Maxime Le Moing | Phonografree(3) | Radio documentary(4) | Radio Fictions(3) | Sound poetry(2) | Musics(3) | Experimentals Movies(3) | Texts(16) | Press(3) | Bandcamp | French version

The 7 p.m. curfew imposed by the third wave of the Covid forces me to pitch my tent on Utah Beach, a beach that lives from the aftermath of the 1944 landing and is invigorated by swamps where seals sometimes stay. Behind the dunes, I hear the tractors rushing down the still moist sand to dislodge the oysters that are grown in April too hot to be placed in the spring. Their engines won't stop until the tide replaces this desert of sand. It is when night falls, under the blows of 8:30 p.m., that a very special happiness sets in, and which makes me sleep very quickly. This is the slow crescendo of the rising tide. A crescendo / decrescendo that lasts for hours, gently and which rocks each of my bivouacs. It fades at dawn, when the tractors return, to let the sounds that wake up walk.

***

I am always amazed to hear people speak of the “song” of birds as the most peaceful sound element of nature to the ear, the most harmonious, melodic or musical. It makes you wonder if they do this listening exercise regularly or if it is just a daydream. Because the bird surprises precisely because it derogates from all these rules. He expresses sounds with his syrinx without the slightest notion of pleasantness. Anyone who listens to birds close enough to them knows that the experience can be painful as some frequencies pass through our ear canal with difficulty. Whether it is in the Eurasian Wren, the speckle accentor, or the regular bursts of the swift puillot, we do not find any of this (and I will not display the inventory). But then why do we give them the title of such virtuoso pop singer? Why as soon as a music sounds different from the rhythmic standards of music theory and from the major or minor tonal intervals, does it pass for a large part of the French as unpleasant and in bad taste while for some animals it is accepted with sublimation? Perhaps it is precisely because our listening relationship is not the same between a musician who is supposed to make “music” and an animal or a plant from which we can detect a certain idea of ​​“music”. How lucky are the birds to be able to express themselves as they want! They have made their way to escape the hasty and contemptuous judgments of people who listen to music like a sealed chest. I hope one day to reach this same path with my instruments. The bird that best tells me where this key is is undoubtedly the skylark. It is a diva that I find on each of my walks in the agricultural steppes, and who surprises me with her songs so fluo worthy of the TR 303 used in acid house. Like a rave party in the fields, she masters the art of glitch, jerky sample, rhythmic pirouette to turn her brain around. She is incredible. She expresses herself with non-stop panache, moving from one pattern to another, making fun of good values. It's pure improv, a mix that connects without the slightest desire to master the jubilant trills that we thank for being so sluggish. Go listen to it, you will understand what I mean.

***

I'm listening to a scratched CD by trumpeter Cappozzo from my hi-fi system. Reading is laborious, it chops the notes, pausing every second. This silence mumbled with high-pitched sounds awakens my cats, who interpret it as the presence of a squealing mouse. They come closer to the CD player, sniffing every plastic nook for the animal playing the trumpet.

***

I played the trumpet way too loud. So loud that I can now hear the ramdam of my pulse seize in my brain. It hits hard! A bass drum that never stops beating time. I resume my playing on the trumpet by following this pulse. Never have I played with a drummer as nag as my blood flow.

***

I am the forecourt of the station. People come and go with this very special flavor on the palate called Friday night, the start of the weekend. To my right, a teenage girl is sitting on a red rolling suitcase. She's talking to this young boy who must be her age. From afar, I know she is in love. His feet hit the shell of his suitcase making boom-boom boom-boom boom-boom boom-boom.

***

In the middle of a meadow, I am lying. Quiet. Pass a highway of volatile insects. I listen to each passage of a wing beat its Doppler effect.

***

I am under the bridge which is in the rain. The weather was fine this morning when I was picking potatoes, but now it is raining so I am under the bridge and I play the trumpet. As I blow into my bignou, two people, probably homeless, sit opposite with beers. When I stop, one of the two guys walks up to me and offers to drink one. I tell him that will be fine. He tells me that he can't play music, that he tried to be a security guard, but the staff failed him. Since he drinks, he feels belittled and good for nothing. He ends by telling me that he and his friend have sat here to listen to the trumpet. I start playing again, hoping that they are interested. I'm not the type to want to please my listener, but out of compassion I do. Maybe it's a mistake ...

The most interesting comes later. As I get carried away without a mute playing loudly in an improvised trumpet solo, I realize that one is singing a song. Maybe it's the drunkenness, maybe it's because I played, maybe it's both, but I feel like they want to be a musician as well. They both sing the music of Idir called Avava Inova. It does them a lot of good. I stop playing and listen to them as I put my things away. As I leave, one tells me that it's a song that attracts Jews. Since then, I have been learning it on the trumpet to verify his statements.

