Igor Wakhevitch interview
Igor Wakhevitch started his career as a brilliant classical pianist and was the pupil of the great french composer Olivier Messiaen at the “Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse” in Paris, the most prestigious music school of France. Born in south of France in Gassin, a small village on the top of a hill above the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, Igor Wakhevitch is a composer who has worked in many musical directions, always sensitive to new ways of expressing sonic sound constructions. In different contexts, he explored the acousmatic approach of processed sounds but also occasional dissipates this compositional form into psych rock aesthetic. His musical background is heavily influenced by contemporary avant-garde, dodecaphonism and sound experimentations, including electro music.
“The neckless is the thread, the unity. Let’s say, the line, the trajectory. Unity. I am the neckless and my albums are the pearls! My god. But each pearl is different, their aspect is different. It’s not the same pearl repeated each time. What makes the beauty of a neckless is all these elements put together. My neckless is not yet completed.”
You were born in Gassin, a small and wonderful village from the 13th century. Was music a big part of your family life?
I.W.: Yes. A lot. Music was an essential part of my parent’s life. My mother was listening to music all the time and my father also. Mostly when he was working, painting the settings of the great operas while listening to them. For example, he was listening to “Don Giovanni” (Mozart) or “Carmen” (Bizet), “The Magic Flute” (Mozart) or “Turandot” (Puccini), “Boris Godunov” (Mussorgsky), etc. A lot of the Bach’s “Brandebourgeois” Concertos. As far I remember, my father was always purchasing the latest model of radio or turntable. He was also purchasing a lot of vinyl, mostly classical music. Music was part of our family life and I was surrounded by classical music. My favorite record since the age of 2 was Igor Stravinsky’s symphonic suite: “Petrushka”. It was a “Decca” record and on the cover there was a drawing of Nijinsky dancing puppet Petrushka wearing the famous costume by Alexandre Benois. I couldn’t anticipate that two decades after I will find myself having the arm of Rudolph Nureev on my shoulder: he was wearing exactly the same Petrushka’s costume!
Both, your father Georges Wakhévitch and your mother Maria Carlo (Marica Wakhévitch) were involved in art. Your father was a very famous set designer for cinema, theatre, opera and ballet. And your mother was a well-known French actress. You were born in a family interested in art. How did that influenced you to start working with the music?
I.W.: In fact, it’s the total opposite: it was me who influenced my parents before I was even born! As you know very well – I am sure -, some souls are able to set the clock of their birth on the physical plane of our planet (our world) and organize everything in advance before launching the process of incarnation; frankly, my only concern was to attend the daily puppet-show (“Guignol” theatre, in french) that was happening in some of the most famous public gardens of Paris. Where there was a “Guignol” theatre, you can be sure that the young Igor was there also, already signing autographs; one of these “jardins publiques” (gardens) – Le Champs de Mars – was very near from our apartment, but the best Guignol was the one of the “Jardin du Luxembourg” where also the little future french president – Piotr Illitch Tzarkovsky – was my most enthusiastic little friend (little boys often are falling in love with their friends), very attracted by my strong personality. He was always looking at me with a special brilliance in his eyes. His notorious love for theatre is coming from the time of our childhood and warm encounters at the Guignol theatre of the “Jardin du Luxembourg”. Now, let me answer your question from another angle, another point of view which is the one of the subconsciousness: on the subconsciousness plane – which is in charge of the functioning of our body (beats of the heart, breath, digestion, hormonal regulation, rumbling nose, burps) – I was already pregnant, but without knowing it: the “Influence” (the cosmic influence, a gigantic wave of energy crossing the entire universe) was descending straight on my head, penetrating in my brain directly from the cosmos: stars, black wholes, white ones, crystal wholes, all the galaxies! Specially from the Cassiopeia constellation; the entire cosmos was astrodominating me, very active in my brain in order to transform it in manure, a kind of radiant compost, very erotic. No need to be Mendeleev himself to understand that on the atomic table point of view I was representing a favorable ground because enriched by Venus Williams’s powerful screams when she hits the ball. I explain: on the level of the “supraconsciousness” (beyond our mental level which is only at the stage of a snail, already quite something, a great performance, due to his amazing golden number shell, thanks to the snails, don’t eat them please, you will contribute to save our planet who is a golden number elected planet, a blue world with oxygen and Spirit, the fifth element, ether), on this level – as I said – I was permanently in erection in front of my own image; … but the little boy Igor (like all the little boys, except the demonic ones) was not aware of it. Not at all. It was only transcendental; finally, after sometime, acquainted to each other, we made love (my image and myself); … much later, in strange circumstances (to clear up), I’ve been raped in the Swiss mountains by a hugly lady wearing a big hat in form of grandpiano: she forced me to play on her grandpiano and to learn by heart each note of the immense keyboard: her huge hat. She was really hugly, with a wart on her hooked nose. She had no underwear. This incident is at the origin of my rejection of the piano, mostly grandpianos: “piano à queue” in french. In another hand, on a psychotic point of view, I was very attracted by all kinds of pianos, upright, grandpiano, semi-grandpiano, quarter-grandpiano, mini-grandpiano: “crapaud”. It’s normal. You love the most what you hate. Bigger is the hatred, bigger is the grandpiano and the love for its huge harmony table in precious wood, its ”queue”, in french: its strange shape. Admit with me that the strange shape of a grandpiano is not something ordinary. Now you know the cause of my distortion: the hat of the hugly lady between my legs in the Swiss mountains. She raped me and the result is that everybody has a grandpiano between the legs, only men of course; unfortunately, most of the people are playing very badly; except Clara Haskil. They don’t have enough technic; nor musical talent. Let me emphasize that women have only an upright piano at their disposal to practice. Not enough to play Mozart as it should be played, except Clara Haskil who is also a man who jumped on me in the Caucasian mountains with his huge harmony table very active, a cosmic one. A very good experience. Luckily, only women can play – much better than men – the Bach’s ”well-tempered” harpsichord; its an advantage over boys. You agree I hope?
