di Marco Baldini e Luisa Santacesaria
[In occasione del Tempo Reale Festival 2021, “ARIA”, in programma dal 21 al 23 giugno 2021 a Firenze, abbiamo intervistato il musicista e performer francese Julien Desprez, protagonista del primo concerto assieme al percussionista e batterista Michele Rabbia]
Could you tell something about AGORA, the work you will perform at Tempo Reale Festival 2021?
Julien Desprez: I created this new solo piece during one of the lockdown period in Paris. As the only possible thing was to do sound research, after few months this piece came out quite naturally. I was doing some research between podorythmia and impedance (basically how to manage the electric tension of my sound device). The idea was to connect both these spaces: podorythmia with influences of Samba de Coco and sound object under high electric tension. Then I wanted to work around hudge differences of dynamics in order to express a big rate of sensibility. In the emotional field but also through the pure physical experience of sound. The electric jungle of AGORA was born under this process and these feelings. Also, AGORA means the city place where every citizen, from all the social class, meet. But it means also “now” in Portuguese. I pretty like this double meaning.
In your solo works, what is the relationship between musical composition and improvisation? How much freedom do you leave at the moment of live performance?
J.D.: I think musical shapes are made to be adaptable to the space where you play and to the audience as well. In this sense, I have something like a path to follow but what I will find into the path, like the ground or the trees, is always different. I try to fill this path with the energy of the venue and the audience as well. I could completely improvise but musical shapes is a good way to be connected with people and space from my sight!
Looking at all the projects you are working on, we can notice collaborations with artists with the most diverse profiles (radical improvisers, rock musicians, dancers, experimental musicians…). What are your criteria to choose the artists to collaborate with?
J.D.: Basically, I work with people I like as human being and of course I love their art practice. Then I am synesthetic. So for me, sound is not only sound. It’s also colors, space and motion. In this sense I don’t make real differences between art disciplines. They all start from the same point. I guess it’s why I’m working with artists coming from very different artistic fields.
How did you develop your guitar style and what have been your main references?
J.D.: Please, don’t think me as a guitar player! 🙂 More seriously, I begun the guitar when I was 16 by playing some rock songs, like Nirvana. I was singing too (I think voice will get back in my next pieces…). With the time, I discovered the world of creative music and I digged on! I met Patricio Villarroel, Chilean piano player, and his speech was “discover and express yourself into the music, be you and not a copy of someone or something”. I still follow this advice! Then I got influenced by many different people from many different fields. Like Tristan Garcia (French philosopher), Ryoji Ikeda, the band Coco Raízes De Arcoverde, Sister Iodine, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Andrej Tarkovskij, Tony Conrad, Bill Frisell, Sophie, Beyoncé, James Black, Xavier Leroy, Paul B Preciado and many more. Actually, I like to get out of my comfortable zone, so I’m always looking for new things or stuff I don’t know!
Foto © Sylvain Gripoix