Saturday, November 24, 2007

The No Way to Forest National

New York band INTERPOL was in Brussels last night. After having seen them in Werchter last summer, I was quite excited to renew the experience at Forest National. And for once, we've decided with my sweetheart to take the bus to go there, because it's more ecological but also because there's a serious parking problem near the venue. So we've naively waited for the bus 54 near My Campagne, the bus arrived with 15 minutes delay, and it was completely full (even a mouse couldn't find a place in). It was already 8pm, so we went back home to pick up the car. The way from Saint-Gilles to Forest wasn't good either... closed routes, working fields, one ways... as if someone was trying to prevent us from going to Forest National. After half an hour, we have finally managed to find a spot to park the car and walked 10 minutes to finally be there... on time. The gig was great, I forgot about all this stupid transport issue for one hour and a half. But I don't want anyone telling me that public transportation is more practical, it can be more respectful of the environment and I'm using it everyday, but believe me, there's NO WAY I'm going to Forest National again by public transport, and maybe not ever again, only if Dave Matthews comes back there of course. Can't wait for the new Brussels venue to open its doors... but that will be only in a few years

Monday, November 5, 2007

One Step Further

It's done! I have finally sent my project proposal to the Fondation belge de la vocation, and not within the best conditions ever. With a terrible ear-ache that put me in bed the last two days (I still went to work for 3 hours for Saturday evening's concert), I finalized the copy and printing-work yesterday, a bit "last minute", but I did it. I don't really care about the results, what matters here is that I've been able to send something (I'm quite proud of actually), and it helped me structuring my work done so far. Still, results will come out in February, you're allowed to cross fingers :-)

I felt the same for the "Fureur de lire" short story competition, to which I participated in 2005 and 2007, it didn't really matter if I would win anything, I just wanted to finish and send a text. Even though I still think that it's quite unfair to have a "young talented" writer to preside the jury, especially when his main promotion motor is his uneducated background: "he left school at 17 and never read a book until then"... waow! What a talented writer. This is quite another topic actually, and it makes me want to read more, and study more, and write even more.

Well, I think I'm ready now to go another step further...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Before the tempest

November 1st, the streets are so quiet you can even hear birds singing. Cars seem to have stopped moving, the atmosphere is gray. A perfect day to go to the cemetery, just that I don't like cemeteries. Nobody's perfect! So I'm keeping it simple for today, a not so early but still not late wake-up, a very simple breakfast with coffee, followed by tea, then head on to BOZAR for a interview afternoon with Syrian singer Sabah Fakhri (Syria's Frank Sinatra they say... we'll see on Saturday evening) and several journalists working for Arabic medias here in Brussels. A preview for this weekend's tempest of concerts and encounters. Looking forward to it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Better later...

Some of you might remember my short stories' project I wanted to finish this summer. Well, it didn't go on as I wished, but still, I managed to finalize several stories and I am still working on others. My project did not go as planned, but I don't abandon. I got five short stories done and I'm working on five others, almost finished. I began to lose confidence these last weeks, because of a lack of time and energy due to my present working rhythm, but I have finally decided to face this frustration I actually made up myself, and to go on writing as much as I could, within my current rhythm. So I will continue enjoying festivals, concerts, plays, expo's and more, all linked to both my job and passions, and I will concentrate on my writing in parallel. I feel lucky to be able to work in an environment that allows me to be creative.
Waow! It's so nice to be confident again! And indeed, no matter what one's do, it's better later than never!

Patty Pâtes: enjoy fresh pasta!

After a 4 hour traffic-jammed-ride from Amsterdam to Brussels, neither me nor my beloved espressoroast could even think of cooking dinner back at home. So we've decided to head to a small restaurant we'd discovered at the end of this summer, and that we really liked for its cosy and welcoming atmosphere, and most of all, for its pasta's. It came out to be a tremendously good idea... we're now back in our bed, enjoying a no-washing-dishes-evening.

Those of you who would happen to be (or live) in Brussels, don't miss that place. It is called "Patty Pâtes", and its specialty is, as its name suggests it quite obviously, pasta! They have a very vast choice of fresh home made tagliatelli, cannelloni... and sauces (chicken, seafood, meat, vegetarian...). The kitchen is right in the middle of the place, you can see the cook and the pasta maker (a very nice girl) at their best beside the glass. Good food and good service for a quite fair price (more or less €10 per dish), that's an equation you don't often get these days.
Second time there, and certainly not the last!

Patty Pâtes
rue Ernest Solvay, 10
1050 Brussels
Tél 02.514.27.41

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Geyser in action, Iceland

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ils sont fous ces Islandais?

Crazy nature, crazy music, crazy art scene, crazy outfits... Iceland is a crazily stunning place.

I've spent four days in Reykjavik during the Iceland Airwaves Festival, on a press trip for BOZAR (which is preparing an Iceland Festival in Spring). A good opportunity to visit this incredible but quite expensive country (don't try to go on a low budget there). Our purpose was to see the most possible of the Icelandic artistic scene, so we moved from concerts to plays, meeting with artists like Baltasar Kormakur, Hallgrimur Hellgason, Helena Jonsdottir, Ruri and more. Artists in Iceland don't have any complexes, they do whatever they want and express themselves in the way they like: a writer composes music, a film director plays in several bands, a dancer sings hard rock and so on. The Icelandic art scene boils like a Geyser!

More about Iceland on this blog in the following posts.

Monday, October 1, 2007

White Chalk

Soft and powerful, beautifully meaningful and realistically dreaming, PJ Harvey's last album "White Chalk" is just stunning. It only lasts half an hour, but what an half! One note, just one sound coming out of her throat, her guts or her piano makes my whole body tremble. So different from what she did previously as an artist and still, so PJ Harvey. Words are quite unnecessary here, so I urge all of you to buy this mind blowing album, and loose yourself in it, starting with "Dear Darkness".

Going on tour?
Dear Polly Jean, dear Polly Jean... when are you coming to Belgium?
This is a less poetical information, PJ Harvey has not announced any tour dates in Europe yet, just one in Paris in November, and the seats are extremely expensive (especially if you need to get a Thalys ticket + one night at the hotel in addition!). Anywhere in Belgium would be fine (or anywhere 2-3hours ride away from Brussels will do too!). We're patiently waiting...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sands of death

May I call him a friend? Yes, I sincerely think I can. I’ve known him for two years now, I had first met him during the organisation of a festival around Arabic music and we even had dinner with the great Lebanese musician Marcel Khalifé, just the three of us, an unforgettable evening indeed. Then we crossed through each other in cultural centres, listening to music coming from everywhere in the world, from Morocco to China. In the last few months, we met again more officially to start preparing a festival of Arabic music and performing arts, which will take place from the end of October until mid November in Antwerp and Brussels. As usual, my friend showed an incredible energy and will to share his knowledge and passion, truly believing in the power of arts and on its ability to gather people from different cultures. That is why I’ve always respected him and shared his ideas of communication with people. Today, while getting back to work on our next project, I’ve learned that my friend wasn’t here anymore. He flew away, somewhere between the earth and the sky, in a place where the sand and the wind mingle. On his journey to the endless desert, he didn’t only leave his projects behind, but also his love for them. If life goes on, it does because those who die leave us with a life worth living. And it is what my friend did, giving us his passion, his sincerity, his ideas, so we can pursue what he’d started, so we will go on sharing.