Well well, I was not interested at all to play piano and to learn it. It was a burden. My only concern was to escape from the hat of the hugly lady and go to ski. To ski – SKI – is my only real identity in this world. I am the essence of the ski as a sport and as a function. I was already practicing ski in the womb of my mother ; I am a “skieur-né”, ski-born. Of course. Because I was born having already my ski-shoes ready for competition and my wonderful pair of ski “Rossignol” attached to my feet. No need to cheat: you know perfectly that a “Rossignol” is a very rare bird who bewitch you when he starts to sing. So, I was born ROSSIGNOL: a very rare and bewitching being without helmet. My hair was pure gold; not a bald Rossignol. Nor a bald grandpiano, at contrary: a forest of strings in resonance, thanks to the grandpiano’s hard pedal for such miracle: my hair as pure resonance. “Resonance” was my golden hair. All of them in vibration, waving under the wind. This is the true story of “Blowin’ In The Wind”: Bob Dylan’s hommage to my wonderful golden resonance, Igor’s hair in the air blowing in my brain. Listen the rhythm and the beauty of this phrase: “Igor’s hair in the air blowing in my brain”. … All of Bob Dylan’s works, songs, lyrics, is a tribute to the resonance: my golden hair. I was a very sweet blonde boy, pregnant. What to ask more to be happy?
When did you begin playing music? What was your first instrument?
I.W.: At the age of six. Piano. After the episode of the “piano à queue” (big hat) in the Swiss mountains, my first teachers was the Dujonquoy sisters, two very old ladies dwelling on the 2d floor of the 22 rue de Prosny in Paris. Katia and Marielle Labèque, known as the “Labèque sisters” (jealous of me, that’s the reason why they play together on two grandpianos (Yamaha) and not on one only, because they are not at all able to play on a single grandpiano like me who is playing ALONE – and not with my brother (it would be ridiculous), following my example they started learning “solfegio” with the two Dujonquoy sisters. Total: four sisters. That’s the reason why I hate solfegio. Four sisters in the same room around me, it was really too much, too hard for an innocent boy of my age, much more than I was able to support! I hate harmony also. I only accept the fugues, they are very sexy, very exciting. I am a great fugueur. I was. Now I am only electronic. An electronic fugueur. One of the Dujoncquoy sisters’s students was a boy of my age (7) with a very thin long nose. I was very sensitive to the shape of noses. It seems that it is something sexual. This boy’s nose was pushing me away, giving me nausea and the urge to vomit. That’s why I made a transfer on the keyboard (my first hat, telescopic, with two balls attached to it with a golden rope, one ball in front, one ball behind, for the balance), discovering for the first time of my life the vertigo of duality, the black and white keys of the big hat. Too many keys. The alternance of the black and white keys on a large scale was making me dizzy. I don’t bear duality. Duality is the worst poison that our world is facing. A long agony since Adam and Eve = the snake. A couple to three. Their children are us, actual humans, born from their ambiguous behavior and primordial perversion; the principle of perversion: to play piano at six hands on the same keyboard and generate degenerates and decadency: everybody dancing in time and even in space-time with the snake, the grandpiano by excellence: our universe as it is today and as it looks (have a look to the Hubble telescop’s pictures, it’s really frightening, poor universe), in so bad shape after the “apple” episode. Apple is the symbol by excellence of our era: but notice that it’s not a whole apple. Is missing a small part of it. Even for the Beatles label – “Apple Records”- their logo was the half of an apple. It’s never an entire apple. Why?! The message is clear. What is missing … is what human beings must discover to become “again” integral: a whole apple. No imperfection, no accident, not death, no disease, no poverty: it’s most certainly possible if we refuse to make love with a disabled apple. Make love with yourself if you want, but yourself “integral”. Become a whole apple. Then the snake (frustrated) will vanish immediately and death also. Death is this little part of divinity that the three perverted pianists completely naked in a garden of roses swallowed: the duality. The piano keyboard, the hat, the black and white “queue” in french (grandpiano), though looking pink. Sexuality. Loosing unity. The grandpiano insidiously penetrated the brain-ass of the people, introducing on the subconscious plane the venomous poison of duality: introducing into the matter a schizophrenic specie: the human beings. Animals are descending from human beings. Not the contrary. The impulse is always coming from the top of the pyramid. Never from the bottom. No need of a big hat. No need to play piano; let’s enjoy all together the “whole apple happy life”. You love nature? yes?! then connect inwardly (in yourself) with the root of what we use to call “Nature”. No need religion or rituals to connect with the mystery of “There is something”. It should be natural, like breathing; permanent! installed permanently in us, without having special effort to do. His Highness, the Prince of Wales, the Prince Charles, is thinking the same. Each breath is connected to the source of life. Just become conscious that you are an integral part of the entire universe. A living being. But don’t play piano. Never. You will be disconnected immediately. Play violin. Play violin with Augustin Dumay, the greatest actually. Life is violin. Strings. Bow. Death is piano. Life is trumpet. Miles Davis. Death and Life together, not separated, unified: that is cello, Rostropovitch. Let’s implement all together a cosmic society upon earth. Psychedelic, electronic, whatever you want, but integral. Not just our little selfish ego.
What were your major influences?
The “Influence”. The Influence itself. Influence is a path; Influence is fathering through her own action all the roads and paths of our universe: SHE (the Influence) unveils Her Inner Secrets little by little to those who are not afraid by Her Strength: the Force. The Force is not only a power, it’s a road, a walk on the road of light. The road itself is in motion! its not you who is walking on it: it’s the road who is walking through you, building the road in your being and in the terrestrial body; instead to have to walk by yourself, it’s the “Influence” – the “House of Influence”, the Merkabah, the Holy Chariot – who is walking for you and through you, doing the work who has to be done, you like it or not; the Influence is the “Chariot’s Work” of the Prophet Ezechiel: the Holy Kabbalah; this Chariot is the authentic and hidden Kabbalah, the secret one, the Cosmic Work, the Cosmic Consciousness at work, nothing else – who is walking for you, leading you “toward yourself”. Lekh Lekha. “Lekh Lekha”: walk toward yourself, was told to Avraham, by the Influence’s Voice; not a human voice! its so childish to understand these things in a so anthropomorphic manner. Read this unknown book that nobody read, never, except billions of people : the Bible. Named “Holy Bible”. Everything is written and not written. It is clearly mentioned where Avraham has to go, where he has to walk, the direction, the place, the land, the perimeter of this land, everything is written! what he has to discover, what he has to implement, to conquer, what to achieve for the benefit of the entire world, for all the humanity. All the nations. The “Influence” is the Cosmic Chariot. His “Wheel of Fortune” – the Force – is pulling everything that exists and not exists yet. Existence on one side, Life on another side (two opponents who are the two sides of a same coin that wrongly we call “God”); Life and Existence are not at all the same thing; we are caught between their pincers; in a stranglehold between Life and Existence; (the Existence is a process in evolution; born “human being” entails “to be walked” by the Influence’s many paths … and encounter many trials, tests, ordeals. This is Existence). “Life” is the Power of the Truth in action; Life is a Principle of Perfection in which there is no falsehood, no accident, no death, no relativity; in fact it’s the story of “The Lord of the Rings”: Sauron – the Evil – is the biggest ally of the Influence. But it’s the most difficult thing to understand … for a human being.
