Bonsoir Yann ! You’re part of a french collectif called La Nòvia that regroup french musicians who experiment traditional music and aesthetic from Auvergne. Could you tell us more about it and your involvement in it ?
La Nòvia was created in 2019 by the band Toad – which I’m part of alongside Guilhem Lacroux and Pierre-Vincent Fortunier. The collective assembles now fifteen people with different backgrounds: musicians, sound engineers, graphic designers. The projects coming from it are situated at the frontier between traditional and experimental music. They explore these 2 aesthetics – supposedly antinomic – that keeps interwinding themselves in a similar « let-go » position on sound.
You play yourself the hurdy-gurdy, which is a medieval string instrument that you use to create drony and rough vibrations. Where does your passion for that atypical instrument come from and how do you mix it with contemporary electronic machines ?
I started hurdy-gurdy when I was 12 years old. I grew up in an environment favorising the encounter with it. I started being fascinated by it very quickly and drawn to its timbral richness, more specifically the drone and the possibility to create an uninterrupted sound. This is what brought me to use the instrument as an acoustic synthesizer offering a wide sound palette. At first I used pedals or other electronic devices, but I quickly detached myself from these to focus on the hurdy-gurdy and it’s inherent capacities. The only effects I use now is electrification/amplification and sometimes a very long delay.
You’ll be soundtracking an insomnia that we’ll stream during the night on Radio Panik and on our website. In what way the theme influenced your recording ?
For me, insomnia is linked to the intrusion of obsessive thoughts, involuntary idea(s) rumination(s) and loss of control that is not necessarily noxious. Here it’s the omnipresent and repetitive melody that transforms itself progressively, dislocate and dilute itself in the drone.
Are you an insomnia type of person ? And if so, what do you do while having one ?
I’ve got a very bad sleep but I’m not really subject to insomnia. However, I have an interrupted sleep which ends up being unrestful. I can go to sleep pretty fast but I wake up many times a night and can’t go back to sleep late in the morning. When I’m awake too long, I try to let my thoughts guide me until they melt in some sort of dream that put me back to sleep.