To Addi Yahya who passed away in August 1, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

From Istanbul with love

After a very long month of July spent in very bad Belgian weather (rain rain rain...), I'm finally enjoying summer... in Turkey! Starting with a few days in Istanbul.
I used to hate Istanbul in the summer, imagine New York under 40°C, well, Istanbul is not so different. It is hot, quite unbearable sometimes, but I feel good here. Watching the sunset on the Bosphorus is breathtaking. One quickly forgets about the traffic, the crowded streets, the noise and the heat. Istanbul in the summer, you can both love it and hate it.

My summer in Istanbul begins with some contemporary Turkish literature. I'm discovering new names, good stuff. Not only Orhan Pamuk or Elif Shafak, I am now in search of names unknown to non-Turkish readers. I will work on it, in parallel to my own project (by the way, I've received a confirmation from La fureur de lire competition that they've received my short story... I'm number 549!). I'm already busy with one author. After having read more of his work, I'll be able to know if I could translate it... So many new things to discover, think about, create... I feel like there won't be enough time, even on holiday! I can feel my brain boiling with ideas (and let's be honest, also because of the heat)... Also, enjoying it with an espresso bean is even more delightful!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Face to Face?

I've never been a real fan of online social networking, and certainly not when I see what kind of horrible pictures people like to post (I won't give any example, just have a look by yourself, it can sometimes be hilarious). I once registered at yonja to find old Turkish friends online, which hasn't been so useful since I'd already managed to keep in touch with friends I really like... Anyway, I started this blog -ok, this isn't social networking but blogging- and still don't know exactly how many people around the world are really interested by my modest posts (I guess people who like to go to gigs?). Still, I like writing so it can't harm anybody and certainly not myself.
Invited by friends, I've finally accepted to register at facebook. I must say I'd never heard of it before, and since the lovely person I happen to share my life with happens to be a new media specialist, I've been able to learn more about it in a very short time. Thanks to facebook, I found very old friends I lost from sight and who now live in Canada and who I might see this summer in Turkey! Only for that, I'm very happy to have discovered this communication tool. It is an incredible tool when you really use it well, that is (for me at least) to communicate, and not to add millions of people you will never want to hear from in normal times just to fill in your list. It will never replace face to face communication, or even voice to voice, or any other physical closeness for that matter, but it certainly works to make the "face to face" go on or happen, and vice versa. The thing is, I guess, to be able not to become the tool but keep on being the user.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Head On

In order not to get discouraged nor lose my present self confidence that I can actually do it... I'm going to write it on this blog, so you can all witness it. But, honestly, I also need to write it for myself, so I know I would be quite ashamed if I don't keep my promise... not only to those who all believe in me, especially one delicious espresso bean I would never want to disappoint, but most certainly to myself.
I got one and a half week of work left, then I will be flying to Turkey where I will spend time reading, discovering, seeing people I love and writing. With one goal for the time I come back to Brussels: finishing my collection of short stories in order to send it to publishers this fall (I'm still quite cautious not to give you any precise date).
Well, that's it, it's written now and, hopefully, read. I've got no more excuses. It is time now to face up with my writing, whether good or bad, I got to go on.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Long live the festivals!

Summer is definitely the time of festivals. After Werchter and Couleur Café, Midis-Minimes has begun during the week, offering Brussels dwellers and working people the opportunity to listen to some very nice classical music in the Minimes Church at lunch time for the whole summer. But apart from the festivals, there are also open air concerts everywhere around Europe. On Friday evening, it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were on stage at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Stadium not so huge as the Stade de France, it is still impressing to find oneself in the middle of an immense crowd. A great concert from many points of view, from the set list to the amazingly good performance of all the musicians (as a dear espresso bean said, they're technically at least 50 times better than any other equally famous rock band), I couldn't find any weak points... except for the length. How come that a band with such a repertoire could only play for an hour and a half? Indeed, I wouldn't have found anything negative to say until the too short bis. The can-do-better (in time, not in quality) feeling was unfortunately omnipresent... So the best is to focus on the quality of the hour and a half, trying not to think about the missing half.
Same goes for Björk who performed at Westerpark in Amsterdam yesterday evening. She was mesmerizing, the feelings we experienced with her in Werchter were also with us in Amsterdam. Great set list from the opening "Earth Intruders" to the closing "Declare Independence", with powerful vocal moments like in the so right "Pagan Poetry" or "Joga", we felt that she was quite more relaxed than in Werchter... because she surely had more time we thought... but here again, one hour and a half and then... the fairy was gone. Fortunately, despite of the feeling of "not enough", the time we see these artists spend on stage is really worth the journey. And maybe I got too used to some other artists playing at least an hour and forty five, if not even two hours... (sometimes three, but these are really crazy ones, isn't it Dave?). I guess the conclusion here would be, better short and good than long and boring! Because more than good, they certainly were (but still, I don't believe neither the Red Hot's nor Björk could be boring!!)...
It's not yet the end of festivals and there are still several to go... like the Blue Note in Ghent and the North Sea in Rotterdam... Some Jazzy days are behind us! To be continued...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wings from Tool

Extraordinarily moving... I have no other words to describe this beautiful song by Tool. It has been written by Keenan Maynard for his mother who was paralyzed for 27 years, that is around 10,000 days... I can't say anything more, just read the lyrics, and if you don't have it yet, get the sound too.

Tool - 10,000 Days (Wings Part 2)

Listen to the tales and romanticize,
How we'd follow the path of the hero.
Boast about the day when the rivers overrun.
How we rise to the height of our halo.

Listen to the tales as we all rationalize
Our way into the arms of the savior,
Feigning all the trials and the tribulations;
None of us have actually been there.
Not like you.

Ignorant siblings in the congregation
Gather around spewing sympathy,
Spare me.
None of them can even hold a candle up to you.
Blinded by choice, these hypocrites won't see.

But, enough about the collective Judas.
Who could deny you were the one who
Illuminated your little piece of the divine?

And this little light of mine, a gift you passed on to me;
I'm gonna let it shine to guide you safely on your way,
Your way home ...

Oh, what are they going to do when the lights go down
Without you to guide them all to Zion?
What are they going to do when the rivers overrun
Other than tremble incessantly?

High is the way, but all eyes are upon the ground.
You were the light and the way they'll only read about.
I only pray, Heaven knows when to lift you out.
Ten thousand days in the fire is long enough;
You're going home.