The Influence came to me under the mask of difficulties, challenges, tears, beauty, passionate love, dance, music, esoteric knowledge and … myself! Myself being the biggest influence of my life. All these things are Influence, the playing cards of Her Game with me, for me against me. I was born with this open game in my wings of Rossignol and pair of skis to play existence against non-existence … which is what human beings wrongly are calling “God”: something that nothing can catch or lock-up, would it be concepts, ideologies, religions, beliefs.
You were only fourteen years old when you auditioned by the Philharmonic orchestra conductor, Maestro Herbert von Karajan at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and by the time you were 17 you were awarded the First Prize in Piano (classical) by a unanimous vote of the jury (Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance). That’s an incredible achievement!
I.W.: Karajan was already a legend. Yes, I played in front of him, a piece of Gabriel Fauré. A “Nocturne”, music for the night, but I played it in the morning: I played a music for the night – a “Nocturne” – in the morning! This was brilliant. A brilliant idea. Karajan was delighted by my audacity. He was driving helicopters, light airplanes, race cars: do you know somebody like him in the entire history of music since the Vedic times? Do you have an example of an Hollywood actor or any actor able to conduct the Philharmonic of Berlin? Not even James Bond or Ethan Hunt. Karajan had a great admiration for my father and most of the operas conducted by Karajan on stage or his films productions (operas) was in the settings and costumes designed by my father George Wakhévitch; he was also giving drawing classes to Karajan’s wife, Eliette von Karajan. For the rest of your question, it’s not enough to have talent. The only achievement possible is to be at the top of the pyramid: Vladimir Horowitz for example. Compare to him, we are only humble apprentices.
Music however is our common house, we all dwell under the same roof: the Entity of Music, a great cosmic being with twelve eyes. It’s the same for Dance, the Entity of Dance: Lord Shiva-Nataraj. The most humble dancer is under the same roof than Nureev or Nijinsky, Baryshnikov, Galina Ulanova, Yvette Chauviré, Rosella Hightower, Margot Fonteyn, Balanchine, Béjart, Cunnhingam, Jerome Robbins, Ohad Naharin, Fanfaroni, Marius Petitpas, La Grande Charlotte, etc. In the common house (each house is a bit like a monumental building, a bit like the one that one can see at the beginning of the Frederico Fellini’s Satyricon) … there are many chambers, talents, families, competitions, dramas, frustrations, egos, love stories: you find everything! … even Lang-Lang – the Rolex panda in the circus – belongs to the Entity of Music and sleep in the kitchen despite his Rolex. Everyday we serve him some corn-flakes to make him happy and quiet. I speak about the pianist Lang-Lang who looks as a panda.
The problem is that some virtual houses exists or (even worst) mirages: houses reflected in a mirror. They are not real. Virtuality is something real, that’s the danger. Maybe am I a mirage? A simple illusion? This is my comment.
You were studying under the guidance of professor Olivier Messiaen. At the time you also won the First Prize in Musical Analysis and Esthetics, submitting to the jury your analysis of the Olivier Messiaen’s masterpiece, “The Turangalîla-Symphonie”. Later on, you rejoined the GRM, a laboratory specialized in sound experimental researches, a department of the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF), under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer. How was it to work with Pierre Schaeffer in the laboratory?
I.W.: A nightmare. Not Pierre Schaeffer in particular. Jean-Michel Jarre could tell you how much I was arrogant and undisciplined. He and me, both close friends, was making fun together of these people when speaking about them: most of them full of a sense of superiority. People just able to record noises, creakins, all kinds of concrete sounds, car horns, iron, washing-machines, etc. Their best achievement was to play the tapes the wrong way round in order to reverse the sound. Very childish. But it’s a fact that from their innocent strangeness emerged a new era in the history of music and composition: if such music exists nowadays, weird things like electro house or any kind of techno or electro (call it as you like) is due to the GRM people and a bit due to my own work; mostly Jean-Michel Jarre, the pope of the synthesizers. Most of the G.R.M. personnel (staff) was impotent, unable to make love with a tape-recorder or a microphone. After few months plunged in this strange ambiance, Jean-Michel and myself decided together to leave the G.R.M. at the same moment in order to imprint our mark on the minds. Making a last scandal, we slammed the door using for that our best oscillator-generator’s envelop without any filter and any delay. But a big big big reverberation at 100%. A monumental electronic fart that you can find in the INA and GRM archives. “Jarre-Wakhévitch” are the coauthors of a “plug-in” known as “Wakhévitch-Jarre’s scandalous behavior”. We earned a lot of money with our plug-in; we still share the royalties of our tonitruant departure from the G.R.M.
As a brilliant classical pianist, how did you get interested in electronic keyboards?
I.W.: Oh, it’s very simple. It’s just a question of laziness! I am a very lazy person. An electronic keyboard (synthesizer) is able to play alone, as you know very well. With an electronic keyboard, I don’t need to play myself. Thanks to my electronic keyboards (synthesizers) for their help, allowing me free time and leisure as much as I want and need (I can go to the beach in Cannes with my friend of the Rosella Hightower School of Dance, or to the snow to ski with my taddy bear on my back, my taddy bear is a rucksack in form of taddy bear), smoke cigars, drink champagne, cook special runny devil omelets with a lot of Tabasco and red chili, ginger, herbs; have enough time for love stories, flirts, good time, long mouth kisses with the tongue, known as “french kiss”. When the kiss sequence is over, I just have to tell my sequenzer to stop. “Stop man” I tell to the sequenzer. He obeys me immediately. Incredible no? … you cannot do that with a ordinary acoustic grandpiano. Very quickly you’ll get tired.
You were one of the first composers to use electronic keyboards and various of other kind of equipment.
I.W.: Always remember that I was born Rossignol. A magnificent blonde boy with ski-shoes and long planks attached to his feet. There is no doubt that compare to the other composers it was an advantage: I was trained to face the Unknown. I am an explorer. Intelligently, some composers understood that they could benefit of my tracks in the snow and follow me without too many risks for their reputation. SKI (three letters) is the door opening to the mysteries of the universe, the left side of the world. But most of the skiers are falling in the void. They are too proud of themselves. Humility is necessary when you face the Unknown. My equipment was just my imagination and a good dose of madness. I was totally unconscious of the danger that represented to enter in the realm of the GONG. Daevid Allen is the guardian of this realm. The Kingdom of the Gong and the Gongsterians. King Daevid was my great initiator and Yoni Shakti my matron-patron-patronimous. Daevid Allen is the hard machine of the Soft-Machine: their soul. Their lingam. You know I hope what is a lingam? Let’s start and follow me into the GONG’s resonance. And bow in front of the King Gong.
