RETURN OF THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE UNICORN, BARCELONA TICKETS, AND A PRESENT FROM BIBLIOTHEQUE BUFFON
December 21, 2021 § Leave a comment
RETURN OF THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE UNICORN + BARCELONA DOUBLE ALBUM LIVE SHOW 11 MARCH 2021: TICKETS AVAILABLE!!!
This makes me so happy 😃 In May I made the difficult decision to stop playing live. It wasn’t so much about local shows, given that I barely play any, but about international shows, which can be exhausting physically and mentally, especially as you get older. I was also feeling overwhelmed by the “neurological” load of my shows: just looking at all the information I need to process to play live, I got the feeling my brain could not handle something as demanding anymore.
The sense of relief was immediate, but I didn’t expect the following… Given that my London show in August was postponed due to the quarantine rule, I was able to enjoy one of the most relaxed months of *MY ENTIRE LIFE*, in August. It was incredible. Like living with somebody else (at the end of the day, one lives with oneself – it’s obvious, but it took me a really long time to truly get this). So relaxed, that when I decided to rehearse a little to check that I wasn’t forgetting everything, I had a blast. And tried to see if I could still play older songs on the viola da gamba… and had even more of a blast.
Meeting another musician who is very experienced with concerts at a high level and with whom I was able to talk about my situation ended up convincing me that yes, I could go back to playing live, it would “just” have to be in a slightly different way.
What ended up fully convincing me was attending an incredible night on 17th September in El Pumarejo, organized by David aka @furvoice@mutabor_music who will organize and open my own show: I felt such a positive energy and it was there and then that I felt ready for my new decision.
That I was able to switch from thinking “I’m not playing anymore” to preparing shows with 2 totally different setups to play 2 full albums is proof of the power of rest, removing pressure from yourself, and surrounding yourself with good vibrations and people who support you. The work-life balance unicorn, which I’d never seen in my entire life, made its appearance this year, and I consider this a major new step in my life.
Something else that’s beautiful and happened recently…
ON NON MATERIAL PRESENTS: ME AND THE BIBLIOTHEQUE BUFFON, 20 YEARS DOWN THE LINE.
I’ve long been convinced that non material presents, such as time, attention, affection and recognition, are the best presents. I have just received one such present in my inbox. If you look at it and speak a bit of French, you might think: ok, it’s just that her music is among this year’s favorites of the music section of a public library in Paris, so what? So here goes…
The Bibliothèque Buffon is THE public library where I went every single week, several times a week, from 1999 to 2001, to borrow at least 10 or 15 CDs per week. I can safely say the Colleen project (which will officially turn 20 years old next year) was born in great part thanks to a place like this.
I grew up in a small provincial town and later on, as a penniless student, had to find clever ways of discovering music in a pre/barely-starting internet time. I had 3 options, and I used them all: 1) listening to radio programmes 2) going to music shops (Gibert Joseph was a favorite because it was just next to where I studied English at Sorbonne Nouvelle, and had headphones listening stations with rotating selections every week) 3) borrowing CDs from public libraries.
I’m not sure how I ended up there the first time – possibly through a friend’s recommendation, possibly because it was next to Jardin des Plantes, another favorite haunt of mine. In any case, from the first visit it was clear this was a veritable Ali Baba cave, and when in 2000 I took up a part-time job at university library BU Censier during my agrégation d’anglais, the Buffon library was literally on my way, which made me increase the frequency of my trips, since I had also started sampling.
That year was pivotal in my life: I understood I would not go into academia, because I wanted to have time for music-making, and borrowing CDs and ripping them for samples was the only luxury I granted myself that year. Hip hop, electronic, minimalist/contemporary, film, Jamaican, African, Indonesian musics, jazz… I could go on and on… I am so, so deeply grateful to see my work, 20 years down the line, among the library’s favourites.