You're the only one who can hold your head up high,
Shake your fists at the gates saying:
"I've come home now!
Fetch me the spirit, the son, and the father.
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.
It's time now!
My time now!
Give me my, give me my wings!"

You are the light and way that they will only read about

Set as I am in my ways and my arrogance,
(With the) burden of proof tossed upon the believers.
You were my witness, my eyes, my evidence,
Judith Marie, unconditional one.

Daylight dims leaving cold fluorescents.
Difficult to see you in this light.
Please forgive this bold suggestion, but
Should you see your Maker's face tonight,
Look Him in the eye, look Him in the eye, and tell Him:
"I never lived a lie, never took a life, but surely saved one.
Hallelujah, it's time for you to bring me home."

Keenan Maynard (From the album 10,000 Days)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rediscovering Rachel's

About ten years ago, during one of my usual digging at second hand CD and book shops on the boulevard Lemmonier in Brussels, I've been stopped in my search by a very nice cover. Not only was the paper quality attracting my hand, the title printed on it just couldn't help me leave it there as if nothing would have happened... It said "Music for Egon Shiele". Being a real admirer of the Austrian painter, I just had the reflex to look at the booklet... I saw the drawings, some I recognized, some not. Then there was more about the band "Rachel's". I had no idea who they were, what kind of music they were doing... never heard of them. Thanks to Egon Shiele and the beautiful layout of their cover, I got back home with a CD I surely listened to thousands of times. Fortunately or unfortunately, I lost the habit of going to second hand CD stores because of the current digital world. I still miss the touch of a nice cover, so today, I went back digging in my library and rediscovered Rachel's "Music for Egon Shiele". I remember now why I got so mad about this trio. Emotionally and musically strong, the music had been created for a play about the painter. Ten years ago, I wasn't so used to research online, so I did it today, and learned that the band was working on a new project, that their last album went out on 2003, last toured in 2005... I simply decided to join their mailing list, because I don't want to read ten years later that they came to play in Belgium in a very nice and cosy hall... (Yes, I've missed Jeff Buckley like that... no comment...). Those of you who would like to discover the band, which I strongly recommend, visit their website ... and be patient, I'm sure they will come up with some new great project, album, tour dates or anything... until then you can start by discovering them.

Monday, July 2, 2007

In Love Again!

First, I got excited when I learned that she was going on a European tour, even more when we got tickets for her Parisian show... then not anymore after it. Tori Amos had disappointed me a lot that evening of June at the Palais des Congrès. Maybe we were sitting too far, maybe we were expecting too much we thought... then Werchter came by. Me and my sweetheart have decided to give her another chance, because she's worth it, also because he saw her in Istanbul in 2005 and was quite amazed by her performance, but also because we simply love her music.

After a quite good Interpol concert on the main stage, we grabbed some fruit salad (yes yes, they're also selling healthy food at Werchter!) and headed on the Pyramid Marquee at around 5.45pm, with one single purpose: get in front to see Tori from the closest place possible. And we did it (after having listened to Frank Black screaming like hell and Damien Rice's fans doing the same in an even worse way... well, I can't decide which was worse, anyway, we deserved to be in front)!

11.30PM, a crazy brunette wearing a flashy green dress with plastic-like black tights arrived on stage with a superbly strong "Cruel", announcing more than a Pipesque but Toriesque gig. After "Teenage Hustling", Pip has spitted her "Fat Slut" and more, then leaving the stage for a few minutes to give more space to our Tori.

Beautifully mastering her Bösendorfer, given the full if not more of herself , Ms Amos has literally amazed her audience. Starting with a dynamic "Big Wheel", going through a mesmerizing "Cornflake Girl", she ended her one hour and ten minutes long festival show with a touchy "Precious Things". A stage goddess, a powerfully sensitive woman, a stunning artist, we got our Tori back. That night, we fell in love again with our dream-like musician, and like every person in love, we can't wait to see her again... and again... and again...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Festival on fire!

After having seen Marilyn Manson, Björk, Joan as a Policewoman and Oi Va Voi at Werchter on Thursday and Friday, we've decided to move to a slightly different musical atmosphere and went to Couleur Café on Saturday. After an amazing opening concert with Rachid Taha, we went out of the Titan hall to grab some food specialties from around the world. We just had our Burrito and Chili con carne when one of the buildings at Turn and Taxis started burning. It just took a few seconds before the whole roof went on fire. A quite horrible view, especially with people photographing it... (I will never understand this voyeuristic behavior). The festival goers were all asked to leave, and the evacuation went on very softly, without any problem. So we went back home and decided to listen to the radio until there were some broadcast officially saying the festival would open back its doors, which has been the case at 9pm! So we went back to Turn and Taxis, and we weren't the only ones... as thousands of people were entering the festival site quite peaceful and joyfully... well, in the Couleur Café spirit! We ate a little bit more... food is so delicious over there, then we listened to Yuri Buenaventura and watched the fireworks (yes yes, like everybody, we even enjoyed it...). When Ziggy Marley got on stage, we decided it was time for us to move back home and get some sleep to be ready for our fourth festival day back at Werchter. More about Rock Werchter on the next post.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Musical weekend...

... kickin' off TOMORROW!!

It's gonna be a great weekend, first with Werchter, on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with a stop in-between at Couleur Café on Saturday. Hang on Björk, Marylin Manson, Johan as Police Woman, Rachid Taha, Ziggy Marley, Interpol etc... we'll be there! And a very special thought to Tori Amos, being so disappointed by her concert in Paris three weeks ago, we're really looking forward to see her again so we can go on loving and listening to her maddly like we used to!
After rock and world music, we'll move forward to jazz in Ghent and Rotterdam... Festival months in Belgium and around... soooo nice!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Look 10 Years Younger!

I was walking in the street, coming back home from a quiet end- of- the- season- working- day at BOZAR, and I saw a magazine in the window of a bookshop with a "LOOK 10 YEARS YOUNGER" printed in huge red-pinkish letters on the naked shoulder of a beautifully photoshop-ed creature. I couldn't help but think, why? Why should I look 10 years younger? Because I'm only 28, well yes, that's one point, but even if I were 38, or 48 or 58.... can anyone give me just one reason why one should LOOK whatever years, months, even seconds younger? Trying hard, I could see one good though... if looking younger can make you get all those years back and do whatever you wanted to do but couldn't, or correct any mistake or whatever... then maybe, there could be a point. Still, I did a lot of mistakes between 18 and 28, but I wouldn't change one bit of my life, because what I am today is because of what I did during the years that preceded my present age. And to the editors of these cheaply repetitive women's magazines, I would like to suggest searching for new topics, because one thing I'm sure of, is that for the last 10 years, I haven't read any other headline than "Look 10 Years Younger" or "Weight 10 Pounds less" and their billion of paraphrased versions. So, glossy piece of paper, you can go on trying to put some more imperatives on your cover for a few more decades, but you will always fail with me, because the older I'm gonna get, the less I would want to read how I can look younger. And yes, aging means dying in a way, but looking younger is not going to stop the process, but being ashamed of one's age, therefore of one's self, will certainly not help living one's own decades.