Were you inspired by any rock groups of the time that were experimenting with the sound?
I.W.: Let me first say that the first rocker of all the times is Igor Stravinsky. Please, make the intellectual effort to admit that you cannot understand Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis (the greatest, the Arthur Rubinstein of the rock ‘n’roll) or even Michael Jackson (a kind of lateral branch of homo sapiens rocknrollus, some of his bones was discovered in Memphis Tennessee under the central supermarket, the Malaria) … yes you cannot understand their music if you don’t understand Stravinsky’s masterpieces, as “Noces”, “Symphony Of Psaums”, “L‘Histoire du Soldat” or “The Firebird”; “The Rite Of Spring” is the root and the ancestor, the model of Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly”.
If you want, I can tell you the true story behind Michael Jackson’s birth upon earth. Igor Stravinsky, while composing his “Violon Concerto in D major (or D-Dur)” at the request of his friend the american violinist Samuel Dushkin, all of a sudden had the miraculous apparition of five cute negro boys. One of them told Stravinsky: “We are the Jackson Five. Please Mr. Igor Stravinsky, help us! We are prisoners of a dark force in a bottle. S.O.S. “My name is Michael Jackson”, said the little boy. I love so much your music Mister Igor, that I would give anything to breath oxygen with you and be freed from darkness in the bottle”. Moved from the bottom of his heart, Stravinsky then incorporated the miraculous vision into his “Symphony Of Psaums”. Much later, Stravinsky had a love affair with the future Mrs. Jackson, the mother of the five. Stravinsky powerful music entered in Mrs. Jackson’s soul and mind and, as a reward for his courage and his call, the little Michael received a lot of oxygen to breath out of the dark in the bottle, his mother’s womb; soon after he became very famous for his new look and his very Stravinsky oriented music as well. Michael Jackson was also a great dancer, thanks to his inner connection with Vaslav Nijinsky who was the first to dance “The Rite Of The Spring”. Nice story, isn’t it ? … that’s why I was so much influenced by the Rolling Stones. All the time, everyday, the Rolling Stones are inspiring my life and my music. You know the famous duality angel-devil = Beatles versus Rolling Stones. This duality was very strong in me. Each new album of the Beatles, I was the first to buy it in the music-shop in Paris. I was still pupil of Olivier Messiaen at the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance. But their album “Rubber Soul” disappointed me so much, that I decided to jump to the dark side of my being … and began to worship Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. I encountered the Rolling Stones many years later, sharing the same recording studio. During a full month – in our night sessions – they were recording just next door of my studio and we had a very good and warm contact. Mick was coming to speak with me in the studio and listening my work while I was mixing my tapes. Keith Richard also came sometime, just to take rest in the sofa, you can guess why. Ronnie Wood was just new in the band. He and Mick very kindly invited me to listen to their rehearsals and first recordings of their new songs. They also (like the Pink Floyd did) introduced me to their instruments, equipment, and special tools for recording. Mick was speaking in french with me, a very good french.
Another big influence was Terry Riley (I had the privilege to work directly with him in studio as the producer of his album for the Warner; very quickly we became very good friends, sharing the same love for Indian music and culture and Indian food as well. He introduced me to his guru, the “naga” singer Pandit Parn Nath. La Monte Young is also a musician that I admire a lot. I like his philosophy and non-conformism. He can give a full night performance using only a single sound. Why should we need more than one note? Tell me.
No need to speak about my love for my friends the Soft Machine, great musicians, proposing a very innovative music. They are all genius. Robert Wyatt definitively is a genius. I was listening A LOT the Pink Floyd. I really admire them so much. Other musicians important for me are Miles Davis, Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Mingus, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, Jacques Brel, Barbara, Dalida, John Lee Hooker (the blues in general), Simon and Garfunkel, Nina Hagen, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan. Donovan. The Who: I adore them. All the British musical culture and way of life. The corgis, the Queen, the Royal Family. Beatrix Potter. The porridge also. The Queen is a very special being. She has a great influence. Prince Charles is also incredible. A very interesting man. I share a lot in common with him. His philosophy of life, his non-conformism, sense of humour, so elegant; his taste for architecture, nature, ecology, spirituality. He will be a great King of England. Me too. My next reincarnation. It’s decided. And Prince Charles will be a great composer, better than me, in his next reincarnation.
Great composers of the XXth century: Olivier Messiaen, Henri Dutilleux, not forgetting Iannis Xenakis and Penderecki, Ligetti, Nono. I was listening a lot of bands, as Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Black Sabbath, Tangerine Dream, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, AC/DC, Vanilla Fudge, Spooky Tooth, etc. And a lot of Indian classical music. Tibetan also. Pygmy. Japan. Gypsy music. But not so much electronic music to be frank. It was too robotic according to my taste. Apart from “Autobahn” that I liked very much. I like to fly very high. It’s impossible to fly if you don’t enter in the mysterious kingdom of the cosmic energy. Not the devils or the ghosts. Not at all. I am not interested in the Devil. He is enough interested in me. Listen my album “Hathor”. It’s sometime frightening. But don’t be afraid. At contrary, with Hathor (mostly side B), you can discover in advance what you will listen after your death if you are not clear with yourself. With “Hathor”, somewhere you are already prepared and you can smile to him (to the devil) … instead to run away. No selfie is possible with the Devil. You can make some with the little Macron of France, but not with the Devil. And never with me. Never. You would die instantaneously.
How did the collaboration with Jean-Michel Jarre come about?
