisme. Je suis esclave de mon baptême. Parents, vous avez fait mon malheur et vous avez fait le vôtre. Pauvre innocent ! – L’enfer ne peut attaquer les païens. – C’est la vie encore ! Plus tard, les délices de la damnation seront plus profondes. Un crime, vite, que je tombe au néant, de par la loi humaine.

Tais-toi, mais tais-toi !… C’est la honte, le reproche, ici: Satan qui dit que le feu est ignoble, que ma colère est affreusement sotte. – Assez !… Des erreurs qu’on me souffle, magies, parfums, faux, musiques puériles. – Et dire que je tiens la vérité, que je vois la justice: j’ai un jugement sain et arrêté, je suis prêt pour la perfection… Orgueil. – La peau de ma tête se dessèche. Pitié ! Seigneur, j’ai peur. J’ai soif, si soif ! Ah ! l’enfance, l’herbe, la pluie, le lac sur les pierres, le clair de lune quand le clocher sonnait douze… le diable est au clocher, à cette heure. Marie ! Sainte-Vierge !… – Horreur de ma bêtise.

Là-bas, ne sont-ce pas des âmes honnêtes, qui me veulent du bien… Venez… J’ai un oreiller sur la bouche, elles ne m’entendent pas, ce sont des fantômes. Puis, jamais personne ne pense à autrui. Qu’on n’approche pas. Je sens le roussi, c’est certain.

Les hallucinations sont innombrables. C’est bien ce que j’ai toujours eu: plus de foi en l’histoire, l’oubli des principes. Je m’en tairai: poëtes et visionnaires seraient jaloux. Je suis mille fois le plus riche, soyons avare comme la mer.

Ah ça ! l’horloge de la vie s’est arrêtée tout à l’heure. Je ne suis plus au monde. – La théologie est sérieuse, l’enfer est certainement en bas – et le ciel en haut. – Extase, cauchemar, sommeil dans un nid de flammes.

Que de malices dans l’attention dans la campagne… Satan, Ferdinand, court avec les graines sauvages… Jésus marche sur les ronces purpurines, sans les courber… Jésus marchait sur les eaux irritées. La lanterne nous le montra debout, blanc et des tresses brunes, au flanc d’une vague d’émeraude…

Je vais éveiller tous les mystères: mystères religieux ou naturels, mort, naissance, avenir, passé, cosmogonie, néant. Je suis maître en fantasmagories.

Écoutez !…

J’ai tous les talents ! – Il n’y a personne ici et il y a quelqu’un: je ne voudrais pas répandre mon trésor. – Veut-on des chants nègres, des danses de houris  ? Veut-on que je disparaisse, que je plonge à la recherche de l’anneau  ? Veut-on  ? Je ferai de l’or, des remèdes.

Fiez-vous donc à moi, la foi soulage, guide, guérit. Tous, venez, – même les petits enfants, – que je vous console, qu’on répande pour vous son coeur, – le coeur merveilleux ! – Pauvres hommes, travailleurs ! Je ne demande pas de prières; avec votre confiance seulement, je serai heureux.

– Et pensons à moi. Ceci me fait peu regretter le monde. J’ai de la chance de ne pas souffrir plus. Ma vie ne fut que folies douces, c’est regrettable.

Bah ! faisons toutes les grimaces imaginables.

Décidément, nous sommes hors du monde. Plus aucun son. Mon tact a disparu. Ah ! mon château, ma Saxe, mon bois de saules. Les soirs, les matins, les nuits, les jours… Suis-je las !

Je devrais avoir mon enfer pour la colère, mon enfer pour l’orgueil, – et l’enfer de la caresse; un concert d’enfers.

Je meurs de lassitude. C’est le tombeau, je m’en vais aux vers, horreur de l’horreur ! Satan, farceur, tu veux me dissoudre, avec tes charmes. Je réclame. Je réclame ! un coup de fourche, une goutte de feu.

Ah ! remonter à la vie ! Jeter les yeux sur nos difformités. Et ce poison, ce baiser mille fois maudit ! Ma faiblesse, la cruauté du monde ! Mon dieu, pitié, cachez-moi, je me tiens trop mal ! – Je suis caché et je ne le suis pas.

C’est le feu qui se relève avec son damné.

Arthur Rimbaud

Happy birthday Mark Twain

One of the book that had the strongest impact on me as a child was definitely The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I remember precisely the first feelings of words creating an emotion that resonated in me. Excitement. I felt understood by Tom, this troublemaker, endless dreamer and pure romantic. My awakening to breaking the rules and taking risks probably first emerge there. Later on, Mark Twain kept accompanying me in my fulfillment quest, always with some humour, cleverness and sensitivity .

Happy Birthday dear Mark Twain, and Merci for helping me never give up. Today, I toast you.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear- not the absence of fear

Mark Twain

Sky variations

“Once the realization is accepted than even between the closest human beings infinite distance continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.”

Reiner Maria Rilke