Manoukian in “keying conference” on the motu of the Intercontinental Tahiti

Tahiti, November 15, 2022 – André Manoukian will perform on the motu of the Intercontinental hotel in Faa’a on December 3 and 4 from 7:30 p.m. with his show entitled “Notes that love each other”, at the initiative of SA Productions, Radio1 and Tiare FM.

You came in 2013 with China Moses for two concerts on the motu of the Intercontinental Tahiti hotel, do you have good memories?
“I keep a memory that moves me a lot. With China Moses, it was the first time that we gave a concert her and me. When we got on stage and saw the crowd, with such enthusiasm, we said to ourselves that we had won our bet. What I remember from the Tahitian public is a lot of warmth. We artists love it! In France, depending on the city, we are sometimes told that the public is not very demonstrative, but that does not prevent them from enjoying it. I assure you that it is much more good to play in front of Tahitians. The public is very demonstrative, and we like that.”

The next event at fenua is both a show, a “pianoté” conference and a one-man show. What inspired you for this format?
“In reality, it’s a one-man show about the history of music, with true stories of musicians, told through my experience. At first, I tell about my love of jazz, […] and above all I say that all the classical musicians and great composers whose works we study in conservatories, all knew how to improvise, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Haydn… There were battle between them, like Mozart versus Clementi. We did not wait for Booba and Kaaris to make battle. […] I say ‘keying lecture’ because there is evidence to support it, with the piano. I love explaining music in a funny way. When you play it, people understand even if they are not initiated at all. […] Singing is more than laying bare, it’s revealing your soul. In reality it is a striptease witty. For the third part, I talk about music in the East since it is the heritage that I had from my Armenian parents. Still at the piano, I demonstrate the difference between East and West. […] We will therefore end on a note of tenderness and nostalgia. This show is a journey in which I take the spectators, a kind of initiation to music through humor, sensitivity and emotions, to end with a touch of the Orient.”

What does that mean “the notes that love each other” ?
“At the age of three, when little Mozart was at his harpsichord and his father asked him what he was doing, he replied: ‘I’m looking for notes that love each other’. This is the most beautiful definition of music there is. In reality, a composer is listening, and looking for the notes that like to go on top of each other. On the other hand, when you play neighboring notes, it creates dissonance. On the other hand, if we play the perfect chord, with space between the notes, it creates a feeling of peace. […] Music is both subjective and objective. Objective because they are mathematical frequencies, linked by simple numbers that make beautiful curves. All of a sudden, the frequencies that have a more complex ratio, you get what’s called noise and dissonance. There are notes that love each other and others that hate each other. The role of each musician is to bring the spectator to ecstasy.”

You talk as much about the scientific aspect as the emotional aspect of music, it gives the impression that you don’t like to classify music by genres. Can you explain to us?
“As Joe Killington used to say, ‘there are two types of music: good and bad. For me, jazz is the culmination of classical music. What is a popular song? It’s a little refrain that people remember from the first listen. For a composer, this is one of the hardest things to do. Take the example of Beethoven, whose melody is held together with only two notes. Same for Mozart, these are melodies that enchant us. There is no highbrow music, you have to bring people in and be heard by them. […] The melody is hearing it once and remembering it all your life.”

You are a composer and jazz improviser, some have called you apunchline artist. Are your texts prepared beforehand or, again, is it improvisation like jazz?
“I can confirm that it’s jazz. I never prepared these punchline as they say. I talk about it in the third part, when I talk about my Armenian ancestors. In fact, it is a question of being understood by the other. And for a minority, it’s a matter of survival. I get that from my grandmother, she had the chat. She convinced the Turkish commander of the convoy who deported him to death, of‘save’. Again, it’s a matter of life or death. Finally, the metaphor is the best way to be heard by everyone, and in addition it makes you laugh. So it passes.”

Exactly, humor is at the center of your shows, is it important for you to approach musicology with lightness?
“Music is a science since it’s mathematics, but it’s also Eros. The paradox of music is spirituality because all early music was elevated to spirits. The first musician can be characterized by the shaman, who communicated with spirits through musical instruments. […] At the same time, the music symbolizes the party, it drives you crazy. […] Depending on the music you listen to, it puts you in different states, without even understanding why. So, music being this explosive mixture of spirituality, eroticism, mathematics and madness, we are forced to navigate between these two impulses. The greatest gift music can give you is to take you on a journey. It transports and makes you feel lighter.”

You say in your show, “heartaches are the best mood to compose”. Have you ever experienced it?
“Oh yeah ! In fact, the advantage for a composer is that when there is grief, we confide in our instrument. Suddenly, there are things that come out, which would never have come out in normal times. If Beethoven hadn’t been dumped by a countess, he would never have composed those three notes that we all know today. […] Take the example of the shrink trying to put the pain out with words. There you take it out with musical notes, which is even better than going to the shrink, because with a bit of luck, those notes can make a hit and you can make money out of heartbreak. .”

Are you interested in Polynesian music?
“But serious, and for me it is fundamental. […] I had the chance to travel to places as heavenly as here. However, when there is no music, a heavenly place is worth nothing at all. What makes the beauty of the Polynesian islands are the people and their music. I have never heard music that is so bewitching and soft, as rhythmic and catchy. I challenge anyone not to be taken in by a Polynesian music show. I would almost say it’s a total art.”

An article appeared about you, as an entrepreneur, discussing music generated by artificial intelligence. However, you have a speech that evokes the human aspect of music. Finally, are you also interested in “robotic” music?
“Warning, there is a big misunderstanding. On the contrary, I put artificial intelligence at the service of the composer. Under no circumstances will a robot be able to compose a melody worthy of the name. By the way, my punchline on this would be ‘a robot will compose a piece worthy of the name the day it experiences a heartache’. Admit that we’re safe until a robot gets dumped or gets heartbroken. Otherwise, I am interested in all the techniques of music. I started with a recording studio, then with computers. When artificial intelligence arrived, it had to be experienced. By putting it at the service of composers, we help them to multiply their works. In fact, a composer will create a work which will become a matrix, which will generate other works, but by examining all the possible combinations. But – and I insist on this point – it remains the creation of a composer.”

Manoukian in “keying conference” on the motu of the Intercontinental Tahiti