I.W.: I was in Cairo facing the sphinx for a private encounter. In the far away, coming from the desert, there was a kind of arabic music and a beautiful Egyptian girl with big boobs performing a dancing belly. It was very erotic. She was looking like Lady Macbeth. A terrible lady, very cruel and naughty. Just at my side was a very cute young Egyptian boy wearing the eunuch’s dress: the “djellabah”. He was trying to sell me some small pyramids in plastic and erotic post cards of the most sexy Egyptian actresses, superstars, very famous in Egypt, half-nude. Very dangerous pictures, due to the muslim blues brothers. I noticed that under his djelabbah and despite that he was an official eunuch of King Louis XV, he was in erection, a kind of strong Arabic hard-on, which is a compliment in my mouth, not an insult. I had to say to him, “No, no, no, never. I don’t want your post cards” … and I left. Just back to my luxurious five stars hotel, the palace “Le Chien qui Fume” (“The Smoking Dog” in English) as I was entering in my luxurious room I received a phone call from Issy-les-Moulineaux: it was my great friend Jean-Michel Jarre! What a surprise! In fact, he was worrying for me, my health, my food, etc.; he was in a very jealous mood, afraid that I could have a love story in Cairo. It was a very strange coincidence, because during my conversation with the Sphinx Lenoardo di Caprio in Cairo, just in front of the Big Pyramid, in trance he told me: “Igor the I-gor, Prince of Gong, King of the Resonance, Master of the Cosmic Echoes, this evening you will receive a very important phone call from Issy-les-Moulineaux. Tell to this androgyny that will call you: “Do you want to work with me, lovely androgyny?” … It happened that the androgyny was Jean-Michel Jarre in person! … and from Issy-les-Moulineaux! Incredible no?
It happened exactly like that. Jean-Michel couldn’t refuse anything that I wanted to get from him. He answered me three times in row, very excited, “yes, yes, yes” … with a lot of love for me in his large blue eyes; his love for me was so strong that the phone started to burn, incandescent in my hands. Jean-Michel (I don’t call him like that, just by his nickname) is very clever, very intelligent. He is a great seducer and a great musician also. He is our “pope” (electronic, a cyber-robot very advanced in technology that I’ve invented, nobody knows it, everybody is thinking that Jarre is a human being; in fact, it’s my robot, an androgyny in love of me, a very jealous one, a very jealous one among all my personal robots) and also my great friend as a human being, not as a robot. Back from Cairo, I settled in his house and we worked together everyday during few months. His mother was looking after us and taking care of us with a lot of attention and kindness. I was introduced (as an initiatic ritual) by Jean-Michel to the “guignolet” … a special drink (cherry brandy) from the city of Lyon which is also the city of Guignol! You see the beauty of the life! “Guignolet” that we had the habit to drink very often together when too tired. He was trying to make me drunk to oblige me to compose very bad music. He was so jealous of me, like Othello. Jarre is Othello. That is the truth. And me, his “Deus Daemona”, inspiring him from behind in secret. He sent me to France Gall (the french blonde singer, future wife of my friend Michel Berger, another popular french singer with curly hair) to try to sell her some shampoo “à la camomille”. Home made in Jarre’s bathtub transformed in laboratory. “Oxygen” was a good shampoo. Good brand. But Michael Jackson was using only Stravinsky’s oxygen to clean his ears. Pschhhh …. in each ear, daily, morning and evening. My friend from Rosella Hightower school of dance in Cannes is also breathing my brand of oxygen to clean his ears every morning and evening. Pschhhh …. in each ear, daily, morning and evening: it’s not his fault, but he is a lover of my music. A great fan, a purist. That’s why he is cleaning so carefully his divine ears. Breathing my oxygen: a very very cosmic one, like my next album.
You produced Terry Riley’s album Les Yeux Fermés, which was released in 1972. Did Terry Riley inspired you to explore Indian culture? As, I read you were highly influenced by occult and holy books from Hinduism.
I.W.: It’s exactly the opposite of what you say. I had the call of India very young. India was already present in my life before I was born. My soul is conscious of its multidimensional nature. I cannot say I am this or that. I am a network of energy and many different worlds are connected to my soul or my soul connected to them. I went to India for the first time at a very young age. But I was already prepared much before. To encounter Terry was somewhere something logic, natural. It’s a magnetic attraction provoked by harmony and soul’s signature; … soul’s mark that we share in common with a multitude of beings living in our space-time but also in other dimensions of time and space.
Is of “occult” nature … only what is hidden by ignorance and by a veil upon our physical senses, mostly by our own consciousness limited by the emergence of the mental status in our vital being. We ignore totally the upper levels of the mental and of the mental world, its highest levels, where vanish the intellectual limitations: they are worlds where ignorance does not exist at all; no falsehood, no death, no accidents, no illness, but only pure Knowledge and Truth. Truth is the Essence of Life and of the Primordial Consciousness. What is named “Nirvana” by the Buddha is not the end, not the summit of the consciousness, but only an intermediary state of Infinite Silence which is surrounding the Supramental World. This plane (the Supramental) is the ultimate world before an initial “Point” where there is no space, no time, no being, nothing. Everything potentially included in this “nothing” which is just a residue of the Infinite …
What is your typical writing and arranging process like?
I.W.: In my album “Nagual”, side B, there is a track named “Stop The World”. This is the answer to your question: this particular music. If the world still continues to exist and is still alive, it’s because music is linking everything together; everything: the worlds (plural) and the human beings. They are not separated: at contrary, all together they are forming a single entity, a single being, a single cosmic body. Humanity is only a “résumé”; in small, a synthesis of all the universe with all its inner worlds. Our cosmos is only the visible part of it. The skin. We are too small and limited by our external perception to perceive the entire structure of this cosmic being, with its organs, functions, principles. Its head, heart, even reproductive organs: the “Foundation”. I am totally integrated in this process: I am linked to entities, supernatural beings who are composing my life, existence, music. They are apprentice composers … and I am their medium, their cute guinea-pig. It’s a network. A musical network. I am not joking. All the universe is sound. All the universe is music. After death you find yourself in an ocean of vibrations, like tiny bells. Astral sounds, very close to bells. You will swim in an ocean of music. I don’t do anything by myself. I am not the author of my music. Just a channel very imperfect.
Without the presence of music our planet would die very quickly, in few days only. Without music the human beings very quickly would become mad. You know: “The Wall”, Pink Floyd’s masterpiece: it’s exactly what I say. Music is breaking the wall. The walls. I will shock you by a statement: the biggest wall of today is build by the social networks. The little bird, the book of our faces, etc. That’s why, “stop the world”. Take a break. First … in your mind. There is no recipe to stop world. I have no typical arranging process: it’s the music itself who is arranging me, putting me in order; it is music which is arranging my world. Music is what repairs. In a much better way than prayers. A process of reparation. Music repairs all what we destroy permanently all along the day since thousands of years. What a mess! What a disorder! We are the only responsible of this situation. Our way of thinking, our actions: in hurry and in movement all the time. Without any stand back. We don’t realize how much our collective and individual behavior creates disorder in the entire universe: we are destroyers. Music repairs everything, heals everything, links everything. Try to become music, in harmony with yourself and with the whole world. Stop the machine. Stop the world. STOP! Don’t do anymore. DON’T DO it by yourself when you do something and let the cosmic energy take care of you and work for you. We want absolutely to achieve everything. Do everything by ourselves. Let the Influence DO for you. She does however. But our constant intervention complicates her work. It’s an incredible power who knows everything and sees everything … and knows much better than us what we need or not need. We are always thinking that we need this, that, or the other; an other; to find a girl or boy to be happy, to reach happiness. No. It’s only this ecclesia, the cosmic humanity, this totality only … that is providing happiness. An incredible joy! Everything communicating with everything. No more distance, no time-space, just a single being, all together. The sense of separation is an illusion. You are, we are an illusion … yet necessary. “The other” is the multitude in you and you are in the multitude. It’s only a single spermatozoid who breaks the wall of the ovula, isn’t it? Which one? What is the recipe ? We’ll never know the secret.
