AWAKENING | Alim Qasimov & Michel Godard

In Coronadagboek #6 het witte huis refereerde ik aan een concert van zanger Alim Qasimov met Michel Godard op serpent. Ik heb via Muziekweb nu hun nieuwe cd ‘AWAKENING’ in huis, waarin onderstaande boeiende conversatie tussen de Nederlandse filmer Frenk Scheffer en Michel Godard staat afgedrukt.

Maar eerst de muziek…

Michel Godard
Dear Frank, after our concert in Amsterdam, you gave me very nice compliments about the music which was encouraging. Would you mind going back to that moment?

Frank Scheffer
When I listened to it for the first time, and then again recorded, it was as if the music was in a cocoon. I pictured Hieronymus Bosch’s “The garden of Earthly Delights”, where we see two people in a cocoon, creating a feeling of peace and beauty.
We do not belong to any existing culture, but we create a new entity. Here 1 + 1 =3. It’s a separate world. I feel that’s very important today. In Western musical tradition, the idea of renewal has come to an end. What we see now is not a vertical but a horizontal line which integrates other parts of the world. I believe the juxtaposition of two cultures is the new avant-garde.
It’s something I felt strongly the first time I heard you play with Alim (Qasimov). That strong feeling of “this is the real avant-garde of our time”. It is obvious that we are destroying our planet and the only way to stop this, is by becoming one as citizens of our global village. Music shows us the way. Your relationship with Alim is meaningful because it is not defined by any pre-established context. It is pure beauty, it’s divine, and that’s the essence of art.

Alim Qasimov, zang

Frank Scheffer
The voice of Alim reaches a whole other dimension. It’s like “speaking with God”. How do you feel about your instrument and the way you play in this situation?

Michel Godard
I really felt that a powerful energy flows through Alim. To make our connection possible, I let go of all sorts of fears (do I understand what is being played, does it make sense, is it good or bad, etc) and I trusted my voice (the serpent in this case). During rehearsal, I tried the tuba at one point and I immediately saw in Alim’s look: please, go back to the serpent. In perfect harmony with voices, the serpent has been the instrument which has allowed us to connect heaven and Earth in French churches since the end of the 16th century. My aim is to reconnect with this sacred role of the instrument and playing with Alim helps me do that. I feel that’s where the music is.

Michel Godard, serpent

Frank Scheffer
Can you relate to Alim’s voice?

Michel Godard
Of course. I don’t know all the musical rules of Alim’s music. My background is European classical music and jazz. But if we forget about all the artificial boundaries between music styles and cultures, we can hope to become one. With a lot of respect for one another, without mental control and with an open soul, we can reach deep understanding. Trust is the key word. Only then, music becomes really useful.

Frank Scheffer
In my film ‘Voyage to Cythera”, Luciano Berio says: “Today, everyone thinks that all music is the same. I don’t agree with that because music has different functions.” Entertainment music is nice, great, but if you want to touch the soul of the listener it’s a different story. To me, that aspect of music is connected to us like the universe. Music can take us to the external universe, but it also brings us to our internal universe and allows it to open. That’s what I felt the first time I listened to you play. You’ve created a new entity, even stronger, shaping the spirit, which I find hopeful.
It’s hopeful music for the future!

Tot slot nog een duet van Alim Qasimov en Michel Godard, A Trace of Grace.
Inderdaad goddelijke muziek…