***

"I played the piano, leaving my window open so that my notes reached the ears of my neighbor opposite whom I was madly in love with. I hoped she wanted me that way. When thirty years later, I told her this story, she replied that she did not care. This is what he tells me, bluntly. Telling this anecdote seems to do him good, he appears very enthusiastic at the idea of ​​seeing me play the trumpet in this empty square where all the market gardeners sell their vegetables on weekends. He tells me that he is hesitant to take an instrument again, that he wants to let go with the music. I tell him to do it without hesitation, bearing in mind that the quality of play is unimportant. It's the act of playing that will get him where he wants to go.

***

Children are the listeners with whom I demand the most. When I see them crossing the street where I blast notes on the trumpet, my only wish is for them to interact with those sounds. This happens very often, just as dogs accompany me musically with their barks. The older you are, the more distance is expressed, with the musician on one side and the listener on the other. What a mistake ! Although, some teenagers are also alert by making fun of my game, they often simulate it with hand and mouth. But perhaps the saddest are the adults, who, despite being the ones whose ears are the most seasoned, quickly turn their gaze or change sidewalks, censoring any sound reactivity on their part.

A great example happened on this summer afternoon. Children were playing in a playground where there were slides and other colorful structures. I was nearby with my trumpet with a balloon tube as a mouthpiece. I huffed hard as I stretched out the balloon making sounds like raging motorcycle engines. Something very noisy, which intrigued them a lot. I remember playing slowly, taking heavy steps like a walking elephant, and they followed me behind. I pretended not to know them behind me. Every time I turned around and gave a huge trumpet sound with this balloon, the kids would pretend to be scared by screaming and running around. As soon as I recovered straight, they quietly settled back behind me. It was a time when sound was an unthought-out collective game, a simple pleasure to move together, to make sounds overflow with passion, without even the idea of ​​composing music being thought of. It was the same case one evening when I was outside in a large courtyard among the buildings. In order not to disturb, I timidly played the trumpet with my mute. I plunged my notes for a long time, freediving, hesitating on the duration. A group of children on bicycles, taking advantage of this Sunday afternoon to meet, passed by my side at this point. The music altered their bike ride, as they decided to circle around me as I continued to play. This action took place very smoothly, with attention to listening to the trumpet and their bikes held pianissimo which was magnificent. Their choreography seemed connected to melody, an improvised dance born out of nowhere, sudden and simple, that reminds me that music shouldn't be about technicality or harmony, but rather a celebration of movement.

***

I wake up ! The doorbell rings several times at my apartment. I have no idea what time it is and dare not pick up the intercom to answer. At the window, the moon is already quite high. Who can ring at this hour? Suddenly something arises that is difficult to describe and gives me terrible goosebumps. It's a frightened, deranged, clueless cry coming from outside. A male cry whose tone is extremely high-pitched. It oscillates, it vibrates, it screams aaaaaahhhhhhAAAAAAAhhHHHHHHHH !!!!!! The letters in this text fail to describe the anguish that wells up in me. My girlfriend also wakes up, she panics. She wonders "what is this ?? !! ". I open my window on the fourth floor and look out into the street. I see a man seen from above and flames spouting right at the entrance to my building! It screams again: AAAAAAAhhHHHHHHHHiiiiinnnnnn !!!!!! My panic does not come down at all. I rush to grab my landline and call the police. I warn them that a mad man is screaming death and setting my building on fire! I don't want to go down, I'm trapped like a scorpion surrounded by fire. I put the lock down if I can't inject the poison into myself, I'm afraid the devil is going up the stairs. The police are coming. I listen without looking at the scene from my window. I jump when my phone rings. I pick up the phone and find the voice of a police officer asking me to get out. I tell him I am very scared and tell myself that there is nothing more to fear. Arrived in the entrance hall, the flames are extinguished. It was only the start of a fire. I go out into the street and find myself face to face with the degenerate man. He gives me a strange index finger. He wraps his finger around his mouth in a cul de sac, but I don't understand what he means to me. The police officer walks up to me and enlightens me on the situation. “He is the only one who saw this fire start. He tried to warn you as best he could, but… he's deaf and dumb. " he told me. “He used his near-virgin vocal cords to save your life. Isn't that amazing? " I smacked myself on the cheek to verify it wasn't a dream, and went back to sleep. The alert cry of that deaf mute still echoes in my head.

***

There is a lemon tree in his apartment. It doesn't make lemons yet, instead there are many thick and long thorns. I rub them with my fingers as one rubs the big needles of a comb. And it is a well-known vibration that appears: that of the lamellophone. Except he has a lot more blades! About thirty! I start to make music with this lemon tree. Or rather, this lemon tree is starting to make music with me. Perhaps its thorns are fingers that get amazing sounds when rubbing against humans.

