“I could create another record … but it didn’t satisfy me.”
When asked if Gilles Vignolt is happy with this new album, it comes 60 years after his first recording and 7 years after his previous original song album, his face lit up.
“I’m so happy. And a little surprised to be happy. We could have done anything else. And at 93, it could be my last, right? So I have all the permissions. I can do nothing, but I do not have to do it again. Dance in Saint-Dillon Where Jack Monoloy. They are already written. ”
The interview, which started about 20 minutes ago, stopped for a moment. “If I’m silent, you can ask me your questions!” But if it is one… ”
The poet speaks and speaks as always: during the photo shoot, he does not pose for more than 20 seconds without speaking and tells us an anecdote …Tino Rossi! But his only flashback comes during the hour and a half we spent at his workshop in Saint-Placide, where he also owns his house very close to Oka. Gilles Wignold is here and now and wants to talk about this album that is anchored in the present, turned to the future, as beautiful as poetry, as vast as the universe, as open as his thought.
He described the first songs he wrote two years ago before he knew the album would be there. He describes the theme of the elements – water, fire, earth, air – which he gradually imposes on himself, to which he attaches light “because of its effect on all living things on earth” and language “which is the internal element, but the structural. Human nature”. He also talks about his quest for the perfect title, the title that best represents the whole.
“We procrastinate, we often change our minds.” Love songs And I thought it was a title like the love song I write for the planet. And that makes sense, especially since there is only one love song on the album, but there are more on the regular album. So this is an extraordinary album. ”
“Extraordinary” he decided to deal primarily with ecology, but wondered “whether it would be of interest to the public”. And musically “extraordinary”, the album is almost called Elsewhere, Gilles Vignalt told Jim Corcoran when asked to make an album. “Take me somewhere else,” he told her, which became their litemotif.
With the songs I propose to Jim, I’m building a boat. And when you build a boat, it has to go somewhere else.
Little did he know that he would direct it in a more contemporary way, with very little piano, close to the poetry sung or recited, and not at all in the composition of the classic verse-chorus-verse songs he made. Skill to perfection.
“This is a staple elsewhere I have taken it,” explains Gilles Wignold, who sometimes bends over to exercise with doubts, finding Jim Corcoran to be “too smart” and fully anticipating the outcome. .
“The world doesn’t listen to records the way they used to. Records are not sold or played on commercial radio. We put it all together and say to ourselves: we have the right to do anything else, let’s go … freedom! ”
If there’s another title the album can carry, it is Watchman, It’s also the title of the song. Felix Leclerc talked about himself Around the island By naming it “grandfather with blue eyes on guard”. But Gilles Wignold is still looking here with sharp blue eyes.
He looks at the horizon, provoking the fear of another who is the “real name of danger.” He observes the nature around him and remembers the links that bind us to the universe. He plays with words and makes his “sweet country” language bigger. ” I know you well in your place / offer my fire and my place / and tell everyone: I love you. ”
And he’s listening to what’s going on about climate change and he’s worried. “The sea is rising … and time is running …”, Gilles Vignolt sings Sri Gaali.
Yes, he admitted, Love songs An ecoanxious’s album. But who refuses the deduction, because he also sees the “children” who unite. Talking about the end / future of world tunes Vignolt has always been loved and trusted by young people, which does not change today.
Young people who went to perform and sing for their future and immediate planet, they are already alert on this matter. And some will become vigilant scientists, experts, researchers and explorers. The man my age is frustrated to see how the situation is going, he is wrong. He can see the reasons for the encouragement and they rarely come from people his age. Growing up young people.
Our responsibility is to leave them a “tidy and livable” home. But Gilles Vignalt is optimistic and clear.
“Not conspirators to save the planet. Not the fear of saving the planet. It’s knowledge about itself, about space, about those around us. It’s estimated that in half a billion years the sun will go out. We still have time to think and do something.”
Plant your tree
At the beginning of the epidemic, Gilles Wignold hoped that humanity would learn from its mistakes. Eighteen months later, he said, we now know a lot about the pandemic. It’s “possible, dangerous and we can’t laugh at it”.
We know more about vaccines, which in short is a way to live with less fear. A way to move on with life, to travel, to do as little harm as possible to those around us.
We are at the end of the interview. His assistant, Suzanne Baker, who looks after the poet very tirelessly, gently announces that it is over. He exclaimed. “Ah, but I’m sure he still has some questions!” Let me see if there are any answers left now. ”
We take the opportunity to make him talk for a few moments about the act of writing “what is most valuable”. “Then, the moment of singing is very intoxicating.” Especially if I sing! “He stays away from monosyllabic words, reciting a line from Race,” Today is not purer than the bottom of my heart “,” Absolutely admirable sentence and great simplicity “.
What does he want for this new album? “I don’t expect much. For all it can give, not give. Maybe one day, this album will be useful for kids who have made it a tool, but I’m not the one who found it. I made something like material available. Wood. Iron. Aluminum. ”
This is the material that provides them with “who wants to use”. As he planted a tree, he describes the time when he reclaimed 70 black walnut plants, the “whips” he planted in his land, and 40 years later, became giants that yielded “very large nuts”. He sang the song Brasense… “I lived happily near my tree, I should never be away from my tree. ”
“If we write I planted oak, We need to keep this in mind when planting black walnut trees. When we also planted songs. “Ah that’s it. You should plant songs like planting black walnut trees or balsam fir. In addition, it is mentioned Sri Gaali. ”
This is true and it is one of the most beautiful verses in the album. ” Trees are my watchmen / plant a few billion / on the outskirts of big cities / before it’s too late. ”
The watchman is watching. We cannot say that he did not warn us.