dimanche, octobre 28, 2007

Gilles, Flo and Cagesan

Something has changed on this picture: the little bird Cagesan has landed.

jeudi, octobre 25, 2007

Yesterday night, we went to see Natasha Khan from Bat for lashes with my ex-girlfriend and new wife Florence, after having listened to her myspace page and seen her new video "What's A Girl To Do". It's like finding a treasure that everybody knows. Like the grotesque Toog video in which I discover a new planet which happens to only be the moon. Khan and her trio of poly-instrumentists girls gave us a moment of pure enchantment. Performing the song Sarah or I saw a light was like heaven. The harmonies, arrangements, singing, the grace of Natasha, all was combined to deliver one of the most beautiful pop experience I've ever had. A minimal complexity that's close to perfection. Happy birthday to the singer, she turns 28 today!

Before the concert, we went to see the exhibition at the MEP. I was happy to see Tulsa in real. The original Clark's portraits are thousands light years from this not so recent fashion virage towards fake trash for the rich kids. As a teenager, Larry Clark was a photographer, helping her mom to do portraits of babies and learning to make them smile, while his dad stayed prostrate on the first floor of the family house. One day he watched Larry and said, calmly: "you're a shit, my son" and then they stopped communicating. Larry went on drugs for years... This is something that recalls me my own teenage time. But, as my friends went on drugs and delinquency, committing robbery, suicide, dealing or taking drogues more or less dures, I started to become shy, listening and making music, writing poetry or riding my old Bultaco 350 Sherpa in the forest...

I have finished to collect the songs for Goto, the possible next Toog album. But right now I don't write songs. Because of the other projects (film, poetry, music for a play). Also because I want to find a new direction for my future songs. It will probably take years. I want it to sound new to my ears. I want to record with live musicians and programs. The clues for this musical journey are rythmn, noise, melody, abstraction.

Thanks to you, my friends, who witnessed and blessed our wedding on the 20th october, especially those who came from a long distance, Edwyn, Joseph and Alton, Nick and Hisae. It was a small but a beautiful wedding and ceremony, thanks to the few people and family, and also the priest, Père Xavier Lefèbvre (pictures to be added soon)...

vendredi, octobre 19, 2007


This morning I feel like an aztec mummy. Why is it so difficult to sleep?

mardi, octobre 16, 2007

WHY I'M NOT DOING P2P ANYMORE. The main reason is because I used to use Soulseek on my PC, but now, I separate the PC which is only for music and writing from the internet (MAC). Two different rooms. I lost concentration too easily, when internet was available. I don't know how to get Soulseek on the MAC. Soulseek seemed to be the best platform for cool music. I consider that a professionnal musician or an amateur éclairé should be able to do P2P freely, like a student going to the library. It's part of his work to listen to a lot of music. So my idea is to allow free P2P for the people who are able to justify this quality by a contract with an author society. The use of P2P would be payed by the author society and deducted on the musician statement, like a library subscription. Other people should pay more, because they only use music for pleasure. And there's no free pleasure on planet earth, except love.

Note 1: Some people even charge for love, directly or indirectly.

Note 2: There are a lot of pleasures that remain free in this bankable world. For instance, the sun is free. The ocean is free. In general, nature is free, as is friendship. You can eat blackberries or apples from the tree, drink water from a spring in the mountain, that gives a lot of pleasure too and it's all free. But for how long will remain Nature free, when everything around it is paying? Do some animals already share this mercantile behaviour? (I show you my butt if you give me a nut, says the Central Park squirrel).

mercredi, octobre 10, 2007

Wyatt 2007

An excellent Robert Wyatt interview by David Fenech & Wilfried Paris, in the last issue of Chronic'art. I sum up the last lines, about gratuité.

Do you know that your new album Comicopera is already on the P2P network, more than one month before its release?