***

It's a rainy day like many others in Metz. It always makes me want to go outside and play the trumpet. So I go out and bury myself a few meters away in a small wood located a little high along the seille where joggers and passers-by wander without knowing that a little above their heads, on the side, is what I call “the anthropocene museum”. It's a disgusting forest, where all kinds of plastics, mattresses, clothes, condoms, cans, syringes, junk have been lying around since the advent of the consumer society. That is, if some of this garbage is older than me. Yet in this wood, this is my place. I can hide there, play and make my sounds spill over into the city like a bird whose nests you don't know. I find there an intimacy to experience all kinds of sounds that I like, especially when it's raining and I know I'm being left alone. I am there in the green and the dirty, standing among the trees with the leaves packets of chips, and begin to blow into my instrument. The rain falls, falls, and carried away in the music, night falls.

Suddenly I hear a man scream, a scary animal hoarse, something is happening! Barely heard, I immediately put my trumpet away and try to get out of the woods. But in the darkness and the rain, I can't find the path leading to the exit. The mud sticks to my soles, I slide forward with every step. I stop when I see, through the leaves, a little red circle that lights up like the tip of a cigarette that burns when you smoke it. I know the human beast is there, right in front of me. In reality, it is a lamppost in the distance which, obstructed by the vegetation in front of my sight, appears and disappears according to the movements of the leaves in the rain. A second cry comes from my left, closer this time and louder! A sort of angry, serious scraping, a moaning discontent from the depths of the wood that spreads with the darkness. I continue my flight blindly, drenched in the fear of meeting him at every turn. It will only take me a few seconds to get out of it safely and enjoy myself on a three-lane asphalt curled with puddles. I now know that playing the trumpet at night is choosing to be the beacon that attracts bad mosquitoes.

***

I improvise notes on the trumpet by a small lake. And on the other side of this little lake, two children clap their hands in time to the music I play. It makes us happy. After a quarter of an hour, they leave to play elsewhere. I continue to play solo. Their father arrives a little later where the children beat time, and yells at me for clearing immediately. He even yelled: "We don't feel at home anymore!" "

***

Cut tree trunks stacked on top of each other to form an unfinished pyramid. I stop my walk in the forest to take a closer look. Its edifice is a marmalade of split logs, I can only see a clump of wooden posterior that itches me to ring. I hit them with my bamboo walking poles, create a simple rhythm that works for me. Every ass sounds different, it's crazy. Everything is out of tune, but enough to carry me happily into a solo percussion improvisation. I explore this little-known instrument, as colossal as an organ, a cousin of the xylophone, which I nickname the "forerraphone".

***

Thirty-nine degrees in the shade, burned in the middle of the steppes of southern France, I stop at this empty intersection where the track of a railway crosses that of a 4x4 trail. A few miles away, my girlfriend works in a compote factory, doing this thankless “three 8's” labor for the next two months. Having no cell phone or internet, I station myself at the top of a hill next to this railway line while waiting for the train to arrive. I wait forty-five minutes before hearing the dotted beep of the crossing security gates lowering. As the TGV passes by, I wave hello to the driver who answers me with a sound of the horn that spreads massively around, to the village a few kilometers away where the compote factory where my girlfriend works, who peels pears and apples. Her eardrums pick up the sound signal: she knows it's for her, that it means "I'm thinking of you, good luck!" ". The sound of the horn is thus revealed in a second message. To those who understand it, it can mean just as much "attention, I'm coming! "That" I am near you, I miss you! "
I repeat this operation regularly, sometimes every day. But by force, I feel the driver's fatigue to answer me, or maybe he warned his colleagues of my presence by telling them not to honk my horn any more. I force the contact day by day, dancing like a zouave, a marmoset, sometimes showing my ass to make the driver react with a honk. All this for remote communication! One day, I wait several hours in front of this intersection, never knowing when the train will arrive. The afternoon is already well underway, and I realize that I came here without taking enough precautions. My stomach hurts, it swells with inexpressible gases which macerate in my intestines. Since there is absolutely no one in this desert, I decide to shit right next to the rails. My shit is dressed in a brownish color filled with little seed that matches all the figs I ate the days before on the way home. As I shit these glitches, I see two SNCF agents walking on the tracks. I put my pants on very quickly - have they seen me? - and approach them. They tell me to stop waving to the train conductor, as it could cause an accident. I nod without hesitation and go off in search of new figs.

***

A friend lends me his car so that I can drop off my mattress at EMMAÜS. He forgot to tell me that his car's odometer is out of order. I discovered it much later, on a clear winter road where few cars pass. It gives me the feeling of crossing the Moselle pastoral landscapes like a tightrope walker blindfolded. Luckily, I have the faulty conductive window which always stays slightly ajar, letting a constant trickle of wind through. It allows me to more accurately determine my average speed. Indeed, when the density of the wind passing through this notch is super-acute, unpleasant and so hard to hear myself speak, it means that I am going over 90 km / h. When a vibrato cuts this scent into a dotted line of tense sounds, it means I'm driving around 70 km / h. Surprisingly, going at 50 km / hour only emits a discreet slick that is not so unpleasant compared to the drone which emerges from fourth gear. This is how with this method I skilfully cope throughout the hour of travel. On the other hand, I got the hang of it.