Girl Talk from Brussels to Antwerp enzovoort...

Five girls, all of them having worked together at least at one moment of their careers, in the same office, for the same purpose. Each of these girls are going through different experiences, aging 24, 28, 33 and 37, one has two children, three of them none, and one has a baby on the way... And what do these girls talk about? Babies, guys, love, sex, friends, work, politics, leisure, culture... ? Well all of it, mixed in between salads and home-made speculoos ice-cream! Conversing both in Dutch and French, but most importantly, in sincerity and simplicity. It is indeed that easy just to enjoy being together. And that's the way I like my friendships. Lieve, Leen, Stéphanie and Eve-Marie, thank you for being here and there... from Brussels to Antwerp enz.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Black Pearls in my cup

I live in an amazing neighborhood. The Saturday market on the parvis, the Librairie de Rome on the Jean Stas street next to the Avenue Louise where we love to weekly buy The Guardian and El Pais, and right in front of it, our coffee place, where we buy our coffee and where, for the first time, we sat to drink a great Jamaicain Blue Mountain, reading our freshly bought newspapers.
This place is one real great coffee place serving and selling coffees from everywhere around the world. I strongly encourage all of you who would visit Brussels to have a cup (or more) there. Not only is the coffee great, but the owner and his staff are so welcoming that you could spend hours there just drinking coffee and reading, in a black and brown, jazzy and very chic but not arrogant a bit atmosphere. The place is une petite perle as we could say in French... transforming beans into pearls.

Perle Noire
Shop Louise
Rue Jean Stasstraat 13
B- 1060 Brussels

Thursday, June 14, 2007


... was my birthday. Yesterday, was no special day, but it was still like no other. Not because of my birthday but because none of my days look like each other. But I still wanted to be a birthday girl and act like a kid, happy to receive gifts and calls and messages... I got the first one live at midnight... then the morning began with some unnecessary ones, reminding me how hypocritical families can be. Not caring a bit, I went to work, where I received presents from my dear colleagues (thanks guys for initiating me to dutch literature... after French, English, Spanish and Turkish... I'm finally going to read a novel in Dutch! I'll let you know how it went on in a next- not soon- post).
Going back home with my arms full of yellow flowers, I celebrated my birthday my own way in the streets of Saint-Gilles, first by offering a flower to the neighborhood's homeless who immediately shared the gift with his dog, then by stopping by the café where the owner (I guess he's Italian) immediately greeted me... the Italian way :)
Arriving to my final destination, home, I found myself covered with other gifts; my little brother's presence and outstanding mark for his French exam (8/10 for a kid who doesn't like to read ... that's an achievement!); another bouquet (white flowers, thanks again sweet, I love them) and a Marcolini pastry (no need to mention anything about this!!), and and... you don't need to have the whole list. Yes, I agree, I am lucky. But wait until you hear the end of the story... The next step for the evening was going to my dad's place, but when we arrived at the car, nothing seemed to work, the battery had been emptied! Our fault, we forgot to switch off a light inside the car. So we called dad so he could help us out with this... he played hero-dad of course and tried to push the car down the way... well, it didn't work out and we finally got to call a cab to help us fill up the battery with a bunch of cables (don't ask me how it works... I simply don't care). And we were finally ready to go at 9.30pm. What we did? Just hang out, stay together, have some laughs, playing with the kittens... just be together, for a not so special but still very nice day.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Patti and the Rabbits

Such a perfect day!

9 o'clock in the morning, I'm running to the Kaaitheater. Right outside the metro station, I'm meeting the most beautiful rabbit in the world. It was black and tiny, so little I could hide it in my hands. Afraid that it might get lost or killed while trying to cross the street, I slowly approached it, thinking where I could possibly take it when... without leaving me another second to think, it disappeared in its closed garden.

After my short but nice encounter with the black rabbit, I got back to work and ten hours later, I was standing in front of the Ancienne Belgique, where I did another great encounter... Patti Smith was just going out of the building, her camera in hand, ready to take amazing clichés of my city! While she went out, I got in. Our exchange had begun and went on one and a half hour later... and for the next two hours after that...

During the I- have- absolutely- no- words- to- explain -concert, I found myself with another rabbit... Alice's or Charlotte's, through the voice of Patti, the white rabbit was everyone's. But I felt even higher knowing that I had already begun my day with my own rabbit.

I'm glad I've spend it with you...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crazy how it fell last night...

What do Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Dave Matthews Band have in common? You may say many, starting with "music", then adding "good" to it, or you may not... anyway, for last night, they had one guitarist in common: Tom Morello. First as an opening act, performing his first solo album (very far from what he previously did with his friends...), then he joined Dave and his breathtaking band for two songs: "#41 " and "Satellite". No one can say the opposite: he was damn good! And the rest of the three hours concert had been dream-like. I had to look at my beloved to make sure it was real! Either him nor I couldn't believe we were finally seeing and listening to Carter, Doyd, Leroi, Stefan and Dave live. From "Don't drink the water" to "Two Step", going through "Crash into me" and "Crush" (click here for the complete set list), Dave Matthews Band has captivated the although -not -full -but -crazy -Forest-National -audience. If from the 8,000 available seats only 6,500 were taken, those present made as much noise as for 13,000! Size doesn't matter, indeed. We're now impatiently waiting for the next European tour... Life is short but sweet for certain!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Cell Phone

In less than three hours, I will be at the most important press conference of the year at BOZAR, as the organizer.... which makes it quite stressful I might say. This morning, I dressed up quite quickly (yes, I did!), and I left home in peace, knowing that when I will come back, I will see the same but also each time different, beautiful smile and face. Stepping on the tramway, I figured out I forgot my cell phone, but it was too late to get back. I've arrived at the office at 8:50, and at 9:01, got a call from the reception: "There's a young man here who brought you your cell phone". My heart began to beat like if I were going to meet him for the first time. He was standing in front of the reception desk, with his red shirt and black sweater on. A marvellously good-looking guy with his hair "en bataille"... the "out of bed" hair every Tony & Guy fan would like to have. He handed me my phone, I embraced him and felt like the happiest girl in the world. Not because of the phone, just because of him. Then I stepped back in my office, looking at my colleague and saying "He's the sweetest man on earth, an angel, I love him so much".

