“Real art is that which does not seem to be art”.
This sentence by François Juste (1) fascinates me as much as it seems to be in itself an artistic manifestation of what it refers to by its own existence.
First, how does one determine what is ‘really’ art? Who determines art’s authenticity? What gives art its reality?
>So apart from all those quite abstract and very vague concepts, I happen to make extra weird music. Weird in the sense of ‘confronting’, as in you don’t necessarily expect to hear what you hear when you think of music in the general, or natural and possibly, by extension, in a way, the more banal way of understanding it. By the way, I’ll ask you the question: what is, in fact, music?
An infinitely multiple and superbly infinite quest. That’s exactly what fascinates me: for me, an artistic expression, it’s when I realise that my human ‘littleness’ is being sumptuously contrasted with the immensity of what surrounds me, of what, in spite of that, contributes to my existence. The artistic exaltation that I feel, it’s when I accept my vulnerability all the while admiring the sublime around me.
> So music, at least according to my understanding of things, is first of all an artistic experience. Then, the manner in which it manifests itself is at the very least as multiple as there are humans to imagine its existence. A definition which, despite its implied splendour, finds itself to be most vulnerable. Not very solid; easy to attack, to break down, to turn against itself, to reject.
And it’s that vulnerability that, within me, within the human experience, within art, fascinates me.
Vulnerability is this capacity to be hurt which makes the human experience imperfect and not banal. A constant push & pull between comfort and excitement.
The human being constantly seeks the noble, the grandiose, the eloquent—we are seduced by the beautiful and virtuoso.
>Well, yes. The virtuoso, the profound, the superb. The classical icons of the precocious Mozart, the bewitching Bach and Beethoven’s passions, for example. Or even a supreme performance by Meryl Streep or a perfect poem of Paul Éluard. It’s difficult to be indifferent when presented with such admirable quality in all of these manifestations of arts and artists.
What is more difficult is to find this splendour in the rest. In that which is in between two works of art that we consider finite (or definite). Because beyond what we grasp, there is maybe the intangible, the void—which frightens—but which is as necessary to the definition of what is tangible. When Picasso charges $5000 for a pencil trait on a napkin, he refers to that.
The worth, not of the art produced on the spot, but of all the work that went into the development of his art. Of the artistic process.
> Where I’m getting to is that this process, in my opinion, is not less artistic than the work which is delivered in the end. That process is the constant choice, conscious and repetitive, of looking at the banal, the rougher, the shapeless, ultimately the vulnerable, and find beauty in it.
In what is hidden behind the grandiose. Because we, little humans, are after all little humans. So on the human scale, it’s an effort—but a sublime effort—of every day to see the beautiful and sacred in the simple craft work of an artist.
>So my sublime and ultra personal effort of seeing beauty in the small and vulnerable makes me completely redefine my understanding of music at every instant. It’s looking for an interest in the ventilation hum of a doctor’s clinic, it’s finding a rhythm in a defective lamp in the metro, it’s to marvel at a completely unique sound when, in February at 23.39 à -34° I lose my balance and slide on an ice patch, and in spite of fatigue, irritability and a hurt ego, I still manage to hold on to something that I can choose to find beautiful.
My music is the result of this. It’s a collection of sounds captured here and there, a bit everywhere, a bit any time, and then brought together following a sequence of very personal choices that I have made and that I have decided to also present as finite works. And the choice of a fixed form, that’s maybe just to to give the mind some sort of respite.
(1) Le Livre du courtisan, éd. François Juste (1538), p. xxxiiii (f° 34)