Please, tell us about your latest albums, both as a duo with Andalusian guitarist Pedro Sierra and as a soloist.
The concept of my new Clásico X Flamenco album is to ‘ignite’ the classical work thanks to flamenco. Pedro Sierra told me from the start that he would consider me like the many singers he has accompanied: the classic work is ‘the song’. It should be noted that we are not doing a ‘merger’. The written work is the model. We don’t mix roles or styles; we make them coexist and interact. I had already had exciting work and concert experiences with other valiant flamenco partners before him: Le Gall (with whom I also have an album), Marino, and Samuelito.
I also re-recorded this year the second disc of my works for solo guitar, also including transcriptions (Schubert, Haendel, a Renaissance theme), a new sonata, and my suite entitled Leçons de ténèbres (45′) — which I play in concert surrounded by candles that are blown out at the end of each of the nine nocturnes.
Which are your projects today?
I take care of the concerts and compositions commissions that I regularly receive in France and abroad. They put me in a mood of creativity in all directions: life multiplies.
I am planning a record of Baroque music (on the guitar) that will not be neutral. I hope to suggest that the Classical guitar can access the Baroque ‘swing’ — Visée, Lully, Rameau, Weiss, Bach and a few other unknowns. A Villa-Lobos and Dowland album, too — it will be my 20th! I also have to correct many pieces of music of mine and to complete a collection of partially edited texts: Faire l’âme pour avoir du son — they are notes about music, teaching, concerts and so on.
And dozens of books are waiting for me in my library. Indeed, I am deeply involved in searching for some sort of formula to regain hope in the world, but the more one reads, the more any recipe recedes!
Any other current or upcoming projects?
I wait for commissions to complete two operas: one is on the being and condition of woman, its liberation and its celebration, with this provocative title: Cosi fan pute. I believe that the role of women in changing their destiny will transform the world in all civilisations. That is, if controlled ecology and overpopulation give us time.
The other opera, Barbe-Bush’s Castle, will be about themes that have always obsessed me: violence and evil. I also want to mix it with humour, a fundamental value of humanity. “All you can do is keep playing. But maybe with a new consciousness, a comedic consciousness”.
You know, from the outside, we always have an image of you. Mine is that of a guitarist and composer. That’s not how I feel: I feel to be just two eyes and two ears plugged into a heart and a brain to try, with pleasure and fear, to decipher life (yes, more than living it: to each one his own speciality!) and, if possible, to bring a little touching musical story to listen to, as emotion makes you think.
How can we stimulate, enhance and even nourish the hope of the younger generations? Liberty, equality and fraternity are three complex republican notions that we must not fail to consider and live.