André Manoukian: “I like playing with notes as much as with words”

the essential
While he will perform on the stage of the Albret Jazz Festival on Saturday evening in Nérac, André Manoukian has agreed to answer our questions. Meeting with a fan of notes who always keeps an eye on emerging artists, as at the time of the Nouvelle Star on M6.

Who are you André Manoukian?

André Manoukian: “A musician. It’s simple. On television, I just talk about music. Very often classical composers wrote articles about their colleagues. So we are a musician, and we like to talk about music. speaks through the prism of our experience. This is perhaps the difference with a critic who is not a musician. So instead of saying that I am an author, a composer or even a TV presenter, I prefer to say that I am talking about music on television. I made myself known on television through the debriefings of the singer and the instrument that I like the most, the voice. I don’t have the feeling of making television and that is what as Thomas Valentin, the boss of M6 told me, I was just asked to do your job. So I chose voices that inspired me to compose and possibly produce them. And if it worked, it was because I had a real interest in singers. Even if sometimes I could say cowardly cos mics, people felt that I was in love with exercise. “

Is there a difference between André Manoukian, jury of the Nouvelle Star and the one who appears on stage?

No. Let’s say that on stage, I play my instrument and I play my music so all of a sudden, I start a performance as an interpreter. But it is true that I am a bit talkative and that I tell things and I can not help myself. But for me there is no difference. I like playing with notes as much as with words.

How would you define your music?

“I would say that my music is a road towards the lost Orient of my ancestors and more generally the Lost Orient of all Westerners since all our Western music comes from the Orient. Our instruments come from the Orient, and I like to reweave this link which has been severed especially today with the tragic events that we are going through. We only regard the East as a threat whereas our whole civilization comes from there. And this is what I also say in a book called “On the roads of music” which was the subject of a column this summer on France Inter. I retraced this road which brought us civilization. story on stage but also bring it to life in music. “

You come to Nérac on Saturday evening for the Albret Jazz Festival. How Didier Bergen, artistic director of the program convinced you?

“He picked up his phone and called my agent. (He’s laughing.) But he didn’t sell me anything at all, I’m the one selling myself. Very often, you ask me the question “But how come you come to play with us?”. But we only ask that to play. I almost want to tell you that we don’t care where are we going to play. Each time it’s a new adventure, we don’t adapt our music to the people we are going to play in front of. “

You are a headliner for this weekend’s festival. Despite the career you have, is there still some form of pressure before you go on stage?

“Yes. There has to be that tension, it’s important. Going on stage is not an insignificant gesture so we have little rituals. In general, when I’m with my musicians, we tend to say bullshit to relax and get back as relaxed as possible. If you are tense, inevitably there is a risk of cramps. You know, it’s like when you play sports, you have to have relaxed muscles. The stage fright, finally, when you turn it into an emotion, it’s wonderful. But if it overwhelms you, it prevents you from expressing yourself. So you have to tame it but it’s still there. “

“I never refuse to listen to something. The day I stop doing that, it’ll mean I’m an old jerk.”

On this program, there are also emerging artists. What is the key to break into the musical world?

“There are three rules: work, work and work. I don’t know if the barrier between the local and the national level is as strong as it used to be. I am a musician who comes from the provinces, I come from Lyon. I’m not sure that today, with the Internet, it’s more complicated than before. Before, you had to go through a filter of ten record companies or major. Today, musicians release their project on the Net, they are their own record company The advice I give to artists is to be independent, to have some notions of the arts, for example to think about the look of the cover. Now, we can no longer consider making music without there being images since they are essentially stored on the Internet. Whether it is a clip or a recording, we need to see the artist. there is work, maybe more than before, but the rewards are worth the effort. “

We saw you unearth talent at Nouvelle Star on M6. Are you going to take a close look at the programmed artists and why not spot talented musicians?

“Obviously, always. I never refuse to listen to something. The day I stop doing that, it’ll mean I’m an old jerk. I’m old but not to the point of losing interest. . We stay connected in music as long as we are interested in what is going on because it nourishes us and it is not even out of altruism. I remain really curious. We were all beginners and sometimes he All it takes is a tip to change everything lane. I’m always on the lookout. “