Before we continue with a discussion about your albums, I would like to stop and ask you about the incredible opportunity that you received when you were only 26, to work with Salvador Dali’s opera-poem, “Être Dieu” (“To Be God”), featuring Salvador Dali in person as “The Divine Dali”.
I.W.: Dali is not Dali. The true Dali is Dalida (the french superstar singer, born in Egypt); as you know, “da” in Russian means “yes”. And “dada” means “horse” in french children language. One night, in a dream, I saw a horse named “Dali” who came to me. He was so pretty, so charming, so sexy that I immediately fall in love with this horse. Regularly “Dali” the horse was coming back to me, visiting my dreams. Later on, I got a ticket to ride on Dalida’s motorbike, sitting behind her. It was a great honor. One day, while riding behind her on the Harley, she told me that she was the feminine aspect of Salvador Dali the painter, not the horse; her bike only – not her – was this horse coming to me in dream; …so, in order to reward me for my great love for the “Dada Dali” (her motorbike), she proposed me to compose the music of her opera; an opera-poem in six parts – “To Be God”, “Être Dieu” in french – that she had in mind since the time of her first marriage with the philistine Marie-Christine de Garcia Lorca, a notorious siphylistic. But Marie-Christine is not the true Garcia Lorca. That’s why it’s very complicate to make you understand that the honor was not for me to work with “Dali” the horse, but at contrary it was a great honor for Salvadot Dali the true Garcia Lorca the Hermaphrodite (half- Salvador Dali-Dalida, half-Garcia Lorca the centaur) to work with me Oscar Wilde.
The disguised name of the true Garcia Lorca (the centaur) is “G. G”. (a friend of mine, but he is not at all G.G.! Nor he is a D.J. ; he has another name, other initials), a very talented dancer of sixteen. Do you know that sixteen in the Hindu tradition is the number of perfection? That’s why Lord Shiva-Nataraj (patron of dance and dancers) is also named “The Girl of Sixteen”. It’s the name of one of my composition that I did in India with the very famous Paris Opera Prima Ballerina Elizabeth Platel, in a choreography of Olivier Patey also from Paris Opera, fantastic dancer, better than Patrick Dupond (joking! sorry Patrick!). “G. G” is my muse, due to his double G.; his nickname is “G. G”. Like “Gigi l’amoroso”, the famous Dalida’s song. G.G. the centaur is a Nagual master. He can modify his appearance at will. Do you understand? No. I can read on your face that you don’t understand anything and that you think that I am mad. As mad as the little Prince Louis of Cambodia. As sweet as my magic tongue, my very thick tongue as sweet and delightful as the “home made” honey from the Château de La Fourchette where the bees are always dizzy. Drunk of my supernatural intelligence and transcendental beauty.
Logos was your very first solo release. What’s the concept behind it? Where was it recorded and what can you say about its composition?
I.W.: I.W. (Gigi l’amoroso’s answer: on my behalf, reading on my thick lips his own thoughts as sweet as my delightful tongue, a french-japanese “bouche à bouche” = mind to mind): NO CONCEPT. Igor Wakhevitch is against concepts in general, because himself is an anti-concept: the anti-concept by excellence. The red album was recorded at the periphery of the LOGOS, under the Pont de Sèvres in Paris.
A bridge named “Pont de Sèvres”; metro station Pont de Sèvre. “Pont de Sèvre” is the best studio of the entire solar system because all the planets are recording there. Do you hear? … do you hear their divine music, the harmony of the spheres? LOGOS is “VAK”: an inaudible sacred sound filling all the universe and crossing all the walls. AUM. Or “55”. It’s the same.
Docteur Faust followed and it’s just incredible what an unique album this was. What’s the story about it?
I.W.: Why Faust? why Doctor? … nowadays Faust would be a nurse with wounds. And Marguerite, a frigid rock star, a man very rigid, very stiff all the time, day and night, including his penis, but totally disconnected from love and sexual behavior and from the nurse with wound: Faust; … a terrible tragedy; “Marguerite” (Margareth) the rock star is not at all attracted by women at large, meaning girls, ladies, grandmothers, etc; but only by men, boys, students, all kinds of males and students, including sailors; yeah, that is the real meaning, the real tragedy behind what in fact should be called: “Nursing Faust” or “The Tragedy of Faust, the wounded nurse”. She is taking care only of the males wounded by their love for men. It’s my story; my story in music, my Faust, my nurse, not my Doctor.