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Audrey Hepburn VS Truman Capote

I agree, these two are far from being comparable, with only one thing in common, artistically speaking... Breakfast at Tiffany's. Everybody knows the movie, and even if never read, also the book. Well, I happened to experience both within two days. Hepburn is quite stunning indeed, but Capote's story has nothing to do with the movie. Of course, a movie is never like the book it is based on (it's always worse if you ask me). But here, apart from Audrey Hepburn's acting and beautiful black dress, I couldn't see a slight interest in the movie. I'm quite glad I read the book right after, the movie was enjoyable but the book is quite a masterpiece. And since one has nothing to do with the other (except for some character names and dialogues), it was easy to ignore the movie while reading the book. I would therefore easily say Hepburn and Capote are ex-aequo... even if on fairly different levels.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Autopsy on a female soul

It was quite clear from the beginning,
it was just a physical matter.
That's what he said
"It's just sex"
It's not his fault
if you have feelings.
He's not supposed to see what's inside you.
So leave,
go away before you fall.
Go away, run, leave,
or you'll be sorry after.
Don't take any risk and
run before he leaves.
Loneliness is something you know,
don't you?
So leave, go away, run.
Let's run away together love.
Let's leave them.
Let's just go, let us go
It's midnight already.
Cindirella's waiting.
She lost her shoe. No one's getting it. No one will find it anymore.
You'll wait forever Cindirella,
for a shoe that will never come.
It's five past midnight,
Cindirella isn't waiting anymore.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

From the Panama Diaries

Coronado beach, Panama

Deniz kenarinda oturuyorum, günesten gölgeye geçtim. Biliyorsun fazla dayanamiyorum günesin altinda kalmaya...ancak kuruyana kadar. Okyanusa bakiyorum, kulagimda Eykah Badu "He became the sun I became the moon", ve karsimda çok eski bir balikçi teknesi. Hayatimda böylesini görmemistim, sanki eski bir filmden firlamis gibi! Pastan rengi garip bir kahveye dönüsmüs ve kanatlanir gibi demirleri her iki yandan çikarak sularin üzerinden bakiveriyor atlayan baliklara. Kuslar tünemis direklerin her bir yanina. (Bu arada iPod'umu ilk kez shuffle'a aldim ve çok güzel sürprizlerle karsilasiyorum). Kendi dünyama kapaniyorum, etrafimda insanlar konusuyor, oynuyor, bebek fotograflari çekiyor sürekli (tanrim, bundan daha yorucu bir aktivite olabilir mi?). Dalgalar gittikçe daha yakina vuruyor. Balikçi teknesi ise uzaklasiyor, koynunda baliklar, kollarinda kuslarla birlikte.
Uzun zamandir özgür olmak için içime kapanma ihtiyaci duymamistim, susmayi. Sessiz olup kendi kendime olmayi. "Rahat birakin, istemiyorum, evet eglence size göre bu ama benim için yanliz kalmak sikilmak anlamina gelmiyor". Bunu ama anlatamazsin, insanlar bos seylerden hoslaniyor, bizim zevk aldigimiz seyler ise bos geliyor onlara. Anlatmak gereksiz, sende biliyorsun. Balikçi teknesi kayboldu, okyanus ise kumsali iyice islatarak bizide yavasça kovuyor. Sesimi tek duyan oymus demek.

Oh Belgium! ... Lovely Holiday Country!

Sitting on my couch still in my PJ's on a Thursday morning at 11 o'clock, am I ill? Hell no! The whole country (and even Europe I guess) is celebrating Jesus's bodily ascension to Heaven... As a Muslim, I might say I enjoy it pretty much! But what my sweet second (or first? Don't know anymore) country (Belgium, for those of you who will still have some doubts) offers ... is an extra day off on Friday, which makes the weekend not two but four days long. Isn't this brilliant? "Le pont" they call it here (because they put a bridge between the official day off and the weekend). Well now, I'm enjoying it, even if sometimes I do think they are exaggerating, not when my office gets closed, but when supermarkets are for instance, but as we say in French "On ne peut pas avoir le beurre et l'argent du beurre"! So, thank you Jesus for showing us the way to fly away from work!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mastering the fact of not being a native speaker of whatever language

"We are sorry, but your application cannot be accepted because you are not a native English speaker"... This is the sad answer that a good friend of mine, native from Panama, raised and educated both in Spanish and English, gets to hear from some European Commission employee to her application for an internship... How do they expect to evolve with such a narrow minded view on today's world, especially in a place like Europe where people, cultures and therefore languages are continuously intermingling? Even if not from birth (still, at least two languages are spoken in many families), languages can be learned and mastered through education and practice. I cannot believe that one can only write in one's own native language (I wonder how Nabokov would have answered to such a stupid assessment). I was myself raised in Turkish, educated in French then in English and Spanish, using Dutch in everyday life and at work. I do not master all of these languages in the same way of course, but I couldn't accept anyone limiting my capacities in writing, thinking, understanding or communicating in any way, to my native tongue, which isn't actually one but two. Nothing rare here, nothing impossible and certainly nothing extraordinary. When Elif Shafak, a writer who was born in France, lived in Spain, studied in Turkey and the United States, writes novels in Turkish and in English, I can just applaud her. It is a richness and not a mistake to be able to write in as many languages as one masters. The key word, as you may have understood, is not "being native" but rather "mastering", and the same goes for everything, far beyond languages.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sahar's journey in Brugge

It isn't because an oriental lute, a piano and an accordion appear to be on the same stage that "fusion" or "encounter" between Oriental and Western cultures are automatically to occur.
Yesterday evening, in the beautiful Stadsschouwburg 's main hall in Brugge, lute player and composer Anouar Brahem together with his fellow musicians, pianist François Couturier and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier, formed a perfect out-of-borders-trio. There was only one thing to hear... pure music. It feels so reposing not to think of an artists' origin, and regarding his or her art only.
I felt good last night, following Sahar's footsteps, enjoying the journey, just for the music, and nothing more was necessary. It was pure.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A half-empty KVS Bol for a hollow Natacha Atlas

Half full or half empty, call it what you will, but the KVS Bol was neither full of people, nor of good music yesterday evening, that's for sure. We can start by putting the blame on the organizers who should have closed the second and third balconies, inviting the audience to gather in the parterre... but should certainly never have announced that Natacha Atlas was going to perform with an acoustic ensemble. Indeed, in addition to a drum, a darbouka, a bad vocalist and a bassist who barely plays (these can still be called acoustic, I agree) , Ms Atlas was supported by a single electronic keyboard playing all possible instruments of the Arabic repertoire and more (yes yes, they managed to get a guitar sound out of it!). Still, we were ready to forget about it and let us transport by the diva's songs and moves. Unfortunately, her beautiful and mesmerizing voice wasn't enough to let us believe in her music, if there was any (let's be serious, can anyone be moved by a keyboard trying to sound like a kanun or a violin?). The sound spewed from the machine was extremely disturbing and resulted to be boring at many, many points. Even some rare good vocal moments remained hollow, and so we left an empty bol, empty...

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Everyday Life

A bare naked guy popping his head out of his basement floor apartment window while you're walking in the street on a Sunday late morning and asking you the time, a woman carrying her dog in a baby carriage, the neighborhood's homeless greeting you every single morning on your way to work... these are just a few examples from everyday life in Saint-Gilles.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ode to Joy?

