Photograph by Nadia F. Romanini / ECM Records
Cooperate：Kagitami Music & Art Management / Jazgra
Your music, I think, is not characterized by featuring piano solo after the theme like modern jazz, but by continuing minimal riffs by a pianist. That is appealing me very much. Could you tell me why you chose such an approach?
First, I have to say that I love jazz. I studied it (and still study it) with passion. But for me, although jazz is a revolutionary music in terms of melodies, harmonies and rhythm, the music’s form didn’t evolve so much. I am really interested in exploring new forms. I think the repetitive nature of certain compositions comes from the influence of other genres like traditional music, classical, pop, and electronic music but also from natural processes that I try to mimic musically.
Unstable tones of prepared piano sounds like Arabian, Indian, Japanese or other Asian countries’ music. Why did you adopt this kind of sound?
I remember when I studied, we had to record 30 seconds of music, anything we wanted. I ended up recording the noise of an old rusty metal garden door because I liked how it sounded. I think I just love weird sounds. I love to hear something different from what I know, it’s like discovering a new flavor. So naturally, I ended up listening to a lot of folk music from all the world.
Photograph by Nicolas Masson /
Let’s talk about an album released by ECM label. The theme of the first album,”Rruga” is Caucasian music. What in Caucasian music are you attracted to?
Well it was influenced by Turkish music. My grand mother was Turkish, so maybe that’s why. [Asked his favorite] Erkan Ogur & Selda Bagcan.
I think performance of Julian Sartoriu, a drummer who joined you at the second album,”Le Vent” is characterized by electronica-like beat and prepared drums. How has your music changed with his participation?
With Julian, we function a lot more as a unit. Sometimes when we play, it doesn’t feel like three different instruments, but just one body of sound. It doesn’t matter so much who is in the foreground, it’s just music.And with Patrice Moret and Julian Sartorius, we developed a kind of telepathic connection over the years, that surprise us again and again. It’s magical!
I think that it is a feature of your composition that bright sound and dark sound appear alternately such as Fade and Juuichi. I felt this style is close to Radiohead, who you declared were inspired by. Could you tell me if there’s something that you care about melodies and harmony?
Actually, Juuichi was composed by double bassist Patrice Moret and I think the melody was inspired by Radiohead. It’s a band we all three like a lot. Fade on the other hand was inspired by the second law of thermodynamics and the theory of the Big Freeze.
I felt , in the title tune of the third album,”Danse”, melody and rhythm is connected and fused inexplicably. Which music are you affected by as of this tune? Does it have something to do with Vulcan music like you said in the previous interview?
Almost all compositions in « Le Vent » the previous album, were inspired by the finitude of the human condition and the passing of time in general. After this somewhat dark guiding thread, I wanted to express the vital energy of life. For the composition Danse, I imagined life as a constant struggle against gravity, resulting in an awkward and yet graceful dance. I thought it was a fitting title for the album.
I felt that L’Onde in ”Danse” is represented water ripples with sound. The album also has Jean Tinguely’s tribute song: Tinguely. Are you affected by nature or art when you compose music?
Yes a lot. I think water ripples merging and interfering are a beautiful and philosophical way of describing life. Tinguely was written by Patrice, but it’s influenced by the Swiss artist that build these absurd and poetic machines, and it connects to the theme of « Danse » very well.
In the previous interview, you said you were listening to Gérard Grisey. I think his minimal structure and unstable harmony are attractive. Which part of his music you are attracted by?
I like his textural work a lot. As a trio, we are very interested in exploring musical textures. [Asked his recommendation] “Les espaces acoustiques.”
Your performance as a sideman of Elina Duni in the previous Japan tour was also wonderful. Do you have something in common with her in terms of musicianship?
We played more than ten years together so of course we developed a strong musical bond. But now, this collaboration is over and each of us goes separate ways.
This is the last question. What kind of performance can we expect on this tour?
I think the less you expect, the better we sound. 🙂