The name of the album, “Docteur Faust”, was chosen just to mislead the listeners and hide my true identity: a nurse with wounds. Faustus the Nurse. Everything is codified in my music … and the names of the albums are merely a way to awake the intelligence of the people and encourage them to search for truth by themselves, not through religions, politic parties. No more intermediary. No more leaders, no more jails, no more borders. This is the model of a new civilization that is coming ahead. Sooner that you may think. Bring all the ideologies down. Well, do you understand now what means “Nurse with wounds”? She is my nurse, taking care of my frigidity. She composed this music (Dr. Faust) to make me hot, horny. To fight my frigidity disconnected from my permanent stiffness. She tried at least; unfortunately she failed. Only Berlioz with his incredible “Damnation of Faust” succeeded to make me hot enough to fall in love a young apprentice-cook named Mephistopheles. A wonderful grown-up at the service of Satan. Mephistopheles: my lover. “Mephisto” is his nickname but not the one of Jean-Michel Jarre (he has a very simple nickname) who is an an angel, not a devil. He is too serious to be a devil. The dancers are very devilish. When I listened for the first time “The Damnation Of Faust”, immediately I fall in love with the young Mephistopheles (a pupil of Marc Veyrat, the great french cook) and we started to dance a waltz together: “Mephisto-Walz”. That’s why Franz Liszt, to pay hommage to our tragic waltz, wrote a famous piece for piano, one of the most difficult pieces for piano: “Mephisto-Walz”. It’s a diabolic piece for piano that he composed to pay homage to my music and my next album which is another aspect of my “Dr. Faust” (the Nurse) who is now going out with Mephistopheles: it was not the case with the previous Dr. Faust. When I recorded it, Mephisto was not yet in my life, not yet my lover. Now yes. This waltz, in fact, was marking the beginning of our endless passionate love for each other, our love story, so famous all over the world since centuries, with the personal blessings of Satan who later on, sometime after, celebrated himself our union in Berlin. “HATHOR” is the music played for the ceremony. I have much more to say, but it would take hours to introduce you to the true esoteric tradition behind the art of Alchemy. It’s the subject of the album “Dr. Faust”, but not the secret knowledge who lies behind. Not the numbers and geometrical proportions; not the geometry behind human history and the many phases, stages, transmutations of the consciousness. For that, you have to knock on the right door. Just to tell you a secret: everything starts in the intestines. It’s the reason of caca. Caput mortuum. Calcination. Separation: the subtle from the coarse. Crows. In the alchemy, the “mineral” is not a stone. It’s just an energy, dew of the morning. It’s this energy that you have to transmute and know how to do it. Conscious breathing is a part of the entire process. But not only. It’s the reason of some tantric “mandalas” etc. I stop here. Let me just add that the beautiful Mephistopheles – my lover – due to his magic powers delivered me from rigidity and frigidity. I am totally myself now, without wounds. No more wounds. No scares. Smooth, hairless skin like a man-woman. Mephisto+Faust. Two in one. Do you know what did my little Mephistopheles? thanks to his occult powers! I can read on your face that you don’t know what he did. Don’t look at me like a pink frog. He removed all my wounds by transferring them directly to Saint Laurent and Saint Sophie. It’s the origin and true reason of their martyrdom, their long long and slow agony. If they are saints now, it’s because of me, of my wounds. They should reward me for that. This would be the minimum that the holy catholic church and the pope could do for me, to thank me. The pope should canonize me with his best incense and offer me a great amount of money. My best perfume: “Blood Sweat and Tears of Saint-Laurent”. Blood of bat from Belorussian and scorpion saliva, menthol and pepper. Tears from Greta Garbo. Sweat from James Dean while acting “Rebel Without A Cause”. Amazing. Incredible scent. For men only. For my Mephisto … I perfume him with “jungle gardenia”. The best way to become rigid. Not frigid. Unfortunately for you – and your readers – you”ll never find my perfume in the shops: “jungle gardenia” belongs only to Oscar Wilde.
How pleased were you with the sound of the album? What, if anything, would you like to have been different from the finished product ?
I.W.: The “final product” is my scent. My “eau-de-toilette” pour homme. My “jungle gardenia”, Oscar Wilde’s perfume. Just what I said before. You know, a real artist is never satisfied by his last perfume. He is constantly looking for new fragrances. Nurse with wound is the past.
“Dr. Faust” is immortal isn’t it? This was the deal with the young Mephistopheles: in exchange of my soul to cook his best food, immortality was granted to me … but damned. Damned for ever. Like a roast chicken very juicy with mushrooms and good sauce. Each of my albums – even those to come – are cooked by Mephistopheles. He is my soul, immortal, eternal. The best pupil of Marc Veyrat. I can eat for free in his restaurant, in Manigod, France. “La Maison des Bois”. Relais Châteaux. Col de la Croix-Fry. 74230 MANIGOD. France. I will invite you one day. Maybe. There … you will find me with Mephistopheles drinking good wine, eating huge piece of rare gigot, both travelling in my inner worlds. My soul. Marc Veyrat, our master, HATHOR, alias Sathanael.
How would you compare Logos to Docteur Faust?
I.W.: “Logos” is the mouth. “Dr. Faust” is the lips: two lips, white and black, up and down. Lips are a sacred seal. If you want or need to kiss inside the mouth and reach the tongue, you need to cross the doorstep of the lips, the Spinx: the Guardian of the Secret Force, which is a secret sound, a secret Word. Without the divine lips, the Logos would remain impotent and virtual. When the sword of fire open the mouth, the lips then are seen red, like blood. Red is the color of the open mouth. The lips, half-open, are very erotic, obviously. A Sphinx is erotic by nature; if not, he would not be a sphinx, but a kind of oyster. Red is the energy of action. Inside the mouth prevails a primordial chaos. Sound … – ascending from the throat – is the direct expression of the mind. But there are different levels in the mental world. To put things in order within the chaos you need something above the mind. Not the supermind, the level of the Gods. But the Supramental. The Supramental is the World of the LOGOS. The SOUND (VAK in sanskrit) who sustains the entire universe and put the world in ORDER: “SEDER” in Hebrew. The verb “lessader”, which means “to put things in order”. To arrange. “Docteur Faust” is the transition between “LOGOS” and “Les Fous d’Or”, the world of illusion, our passage inside the labyrinth. You will not find the order (Seder) in a sole album. It’s the succession of all the albums that are creating an order, a trajectory, even if this order is just an attempt, something temporary. Human beings are totally unable to understand the Supreme Order, the Divine Order, that we can also call “GNÔSIS”. The Secrete Knowledge: the Knowledge of the Order of the things, according to the LOGOS. Not according to our wishes or person’s will. “RATZON” is “the Divine Will”, the order of the Universe: Ratzon consequently presides over the Geometry and the Numbers. Not the contrary. That’s why geometry and Numbers are the Powers of the Supreme Consciousness, expressing Herself by and through the ORDER. A pyramid is an order. But there are existing other models before the pyramid condition or structure, preceding the pyramid, the pyramidal geometry. Macrocosm and Microcosm are unified only by the RATZON (Divine Will-Power). Nothing else. This is the only power of unification of all the cosmic forces, all the cosmic laws. Other approaches are mere mirages. The mind, the intellect … has to be, should be always linked to the Ratzon. Connected to the Ratzon. CONNECTION. It’s a key word. That’s why we have to obey to certain commandments. That’s is the role also of the authentic prayer with special words. I was telling before that the human being are unable to understand the Divine order behind the apparent disorder of the things. What you have to understand (it’s very difficult I know, it’s like for the evil) is that the disorder is also a form of the Order. Distorted yes, but nevertheless order. An accident has always a reason based on justice, balance: an order that we cannot understand. But each of our action has an influence on the pans of the balance: it’s a cosmic balance; we are unable to see and understand the totality, the entire scope. We are just aware of tiny fragments of the whole scene.
Hathor was probably the darkest and scariest album ever recorded… It’s just amazing what an incredible atmosphere it has.