Today, Brussels celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Rome. Something I wouldn't even think about if it wasn't posted everywhere, reminding me that I live in an excessively institutionalized city. Listening live from my small studio, thanks to Musiq'3, to the concert given at the Centre for Fine Arts this Saturday 24 March 2007, I can only remember why I didn't go to see it there... Yesterday's rehearsal had already given me the clue that it wouldn't be the best interpretation of Beethoven's 9th ever...
Anyway, no matter what I think of the European institutions, I can at least eager you to experience brilliant ideas (even if sometimes quite utopic) at the exhibition A Vision for Brussels. The initiators of this project "Imagining the Capital of Europe" are suggesting their architectural ode(s) to joy, imagining new ways of using the bureaucratic architecture of the European Quarter among many other things. A manifesto about Brussels Towards the Capital of Europe.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Meknes in Saint-Gilles

10pm on a Saturday night in South-West Brussels, a starving young couple is searching for food...

For once, we've decided not to walk up from home to Louise but rather to discover the Parvis de Saint-Gilles, a place we knew but weren't used to go to.
With quite realistic expectations, we thought we would get a still eatable pitta or dürüm in some fast-food restaurant, when we saw an open place called La table de Meknes in the middle of the square. Starving as we were, we haven't hesitated a minute and entered after a quick look at the menu posted at the door.
Spicy merguez and kefta, all served on a richly dressed plate with salad and French fries on the side by the most charming young boy, all topped by an offered fresh mint tea, truly warmed our hearts. We left the place knowing that we would certainly return very soon...
On our way back home, we saw a woman in her pajama's searching for someone in the street. Noticing that we were amused by her outfit, she looked at us smiling. We smiled back and went on our way.
This is the magic of Saint-Gilles, a town in the middle of the city, the sun right next to the moon, the warmth of Meknes in Brussels...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sweet Handshake Prelude

It is always nice to see the hands of a pianist while playing on the piano. Listening to a piano recital should also include, whenever possible, watching the pianist's hands. Feeling music through these two senses is an enchanting experience.
A third sense is only used by the pianist self through touch. One I've actually experienced as a prelude to Chopin's second concerto for piano on the person of Boris Berezovsky. Amazingly moving pianist I've discovered in a recital at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels more than a year ago. Since that unforgettable concert, I've learned to know more about his repertoire and tried to follow his live performances as much as I could. Until I've experienced the most sweetest feelings of all, finding my hand for a few seconds in this gigantic pianist's hand. This was the softest handshake I've ever felt. A prelude to the rehearsal Mr Berezovsky was going to have with the National Orchestra of Belgium. How could so much strength come out of such sweet and soft hands remains a magical duality. And my whole senses to shake before, during and after the concerto, even in rehearsal, and at his concert on Sunday 18 March at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The boy who didn’t like the sun

“I want rain” he said.
“Don’t you like the sun” asked his mother.
“No, I hate the sun, I prefer the rain!”
Every time the sun came up (that was almost everyday), they would argue on that infinite issue. The mother couldn’t help but worry about her son’s behaviour. Then the boy grew up and left the sunny country for the place of interminable rain. The more maturity he was getting, the more he wanted to escape from the yellow rays, mostly by leading a nocturnal life. The moon became his substitute friend in the absence of rain. Lying on his empty bed, he would listen to the rain drops falling on the window of his grey apartment. He loved the serenity in which the sweet water notes brought him.
Serenity was what he was longing for, and he strongly believed he could only achieve it through the rain. He didn’t know he was carrying serenity in himself, although he knew he was named after it. Until the day he met a synonym who taught him to love the sun. They were now ready to experience serenity and passion altogether and forever.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

First live encounter with Dave Matthews

Never before had I seen the doors of the Ancienne Belgique so crowded. Maybe it is just because I've always been used to go to gigs there after the doors have been opened.... Anyway, from 5pm, two hours before the official doors opening, the 110 Anspach boulevard was crowded by a bunch of, most of them American, fans. Among the Americans were also some French fans, but also many more (let's hope it for Dave who wants to make "new friends").
There was me for sure, a Brussels girl, and my beloved, with whom I've learned to love Dave Matthews and his band more and more everyday. Oh, and I've almost forgot our friend from Turkey, Burak, who 7 years ago brought a CD of DMB from the US to his friend. Burak was with us that night, at least for two songs!
After 9 years, Dave Matthews was back in Belgium, and for the first time for a "solo" acoustic concert... It has been quite a surprise to see Tim Reynolds enter through the door next to our closed one at 5.30pm. "It's gonna be Dave and Timmmmmm"... enthusiastic, we were indeed.
We entered at 7pm, half an hour after the Warehouse fan members, and still, we were set on the second row! The AB was full in half an hour, and the atmosphere was warm and crazy.
At 8pm, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds arrived on stage. We were seeing the guy for real, this great musician we were only allowed to watch on DVD... we were going to listen to him for real, now. The adrenaline was getting up... we were already feeling high.
Once again, both Tim and Dave have showed their mastery. Crazy how it felt that night, how they made it all alright, starting with a beautiful Bartender, ending with a dynamic Two Step.
The concert was sweet for certain, Maarten, I agree!
Carter, Doyd, Stefan, LeRoi, we're now waiting for you guys!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Longing for Dave...

6 years for one, 1 year for the other... we are both longing for the same man, or, it would be more appropriate to say, the same music. But do we want to be appropriate here? I guess no, appropriate shouldn't be used next to Dave Matthews! Even if the concert venue has already warned us about the atmosphere: no late arrivals will be allowed... Good for us since we planned to be at the doors before their opening.

No more longing... one night left before we let ourselves get cought into Mr Matthews' words through his strong and penetrating voice. And it won't be a one night stand since our man will be back with his band at Forest National, Brussels, on the 27th of May.
The best is yet to come...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Danser et écrire : deux raisons de vivre

Christine Angot et Mathilde Monnier dans La Place du Singe © Marc Coudrais

Et quand écriture et danse se mêlent, c’est de la dynamite sur scène, surtout quand l’auteure se nomme Christine Angot et la chorégraphe Mathilde Monnier. Ensemble, elles présentent La Place du Singe, le mardi 13 mars au Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles dans le cadre de FranceDanse Europe, un panorama de la danse contemporaine, tandis qu’Angot parlera de son œuvre la veille. Âmes sensibles s’abstenir !

