Martres-Tolosane. Bénabar: “We must keep the importance of the value of words”

the essential
The singer-songwriter will come to Comminge soil to promote oral literature by declaiming texts aloud on the occasion of the 19th edition of the verb festival.

What do you think of the work and universe of Dick Annergarn, instigator since 2004 of the event?

It is a work that I discovered on the occasion of a cover of his song “Que toi”, on a tribute album which was dedicated to him in 2006. I then plunged into his discography and I noticed that like other singers we have a lot of gaps. We often only know a few songs. But it’s always exciting to get into someone’s repertoire, and it was a pleasure to get into Dick’s.

The verb festival advocates “oraliture”. As we spend more and more time talking to each other virtually through interposed screens, how do you put oral and physical tradition back at the heart of our discussions?

That’s what I liked about Dick’s proposal. I believe that we must not let go, nor abdicate on this. You have to resist something a little too superficial and fast as we can see on social networks. We must keep the importance of words, be careful, and especially explain to the youngest that even if it is by texting, the way we express ourselves has a value.

How do the words come to you in your composition process?

I spend a lot of time writing and rewriting, searching for the right word, for unexpected formulas. Or in any case personal, avoiding the facilities. I devote a lot of time to it and it fascinates me. I sort of clean up my own work to avoid overly easy sentences that lead to sloppy verses.

Where does this rigor come from?

I got started gradually. Originally I was driven by the desire to invent stories and tell them. It is a vocation that has always lived in me. The more literary side of it came later when I got interested in the song and its wording. It is not enough to have great ideas, it is also necessary to know how to express them.

Have you prepared anything in particular for the verb festival?

Dick asked me to find some texts to say. That’s what I like about the concept, not to sing for once. I find it interesting to express the right words in their simplest device. Just the words and a voice. I am in the process of selecting some, which I hope will be unexpected and unique for the audience. But I have not yet decided in my reflection. There will also be a conversation with children.

The Friends of the Word, have created a path on the outskirts of which are erected stelae with stanzas of poetry engraved. If you had the opportunity to erect one, what worms would you choose to leave for hikers for eternity?

I will have a hard time choosing. I read a lot of poetry, but I don’t consider myself to be a connoisseur enough. At the moment I am very inspired by Paul Célan, whom I discovered this year.

You were present two years ago in Luchon for the festival of television creations. What does Comminge territory mean to you?

There is a little the image of Parisian Epinal, with the accent, the representation of a beautiful province with a strong identity. But it’s a vision that I try to escape. I try to be a virgin so as not to be prejudiced. So it will be another great discovery. As a fan of gastronomy, I am especially looking forward to tasting the local specialties, because I know that the territory is quite competent in the field!