This Sunday, September 9th, the wildlife documentary “Abyssinie, l’appel du loup” (“Abyssinie, The Call of the Wolf”) will be broadcast on French national television at 4:20 p.m., on France 2. In this documentary, wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and film maker Laurent Joffrion recorded the natural beauty of Ethiopia while focusing on the incredible life of its extreme condition living animals. CharlElie composed the entire soundtrack of this piece with his guitar player Karim Attoumane and producer Dombrance. The soundtrack can be purchased on i-Tunes.
Beautiful images with a great soundtrack that provides a unique ambiance.
Produced by Bonne Pioche. Shot with a Nikon D4.
- We know you were invited to the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens. What would be your best Olympic memory?
Without any hesitation, I have kept a much stronger memory of the Sydney Olympic Games as those in Athens, Greece. The ambiance in Sydney was much better. All the Australian people were present behind their champ’s, and the organization. The stadiums were crowded and thousands of people were involved.
In Athens, it seemed to me that it was much more political. The games had been imposed for the symbolic impact, “back to the source” of the games, and also for the profit it could generate. It was a kind concept of communication, exactly what the media love, and indeed the biggest building was the one devoted to the press and television staff, a real temple devoted to the communication god. But the stadiums were empty. The input places for competitions were far too expensive. Beside the sports competition, hotels and amenities had also lift up their prices, multiplied by 5, 10 (and sometimes more), hoping they could refund the enormous debt they had contracted, they tried to make money with every little bit. Stadiums were empty, so they seated the few spectators in the axis of the cameras… At night nothing was happening outside the official congregation’s stuff.
In Athens all was dark at night, in Sydney, there was the festive atmosphere in the streets, bands of music playing everywhere, open bars, people singing, dancing, transportation was easy, and there was a feeling of celebration.
Once I came back, I wrote a little essay entitled “Olympic souvenirs” to keep somewhere the memory of what I had shared in Australia. This little book mingled drawings I had done on site, and texts I wrote in the short periods of night between the everyday competitions…
- You participated in many charities. Some of them are very well known such as “Les Restos du Coeurs” and “Les Enfants de la Terre”, but also many small ones. How important do you think it is to help those who are in need?
One says that even if you cannot interfere by yourself on the consequences of the global warming, at least you can close your window in the winter… You can always act for the general interest. It is a purpose of consciousness. Rather than confessing our sins, and striking our ribs with a flexible wand, I think it is best to try to make some services that can help in proportion to the investment you can make.
I was one of the first artists drifting the benefit of one concert for “les Restos du Coeur” (“Restaurants of the Heart”) created by my friend Coluche, even before it turned out to be the big money-machine once the show biz put a hand on it.
Concerning the “Les Enfants de la Terre” (“Children of the Earth”) I did it for Yannick Noah, because I found that this initiative was generous. Children from the suburbs are often bored, and it was good to bring tennis to them.
This was some times ago, I used to do this when I was living in France but I still do it here, once I’m an American citizen now. Last Sunday, I went in a studio in New Jersey, where we recorded “Au clair de la lune” (“In the moonlight“) with Dan Rieser, Norah Jones‘ drummer, and Patrick Derivaz on bass. It turns out that “In the moonlight” is the first sequence of singing music ever recorded in the world by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, who recorded these notes April 9, 1860, the oldest record of a voice now known (fourteen years before Thomas Edison).
Mine is a “full” version of the song. I think the arrangement will surprise many, who will discover that the content is not at all what we imagine when we listen only to the first verses… The advantage of all the downloads of this song will supply the funds of an association fighting for research against cancer .
** Pioneers for a cure: http://pioneersforacure.org/
I was the first “International” artist from the list who had previously done it. Only the Israelis, and Americans (pure strain) participated in this project so far, but I’m sure this site is dedicated to global development: who can refuse to record a song of his heritage, knowing in a free version it is a charity that concerns us all?
The idea of the project is excellent: it is a piece from the public domain and all the downloads will be allocated to a particular association that deals with treatment, counseling, and any related research to fight cancer. This is a smart way to use the net, music and song! You will be informed when my song will be on-line.
- Since the Fort Reveur tour is over and you won’t be performing for a couple of months, what are your plans for this summer 2012?
This summer I will return to France for a few weeks. I have to work on a major 3D project, an installation of my sculptures called “Manhattan”. There will be 80 sculptures assembled. This will happen during a festival of Art & Architecture presented in a former factory located near Belfort in Europe.
The installation “Manhattan” will then go to Senlis, (close to Paris) and it will also be presented in Nancy, during spring 2013, as a master piece ending a large retrospective exhibition of my works organized by the Lorraine region from where I come.
This summer, I also plan to start doing some gigs here and there on the repertoire of songs from the album “Be Yourself / CharlElie & The Truth”. This is what I have recorded, which is now finished.
We will maybe talk some more about it later, when it will be more accurate. We started the first meetings with some record labels to see how the disc could come out. It takes quite some time now, because making profits from music is not what it used to be, and record companies are very shy and conservative, and they do not want to throw money randomly. It seems the adventure of music was long time ago. Today, apart from the stock market that does whatever it wants, everything else is under control …
But myself, I have left unchecked.
Besides that, I will also have a little time to go swimming, play some tennis, read in the shade, exchange some words under the bower, and share barbecues in the garden with some friends… and then, there will always be those unexpected moments, those we all love to share.
CharlElie, July 2nd, 2012 – from New York, NY.