« La question du bonheur n’est pas la même pour tout le monde. Ca c’est sûr. » Cette première phrase que Christine Angot (ré)cite dans La Place du Singe après avoir longuement balayé la salle du regard et s’être placée au centre de la scène, apparaît également en page 263 de son dernier roman Rendez-vous (1). Écrire sans pudeur les rapports incestueux qu’elle a vécus avec son père entre l’âge de 14 et 16 ans l’a poussée aux devants des médias, surtout à la sortie de son roman L’inceste, même si elle ne le décrit que dans les dernières pages du livre. Son écriture excessivement autobiographique est troublante par son honnêteté et dérangeante par sa véracité. C’est qu’elle ne mâche pas ses mots la môme Angot, et tout le monde s’en prend plein la gueule au passage : son ex-mari, ses amants, les personnalités connues et moins connues, les bourgeois, son père. Elle ne s’épargne pas non plus. Car si on peut qualifier son travail de narcissique, la force véritable de cet écrivain est son désir d’évoluer et d’aller le plus loin possible dans l’écriture de soi. Elle ne nie jamais l’action thérapeutique qu’elle entreprend à travers sa plume, tout en croyant avant tout dans la littérature, synonyme pour elle de vérité. Elle explique d’ailleurs dans L’inceste qu’« écrire n’est pas choisir son récit. Mais plutôt le prendre, dans ses bras, et le mettre tranquillement sur la page, le plus tranquillement possible, le plus tel que possible » (2). Fidèle à elle-même, Angot se présente nue face au public, s’auto-analyse et s’observe à travers l’œil de l’autre, comme elle le fait dans Sujet Angot, une mise en roman d’une lettre de son ex-mari, Claude. Polémique et interminablement discutable, le « sujet Angot » fascine. Débat à suivre donc avec Christine Angot, le 12 mars prochain, sous la houlette de Gilles Collard, directeur de la revue d’art et de littérature Pylône.

Reality Literature ?
Tout s’entremêle dans l’œuvre de Christine Angot, elle parle de La Place du Singe dans Rendez-vous, cite ce dernier dans la pièce, montrant de façon explicite à qui ne l’aurait pas remarqué que le vieux banquier du roman est également le bourgeois de la pièce. Le lecteur/spectateur se retrouve ou se perd entre réalité et fiction. J’étais d’autant plus troublée que j’ai visionné La Place du Singe et lu Rendez-vous à Montpellier, ville parmi les nombreux décors importants de la vie de l’auteure et où est planté le Centre Chorégraphique de la chorégraphe Mathilde Monnier. Expérience quasi surréaliste donc que d’entendre la voix de Christine Angot à travers le portable de Mathilde Monnier tandis que j’interrogeais cette dernière sur leur projet commun. Mais comment danse-t-on sur un texte ? « Sur un plateau », explique Monnier, « les danseurs sont en prise avec la musique, tandis qu’avec un texte, c’est plus une sorte de dialogue. Même si mon écoute est plus corporelle au début, j’entre dans le texte plus tard, sortant petit à petit de l’animalité, à travers l’humour et le chant. » Puis, il y a une chanson de Jean-Louis Murat, Qu'entends-tu de moi que je n'entends pas ?, que toutes deux chantent ensemble, « car il est essentiel de savoir ce que l’on entend de l’autre », ajoute Monnier.

Le récit décrit la bourgeoisie tout en étalant la vie des deux protagonistes. « Parler de soi est rare dans le milieu de la danse », reprend Mathilde Monnier. « Je n’aurais pas pu écrire sur moi-même, c’est plus intéressant quand c’est quelqu’un d’autre qui le fait. Une libération dans ce cas-ci ! Christine explique ce qu’est la bourgeoisie à ses yeux et offre une vue de l’extérieur. Moi j’ai grandi dans ce milieu et y ai passé plus de temps qu’elle. » Mais qui est le singe et a-t-il sa place dans la société ? « Le singe mime le bourgeois à la façon d’un clown, il se moque, c’est un peu comme le fou du roi, la bourgeoisie en a besoin. Il n’a pas sa place, sauf sur scène ou dans un zoo. »

La bourgeoise emprisonne, l’art libère
La scène est en effet une sorte de zoo avec un drapeau français et des tables que Monnier piétine et manipule dans sa chorégraphie. « Le drapeau représente les valeurs de la bourgeoisie et une certaine morale française qu’il véhicule. Les tables sont l’emblème de l’institution et de cette morale, mais il y a aussi la table de l’écrivain. » En poussant la table d’Angot, Monnier met en scène la fausse générosité du bourgeois – « cet acte hypocrite de donner et de reprendre. »

Dans La Place du Singe, Monnier et Angot dépassent la simple critique de la bourgeoisie et se dévoilent au public en tant qu’artistes et en tant que personnes. Une véritable confrontation entre création et thérapie. D’une part, le texte d’Angot fonctionne comme une bombe à retardement et résonne aux oreilles du public et de Monnier qui, d’autre part, se bat contre l’ensemble des contradictions décrites par l’auteure. C’est aussi leur propre vision de l’art qu’elles mettent en scène, sur papier et en question. « Être artiste pour moi », dit encore la chorégraphe, « c’est une manière de vivre. J’aurais été malade si je n’avais pas été artiste. C’est un peu une thérapie personnelle mais ce n’est pas un choix. On ne décide pas de grand-chose dans la vie. Quand j’étais petite, j’étais souvent malade, j’avais de l’asthme. Tout s’est arrêté quand j’ai commencé à danser. » Pour Mathilde comme pour Christine, l’art est par-dessus tout une raison de vivre. Bourgeois ou artiste, c’est un statut qu’on ne choisit pas. Et si l’un emprisonne, l’autre libère.

Canan Marasligil alias Ayse Erin, envoyée spéciale à Montpellier pour le BOZAR MAGAZINE de mars 2007

(1) Rendez-vous , Flammarion, 2006
(2) L’inceste, Le Livre de Poche, p.152.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chinese Classics

Monkeys trying to catch the moon, monks rescuing a temple on the top of a mountain, a single guy putting on a new door bell and experiencing its uselessness.... These are just a few themes of the Animated Chinese Classics I've been to see at the Anima 2007 film festival . Not a single word have come out of the characters' mouth, and the whole mise en scène was orchestrated by music, sometimes with good, sometimes with quite pitiful and sometimes with beautiful drawings. Especially the last short film which looked like living paintings... well, animated ink paintings. The naiveté of the drawings are not really made for today's impossible-to-satisfy-children, or PSP/Wii-generation if you prefer, but rather for dreamers like myself, adults or kids. It was indeed two exquisite, and funny hours, that made my child-soul go free, once again.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Grey sky and precious things

Brussels under a grey sky... that isn't something new. But having pinky pink thoughts and seeing through blue glasses, under a grey sky... that is quite amazing I must say. Add to this that our dear Tori will come near our grey Brussels to enchant our ears (and eyes... yes Tori, I think you are beautiful!) very soon... Then grey becomes the most precious thing.
What about Stacey's sweet voice making me dance with my beloved on a Wednesday morning on "It's too darn hot" ... Then you get a lot of red!
Hear you soon hot and precious ladies! Under a grey or any other sky...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Goran Bregović, Robin des bois des Balkans

Goran Bregović présente au Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles une nouvelle composition : une prière de tolérance adressée aux prophètes de trois religions monothéistes. La rock star de Sarajevo se livre au BOZAR MAGAZINE avant d’envoûter la salle Henry Le Bœuf, le mercredi 25 avril, avec son légendaire Wedding and Funeral Band, l’Absolute Ensemble de Kristjan Järvi et un chœur de voix bulgares.

