The relationship between the instrument and the music
« Once we have thought : 'This is an instrument that sounds this way and that's it', nowadays I think you have to have an understanding of what the music is trying to say and how to communicate that. And when you have a large field of opportunities within your instrument, you can create that.
As a musician, composer and improviser, I think it's interesting to think about the relationship between the instrument and the music. Does one influence the other? Is the music the result of the physical realities of the instrument producing it? Or is the instrument sounding the way the music is imagined by the composer or the improviser? I think it's a back and forth. It's in constant motion. And we don't really know. But I think it's interesting to think about : are you imposing the sound of the instrument on the music, or are you imposing the sound of the composer, the musical world of the composer, on the instrument. Are you using the instrument as a filter for the musical world conceived by the composer? »
The way an instrument reacts
« For me, I think the most interesting thing is to try to make the instrument fit into the musical world of the composer (or of your imagination when you're improvising). Because if you always try to fit the musical world of the composer inside the instrument, it will end up sounding the same.
But that can also inspire a composer. The way an instrument reacts, the way an instrument works, the sounds that come out of it, a natural kind of harmonics or whatever it is inside the instrument. That can inspire things on composers to do things that perhaps they wouldn't have thought of without having that kind of framework to work within.
In my work, I try to imagine things, and then whatever the instrument that I'm writing for or improvising on, the goal is to make that sound come out of the instrument. But it's always different because it is like a filter, it's filtering the idea of the work. That's also why it's so important to trust your instrument. »
Trust your instrument
« I talked about it with people from SELMER and I think the reason that I play these instruments is because there's a kind of trust. As a musician, you need to have a wide range of sound possibilities in your instrument. Some instruments direct you to a certain kind of sound or a certain kind of feeling or a certain kind of something, but what is really freeing when you are a musician and whatever music you play (classical, contemporary or whatever) is to be able to make any kind of sound. Saying to yourself: this phrase needs to go in this direction, and to have the flexibility to do that.
I think that's the most important thing because at the end of the day we make sound. That's our job. We're not just playing notes. We're not just playing harmonics. We make sound. It's the essence of what we do, it directs everything, it's what we hear. It's as simple and as complicated as that. So I think that this kind of freedom is super important in what we do. »