Did you know CharlElie is a motorcycle enthusiast? Even though he used to ride a little Vespa to Art School everyday when he was younger, CharlElie really fell in love with bikes during his first trip to Australia in the early 90’s. As soon as he went back to France, he got his motorcycle license and bought a black Yamaha 600 XT.
From CharlElie’s adventures with this motorcycle, came the song « Le Biker » on the album Melbourne Aussie (1990). Unfortunately, the bike was stolen in Paris a few years later. Still today, he chooses a two wheel as his main choice of transportation, either on a bicycle in New York, or on a motorcycle in Paris.
- Where does your passion for travelling and meeting people come from? (from Patrick Raffier)
I don’t know. My parents were not real adventurers, but they were used to travel every year in a different country. I dreamed of the world, staring at the photos that my mother used to take with her Kodak camera. Also, it might come from the « beat » culture of the road. Bob Dylan (and then Kerouac that I read afterward) gave me that sense of absolute freedom. Nothing to win, nothing to lose… Maybe, it comes from a certain desire to make myself surprised by the unexpected.
I have long wanted to understand what was happening, and why people react like this or like that.
We do not see the game the same way when you’re in the stands or when you’re on the field. When you travel the codes change, the rules are different, the laws, the value given to things is different in each country.
In another pragmatic way, you disorder yourself by challenging your perception: new flavors, new recipes, new perfumes… When you’re abroad, people’s eyes and their habits are also different. When you’re elsewhere, you’re penetrated by new emotions that help to interpret your own existence.
With that being said, since I settled in New York, I don’t think I have the same craving for traveling (and I don’t have quite the same availability too). Now, the whole world passes in front of my eyes behind the windows of my gallery, or comes in for a few international words…
- Where do you find such strong power of creation? (from Patrick Raffier)
The energy comes from the pleasure I take in the act of creating Art. Inventing is drunkenness; it turns you into a turtle as we say. I don’t take it seriously. I mean… I don’t care. I know the end of something is the beginning of something else. Every creation brings you to another, because you want to correct it, and do better. There is no ending in painting, sculpture, photography, music and poetry.
It seems to me that I see things that are invisible to others, and it is my duty, my mission, my charge to share these with thw world.
As a kid, I felt that some easy obvious things for me didn’t seem that simple for others. I must express my inner under pressure precious feelings.
Can’t control it. It’s pretty tiring, but I do not grant the right to listen to the fatigue. I can’t escape it. I MUST do it. If not, I feel guilty. This comes from a moral sense of duty that has been taught. Art is useful.
- Do you remember the people you meet along your journeys and how do they influence your creation work? (from Patrick Raffier)
I remember some, yes. Memories and characters are like seeds in my brain, they’re the roots of any legend…I don’t have a very good memory so I keep some notes on papers, or my pocket books. Some of these people I met, eventually suggested songs or short novels, inspired by their confessions, stories or secrets.
At the same time, I don’t let them haunt me. It’s good to forget. I don’t let it freeze by nostalgia. You are fresh when you feel empty.
- Do you already have new melodies and songs in your mind? (from Bernard Quirici)
I always have something in mind. I cannot stop thinking, except when the TV programs drug me. As a neuroleptic or a sleeping pill, the TV takes us into trances as catalepsy. To avoid getting deeper into a viewer submission, I take notes on what people say. I have notebooks full of figures and numbers.
When I’m lonesome in my artspace, when I walk in the street, on my scooter in Paris or when I pedal my bike in New York, when I read a book or a scenario, I hear notes in my head. When I wanna hear them, then I whistle. I’m not good at that, but I like to whistle.
If I had to record a CD tomorrow, I could do it but I’ve heard of a market asphyxiation, a media suffocation, caused by an overproduction. So now, I impose myself some vacancy. These business reasons prevent me from doing a new album tomorrow…. So I wait and I leave it so it matures as I do some other things. As Paul Audi the philosopher says: “By a system of repentances, we are eager to erase the traces by making some other ones, which gives rise to other repentances, other corrections…etc.
- What about projects with other artists in the music industry? (from Bernard Quirici)
It might work, but it is rare that the two protagonists find their account. We’re lone minds, each one goes in his way.
In the obsession of the novelty, some crazy artistic directors would love to associate humans and horses, women and fishes, to give a Centaur or a siren. They say that a certain « voyeur » audience is fond of duets. But for me, only rare associations between two artists work. That is when we come to a junction with an equal power of seduction. Otherwise these forced marriages sound wrong, like absurd genetic transplants, consequence of mad scientists expectations… have you watched the movie of John Frankenheimer: The Island of Doctor Moreau?
Do you believe that miscegenation would tend to create the ideal work?
I’m not a fan of duets. That turns quickly into a battle. In addition to this, it takes time to convince managers, the entourage and the planets around the star…
- I love all of your albums and shows, and every time you come out with something new, I am already looking forward to the next one. I heard the Fort Reveur Tour was exceptionally good, but unfortunately I was not able to attend any of the concerts. Is there a live DVD or CD expected for the Fort Reveur Tour? (from Alain Lande)
Eight cameras covered the Fort Reveur Tour Show we played in July 2011 in Nancy. It’s a good night that deserves to be released on DVD. It has been mixed and it is finished. I was told that this should be broadcasted on television, I was delighted, but nothing happened… now I regret it. I do not understand why there are no plans for it? Perhaps, because the DVD market is in crisis…
Many of my shows were recorded on video, but none of them were ever released on DVD. I’m not an enough popular artist. Apparently, my work doesn’t concern the mass audience…
- Check out more photos: Live concert photos of CharlElie by Nicolas Gaire
CharlElie, April 10th, 2012 – from Paris, France.