Né à Sarajevo d’un père serbe et d’une mère croate, Goran Bregović a laissé tomber ses études de violon au Conservatoire pour devenir la rock star des pays de l’Est, à la tête de son groupe Bjelo Dugme. « Bouton Blanc » pendant 15 ans, il compose par la suite les musiques de film de son compatriote Emir Kusturica, utilisant des sons traditionnels gitans et issus des Balkans. Les musiques traditionnelles d’Europe de l’Est ont longtemps été orchestrées et recomposées par des ensembles mélangés et classiques comme, par exemple, le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Bregović élargit le concept en y ajoutant ses propres impulsions. En effet, ses compositions mélangent les polyphonies traditionnelles de Bulgarie aux sonorités d'une fanfare tzigane, d'une guitare et de percussions aux accents rock... Et les mauvaises langues de prétendre que s’il le pouvait, Goran Bregović s’approprierait la Neuvième de Beethoven... Laissons plutôt la parole au compositeur. Il nous parle de son processus de « non-création » et de son désir de partager avant tout sa musique avec le monde.


Goran Bregović, vous allez créer le 17 avril, à Athènes, une œuvre commandée par notre réseau ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation), et ensuite dans neuf autres villes européennes, dont Bruxelles le 25 avril.. Expliquez-nous l’origine de ce projet ?
Je reprends comme point de départ de cette commande un précédent travail intitulé My heart has become tolerant (Mon cœur est devenu tolérant) et présenté pour la première fois au Festival de Saint-Denis, en juin 2002. J’y avais uni trois chanteurs des trois grandes religions monothéistes avec le chœur orthodoxe de Moscou, un ensemble à cordes du Maroc, et mes musiciens. Avec un thème : la réconciliation. J’y utilisais des musiques de traditions islamique, chrétienne et juive. Pour ECHO, je vais écrire trois lettres aux prophètes, repartant de ce même thème qu’est la tolérance.

Pourquoi avoir choisi pour titre Forgive me, is this the way into the Future ? (Pardonne-moi, est-ce bien la voie vers le furur)
J’ai réfléchi à la manière dont nous voyons notre futur. J’ai alors décidé de faire cette petite liturgie, ni religieuse, ni blasphématoire. Comme pour My heart has become Tolerant, j’espère que le public rêvera à un monde idéal le temps d’un concert…

Vous êtes passé par des styles de musique très différents durant votre carrière, à commencer par le rock, dont on sent encore l’influence dans vos compositions actuelles. Comment gérez-vous cela ?
J’ai monté mon premier groupe à seize ans. À l’époque, le rock tenait un rôle capital dans notre vie. C'était la seule possibilité que nous avions de faire entendre notre voix, d'exprimer publiquement notre mécontentement, sans risquer de nous retrouver en prison. Mais j’aime en effet changer de styles musicaux, un peu comme je change de vêtements chaque jour. Ma musique porte différents costumes.

Faites-vous passer certains messages plutôt que d’autres selon le style de musique ?
La musique vous permet de dire tout ce que le langage ne permet pas. C’est ainsi que je communique avec le monde, et je compte continuer dans cette direction.

Les mêmes rythmes reviennent dans vos différents titres, depuis Bjelo Dugme jusqu’à vos plus récentes compositions. Certains disent que vous ne créez pas, que leurs répondez vous ?
Que je ne suis pas Dieu, et qu’en effet je ne crée pas.

Vous partez beaucoup des musiques traditionnelles, des Balkans notamment…
Oui, je vole dans la tradition. Être artiste n’est pas un travail moral, vous volez toujours. Je compose, réarrange, j’ajoute quelque chose de moi-même, mais je ne crée pas. Je partage ensuite ma musique avec les autres.

Vous êtes originaire de Sarajevo, région sortie d’une guerre très difficile il y a à peine 11 ans, et culturellement très mélangée. Votre musique exprime-t-elle cette mixité ?
Oui. Je viens d’un lieu musicalement éclectique, à la frontière entre orthodoxes, catholiques et musulmans. Aujourd’hui, j’aimerais retourner dans ces régions pour présenter le projet ECHO.

Vous avez jusqu’ici travaillé avec de nombreux artistes de renommée internationale comme Iggy Pop, Ofra Haza, Sezen Aksu ou encore Cesaria Evora. Que vous ont apporté ces collaborations ?
Ce sont des gens à qui j’aurais en temps normal demandé un autographe. Vous savez, je ne suis pas un gars du show-business, et ils le savent. Je me suis donc dit, si tu veux travailler avec ces gens, demande-leur. C’est ce que j’ai fait, et j’ai une belle collection d’autographes à ce jour…

Au départ, vous étudiez le violon au Conservatoire. Pourquoi avoir finalement choisi la guitare ?
Parce que les guitaristes ont plus de succès auprès des filles !

Le public bruxellois aura-t-il le plaisir d’écouter vos compositions de films qui ont fait votre succès ?
Ce n’est pas prévu pendant le concert, mais certainement lors du rappel !

Propos recueillis par Canan Marasligil alias Ayse Erin, pour le BOZAR MAGAZINE d'avril 2007.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It is sometimes hard to make choices, even when one knows what he or she wants.
Almost one year ago, the first time I fell asleep in my now beloved arms (the first time I ever fell asleep in someone's arms so peacefully), I remember having asked him a question I then thought was very difficult to answer to. It was dawn and I was afraid to look into his eyes but finally chose to do so and I asked, "What do you want in life?" I didn't know it then, but I was actually asking it to myself. He simply said "I want to live". It took me some time to realize it myself, but I certainly felt the same.
Right now, I need to make some choices in my professional life, to be able to go on, to make my dreams come true, to rise... to live.
Close or faraway, no matter how or when or where, if there's one thing I'm sure of, is that I want to live. And I would certainly add: with the man in whose arms I fall asleep so peacefully every single night.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Baudelaire's Albatross


Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d'eux.

Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!
L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!

Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.

Charles Baudelaire Les Fleurs du mal

Click on the following link for the English translations:

The First Time

They say the first time is the most important of all, especially for a girl. Honestly, I don't even remember how mine was, and believe me, I am a sensitive girl. I guess I can be happy to remember with whom it was at least... First time on a blog, I should remember this one. Everything I'm going to post here is supposed to stay, as long as I don't decide to delete it. Well, deleting memories is quite the same isn't it? You only keep what you feel is "necessary", not to say vital. Let's see how it feels like to share it now.