> What made you want to get into music ?
That’s a good question ! My parents listened to music but they weren’t musicians. I know that my mother often listened to the Beethoven symphonies when she was pregnant with me. At any rate, at 4 years old, I wanted to do percussion, instruments which my parents had never heard of. My path was laid, I wanted to become a musician !
> Can you share an amazing musical memory ?
Curiously enough, it was a moment “without music”, a moment of silence.
It was at BBC Proms in London during an LSO concert directed by Sir Colin Davis.
We were arriving at the magnificent finale of Britten’s “War Requiem,” finishing in the most sublime peace. We were about 6000 in the audience, and we were all taken away (God knows where) and had no desire to come back down to earth. It was the longest and most intense moment of silence that I had ever lived. The conductor had to delicately place his baton on the stand before the applause started. Time had stopped… 5 minutes of silence ? Or more ?
> How about an embarassing memory ?
Indisputably, when I was a percussionist at the European Union Youth Orchestra.
It was at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with Guennady Rozhdestvensky and Stravinsky’s Firebird on the program. I was playing the bass drum, which has an essential role at the beginning to set the dark and ominous mood of the enchanted garden of Kastchei.
Next comes the magnificent oboe solo. At that moment, I had finished my part, and placed the two mallets on the shelf. I tried to sit back down on my chair, but one of my sleeves caught on one of my sticks, and inevitably, ALL of the sticks and mallets on the shelf fell to the floor with a deafening crash.
At the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the audience sits just behind the percussion. I had the impression that 2000 pairs of eyes were shooting daggers through me.
What an abominable memory, I would have liked to disappear !
> What interestes you the most in your career ?
IMAGINING AND CREATING : Most often surrounded by different composers, librettists and directors with whom I’ve been lucky enough to work with.
SHARING : with orchestra musicians, various artists (like soloists, narrators, actors and dancers) as well as the public and children.
EDUCATING : The public, obviously, through the numerous projects that I imagine, and through various channels, didactic or otherwise (not forgetting heart and emotion). I take a lot of pleasure in knowing that I’ve brought to the orchestra musicians themselves : when I feel that they are taking pleasure in playing such concerts, I consider my mission accomplished.
> If you were a pice of music, what would you be ?
Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, “Tragic”. I think that this symphony has it all. It isn’t necessarily the music that resembles me the most, but it’s one of my wildest dreams !
> and if you were a sound ?
The sudden breath of air that a whale takes when coming to the surface.
> A bad habit ?
An OCD tic, to make everything coincide with the number 8.
> And if you were a fictious character ?
Gaston Lagaffe. Not for his laziness, but because I adore his genuine, gullible side. He is also sensible and sensitive if you read between the lines.
> And if you were an everyday object ?
Dental floss, in homage to the great composer Frank Zappa !