It's a little bit scary, because releasing albums is all what I get for making a living. I'm not playing concerts. It's my only income. We have spent a lot of money on this record, a lot of time. It's a real problem. As if you'd go to the restaurant and leave without paying the bill. It's not correct...

Note 1: How do the journalists know that Comicopera's available on the P2P network?

Note 2: This photo has been stolen from the magazine.

mardi, octobre 09, 2007


On les appelle copines, elles vont par deux, écoutent la même musique, partagent le même rouge à lèvres, aiment les mêmes garçons, l'une est souvent plus jolie que l'autre.

dimanche, octobre 07, 2007

my debut poem book

cheval tresses

army and papa

Impossible to choose the order of 36 poems on a computer screen. Hard to choose it in a vertical pile of paper. Better to make it on the floor: the eye can see every poem's shape as well as it can read it. L'égalité des signes should become my first poetry book in a few weeks.

jeudi, octobre 04, 2007

There are no categories. We make the categories but even if we make them, they don't exist. The power of man to create things that don't exist is immense: it's the power of words. Comparing to God, who by his word, make things exist, we are just talkative bugs making categories. What we say don't exist and the categories we make are not. Poetry is our only space where what we say is 'about to' create. Through poetry, the man is coming close to God's word, this active word, which is a word together with an action, simultaneously. Through poetry, we approach this mystery, by mimesis. We also know that it is nothing but an imitation. Poetry is pretending to have the potential of the creative word of God, to be about to create what's being said, but it's not creating anything. Our word is always missing its creative potential, except for human miracles, when the word reaches the action. Poetry is this word that pretends to have powers that it hasn't. Like a child wearing a Superman's suit, or like a business man leaving his enterprise with a golden parachute, which is the poem itself.

mardi, octobre 02, 2007


I was 9 years old when I decided to learn piano. We already had one piano at home, which keys were ivory yellow, not hard and which sound I loved. My piano teacher, Jean-Yves Haefflinger, opened his music school in front of the primary school, close to the boulangerie where we used to buy candies (my favorite one was called Curly Wurly and I also loved the Malakoff). The piano teacher was a real professional with an immense talent for the organ and the accordeon. Every week-end with his bal populaire band, they played in the villages around Mulhouse for entertaining the villageois. Many of these bals populaires ended up in bagarres. The journal L'Alsace, on monday, had regularly a column about persons killed in the Zimmersheim, the Eschentzwiller, the .............heim or the ...............willer bal. After one year of serious piano learning, my reputation as a gifted kid encouraged my parents and the teacher to accelerate the process of learning and start with piano competition.

The first competition took place in Kingersheim, in 1976. The piece I had to learn and play, Le Petit prince, wasn't difficult but the notes became slippery, the closer to the competition we got. The formidable day came. There was a man at the Kingersheim hall who proposed the parents to record their kid's session on a 45 rpm, with only one side engraved. My father who accompanied me, accepted and I remember that he paid 50 francs (around 10 euros) for it. It was a terrible moment to get on the stage and play Le Petit Prince. But eventually, I received a price and 92% of the voices plus a diploma, which meant that I was selected for the next step of the competition in Brussels, the next year...

I had started the piano for about 18 months and was preparing Beethoven's Letter to Elisa; Brussels was approaching and I couldn't play it well, always stumbling on the double croche passage. The teacher was more and more demanding, he scared me, maybe he was disappointed by the hardness of a job that I couldn't carry out. I was overwhelmed by fear, a fear that turned to terror: this wasn't me, this whole project of playing piano competitions wasn't mine. So why and how did it start? Later on I went on thinking that earning a price was a bonus for the school, not for the kid... The day before leaving to Brussels, my soma found a solution: I became sick, fever kept me in bed and we had to cancel my participation. A few days later when I recovered, I convinced my parents to stop making me learn piano. We never made clear the link between this decision and the competition angst, which was sad because I could have progressed more, without this tremendous stress.


Florence Manlik's design for the Spring/Summer 08 Robert Normand collection).