The Sound and me #12 with Vincent Lê Quang

The Sound and me #12 avec Vincent Lê Quang
Composer, improviser and professor at the CNSM in Paris, saxophonist Vincent Lê Quang talks to us about his relationship to sound and how it has evolved over time.

A great appetite for sound

As far as I can remember from my earliest childhood, I have always had a great appetite for sound, for all kinds of sounds. I think that even before I really knew how to speak, I was putting black discs on a little child's record player and I spent a lot of great hours listening to all sorts of music, stories. And I think that even before I said I liked such music or such story, I think I liked the sound, the sound of the speakers, the sounds of all kinds of noises, of keys, of all kinds of noises of pots and pans.

A diversity of sounds

Today, my sound research is linked to this taste for a diversity of sounds and I think that the saxophone in particular is an instrument that I like to see as having a very broad palette, from a sound, attacks, colors, tones point of view. In my search for musical expressions, I believe that there is before the search itself for what would be a beautiful sound first of all, the search for a diversity of sounds, to be able to express myself in several forms.

For a jazz saxophonist that I am, when we talk about a saxophonist and about his sound, we often talk about something that is much more complex than simply a certain spectral ratio of the harmonics between them. We are also, of course, talking about a way of attacking in a particular way, a way of tearing the silence, as Jean-Louis Chautemps says. And we also talk, obviously, about discourse. The way we arrange the notes one behind the other, the sounds one behind the other. And I believe that this arrangement for my part, I am looking for it always with a concern for diversity.

The musical effort

I remember, about ten years ago still, my work on sound was really about getting a sound grain that I wouldn't have to worry about afterwards in order to be able to worry about the music as such.

On the contrary, now I integrate it completely into the musical effort. It's never something that's taken for granted. It's something that must be thought about when making music, when playing. In the moment of the concert one of my main concerns is also to enter in the most direct and intimate contact possible with those who listen. Because it's true that music is a great way to get in touch. We are like species of spiders weaving threads, except that these threads are invisible. It is by means of the sound that they will penetrate people's inner self who listen to us. And it's also one of the things that I'm looking to do, to find a form of incandescence in this contact which is however a touch-free contact through sound.

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