He has already performed in the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, at the basilica of Saint-Denis, at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. He gave a concert for Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral. Laurent Voulzy and the churches is a love story that has lasted for years, with already more than 200 concerts in religious buildings.
At the invitation of the safeguarding association of the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette sanctuary, located in Lorette in the town of Saint-Michel de Lapujade in southern Gironde, the singer will give a concert on October 13, at the nearby church of Saint-Pierre de La Réole. The objective is to raise funds, and above all to draw light to this small church in Lorette, dating back to the 13th century, overlooked by a second dating from the 19th century. “The foundations are sinking, which is causing cracks in the ogives throughout the church,” explains Christian Boissonneau, one of the association’s representatives. In addition, the surrounding water sources cause significant indoor humidity. All this generates major consolidation work, which amounts to around two million euros. »
The association, which was set up last February, aims to find funding. “We are winners this year of the Stéphane Bern mission for heritage, but we will only know our funding at the end of the year. In the meantime, Laurent Voulzy, who has joined our association, has agreed to organize a concert in favor of the sanctuary. “The singer explains for 20 minuteshis engagement.
You have been singing in cathedrals and churches for several years now, where did this desire come from?
I am passionate about history, especially the Middle Ages, I am very interested in cathedrals, and I am also in search of spirituality. after my album Lys and Love (2013) I did a tour that took me to three places that left a lasting impression on me: the Saint-Denis basilica, the Saint-Eustache church in Paris, and a church near Westminster in London. That’s why when I was offered a tour of cathedrals four years ago, I said yes right away.
And today, you commit to safeguarding religious heritage.
It is a heritage that is close to my heart, I have performed more than 220 concerts in cathedrals and churches. In the case of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, it was a bit of a coincidence, since it came from a friend, a member of the Lorette preservation association, who alerted me to the situation of this sanctuary, and who asked me if I could come and sing at La Réole. Again, I said yes right away.
You go from huge cathedrals to more modest churches, what does that change in terms of concerts?
Each place has its own acoustics. Some resonate more than others, in general in cathedrals there are great resonances, less in smaller churches. These are not places that were designed for rhythmic music, rather for singing, so we have to be careful that our arrangements are not a mush for people. Finally, you need a very good soundproofing, so that people in the back hear the same thing as those in front. The constant of these places, large or small, is that they are charged places, which serve spirituality. For centuries people have come to seek answers, comfort, on the occasion of joyful events as well as more painful moments. That’s why you have to choose your repertoire carefully, and I have songs that find their full dimension in those places. In the albums Hidden behind (1992) Where Lys and Lovesongs like Jesus Where Joan, have this spiritual character. You have to sing things that go in harmony with the place, otherwise it’s pointless.
Can’t we sing anything in these places?
There are neutral places, like a Zenith, where you can play Philharmonic music, a mass, hard-rock or Souchon… massacres. In the churches, there are the statues, the floor, the slabs under which there are tombs that have been there for centuries… And naturally, there are pieces that I don’t want to play. I wouldn’t say play rock collection in a church would be a sacrilege, but when I sing Joan Something is happening. It is therefore necessary to make a choice of songs that enter into harmony with the place, because it has been loaded for centuries.
You say you are attracted by spirituality, do you go to churches?
I don’t go to mass, but I like to go to churches when no one is around. Ever since I was a child, I have been drawn to the invisible. At the beginning, it was astrology, maps, and little by little it became a more spiritual quest, I read a lot of texts on various religions, and I am a little more attracted by the Christian religion. Christian art touches me more, carries me more. These are places that are made to propel us, that help us to rise.
Concert at Saint-Pierre church in La Réole, Thursday 13 October at 8 p.m.