ANOUAR BRAHEM Le pas du chat noir
These pieces emerged from the keys of a piano. Still affected by the powerful emotion of the encounter, and the exhaustion which followed the recording of Thimar, I set the oud aside for a few months, something that had never happened to me before. It was as though the music came from there, from the space created by that pause. As though it was the very expression of that lack. I did not start out with the intention of writing for the piano. It just replaced the oud. In fact, I used the piano as an instrument of modal writing. I have always had a piano in my studio.
Manfred Eicher, to whom I had played a few initial themes in Carthage, gave me great encouragement to develop them with a view to a recording. I composed some other pieces. Still for solo piano. The piano was the main character, the sole protagonist. It was only later on that the oud came in. It joined the piano gradually, discreetly at first, then it assumed its place. It was a long time, on the other hand, before the idea of integrating the accordion came into my head, whereas it seems obvious to me now. It’s like this music’s inner song.
In particular I would like to thank François Couturier, my long-standing friend and accomplice, and Jean-Louis Matinier, both of whom worked tirelessly to communicate the universe of this music, in an interpretation extremely alert to nuances and tempos, and to the balance between inner tensions and falls. A tempo passed on to me by the movement of a tree I could see from my window, swaying gently in the breeze. (Anouar Brahem)