I.W.: I agree. Only understand that darkness is bright light … and that bright light is darkness compare to “ultimate light” (words for these things doesn’t exist). I know, it’s difficult, and request a minimum of mental effort. Understand – try at least – that good and bad doesn’t exist for what we call “God”. It’s just from the human point of view that a same thing is perceived as opposite and that we grant a moral value to these oppositions. Because we perceive good as a satisfaction, as a gift, as a reward: that’s why we are attracted by what provides us satisfaction, success for example, or good news. We are all like that. SA-TIS-FAC-TION. A great mantra. This situation (of reward, this Pavlovian reflex, the piece of sugar, something very animal in fact, due to a particular zone of our reptilian brain where a signal of satisfaction is triggered) doesn’t exist above or beyond the limits of our intellect, the intellectual level of the mental world. Our sensations are connected to the nervous mental. Same for our emotions and our nerves in the body. The notion of good and bad doesn’t exist also on the level of the subconsciousness or of the supraconsciousness. It would be too long here to develop.
Now, let’s get to your question. You ask me to comment! Can we comment the rain?! … yes, sure, if you find yourself under a shower, you’ll get wet. Light, darkness, are not moral concepts. Like rain or wind, they are forces. Conscious forces of the Nature. The Light from above can act on the vital plane, on the mental plane, on the physical plane, on the subconsciousness level, on the supraconsciousness level, etc. Same for darkness. What is the difference then … between light and darkness? And why we associate light to the good, and obscurity to the bad? Why ? I continue: to penetrate into darkness voluntarily requires to understand that EVERYTHING is Bright Light. Everything is oriented toward Victory, meaning Truth, because in the highest world, Victory = Truth. Truth as Justice and Knowledge. No ignorance at all in Victory. Only pure Love. Love as an Absolute. Understand that Justice is not a moral value. It is Truth and Perfect Balance. It is “Perfection”: at the absolute sense of this word. Perfection is including imperfection. “Perfection” cannot exclude something. Obviously. In Perfection nothing can be absent. Everything has to be part of it. Even what doesn’t exists yet and could exists one day. As duality is part of the whole game, evil and death – the dark side of the Force – are obviously included in the Perfection. It’s something very difficult to admit for us, for the human beings, their very limited manner to understand and apprehend. The role of darkness is only to hide the light. Why? … Darkness is a shield. Act as a shield. It’s a protection against the Primordial Light, the LOGOS. The Light of the LOGOS is so powerful, so bright, so white, that NOTHING can stand in front of what is … a PRESENCE THAT NOTHING CAN EXPLAIN OR UNDERSTAND. So dazzling, that NOTHING CAN BE … except Herself, immanent, Omnipresent: not as a being, but as an inexplicable Presence. It’s an ABSOLUTE. No space, no time, no being. These categories are coming after, as Emanations. It’s an Absolute … do you understand? This word (Absolute) is so special, so unusual for most of us, that it doesn’t make sense. This Absolute, let’s say, let me tell it like that: this Absolute is also a profound night, an endless NIGHT, the essence of Night, the clothing of the Infinite. I could even say that darkness is necessary … to allow the “Being” … to Be. Darkness is an interface between the Absolute and the Relative. If you are able to follow me … you will understand Evil and Death in a total other perspective. That doesn’t mean at all that I praise the evil. Not at all.
The Infinite is not something that we can comprehend mentally. Even on the highest level of the mental, even for the Supramental, it’s something hidden; the Infinite is hidden; it’s something that is not comprehensible. This NIGHT … is what the Infinite leaves from its Infinity … as the only manner to let happen something beyond all conditions … and from which a Point will emerge as a recipient; a Point without dimension. This initial Point is the PRESENCE whose I speak, the Ultimate Light which is this profound Night, due to the dazzling white light identical to darkness. Understand: it’s abstract. Our eyes are not able to perceive what I am speaking about. None of our senses. Not much it’s a mental concept. I am speaking about the very very very origin of everything, and this origin is not something understandable, nor belonging to space-time, being, or physical categories. It’s the essence of the essence. It’s beyond metaphysics. This Point is surrounded (without space) by the abyss of an infinite night: it is what the Infinite leaves from a kind of WITHDRAWAL of its Infinity: the Unknown, the “Unknowledgeable“. If you jump into the Unknown, you cannot come back. But it’s impossible for a human being to jump into the Unknown. Eventually the Point can do it. Eventually. It could happen. But under certain conditions who are not yet ripe. The only problem is that Darkness is a Veil. A screen. This screen is the absolute opposite of the Force of Creation. To create is in the nature of the Point. He receives this impulse, this Will-Power directly from the Infinite. In the same time, the Power of Creation and the Power of Destruction are One. Darkness is death, destruction. Human beings are very scared by the power of destruction and darkness. It’s normal somewhere. We don’t want to be destroyed and we don’t want to suffer. That’s why … with “HATHOR“ I wanted to remove a bit of the fear, the feeling of fright coming from death and destruction; it’s a manner to inform people in advance with my music and sounds: what kind of atmosphere they may encounter after death or facing the evil. To be aware, acquainted to these kind of sounds while we are alive! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be scared while listening HATHOR! Enjoy it! … let these wings of darkness make you fly with me! ha! ha! ha ! (scary laughter). But it’s important to emphasize that I am not at all worshiping the devil! Nor Satan. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the the devil is not Satan, and Satan is not Lucifer. Sathanael is an entity, a cosmic being … and a metaphysical principle as well. Same, concerning Lucifer. Satan is immobile. It’s a threshold. A border, a terrible Guardian. The place of separation, division. Lucifer is the aspect of Satan who is falling down: it’s the descent of the light into the obscurity of the matter. Lucifer is the highest being possible, the first emanation of the initial Point as a Being (Lucifer) who is the Entity of Light as Space-Time, means the Entity of Relativity. Lucifer is the entity of the Relativity, the same relativity that was studied by Einstein from a scientific point of view. Evil is everywhere. Darkness is everywhere, but the thing is that a seed of the Ultimate Light was introduced into the darkness. This light has to increase, to grow inside us, made of ignorance and obscurity, our basic stuff. It’s only this light that can allow us to fight against death. The entity of death. It’s the story of “The Lord of the Rings” and a bit of “Star War”. The Angel of the Death tries always to kill the glorious Sons emanated by the Logos. That means that the Logos is fighting against Himself. “Strong against God” is the name of the Victory over death. It’s a very complex matter. A serious one! To penetrate in these mysteries of the consciousness requires a high level of spirituality and training. An inner fire is needed. This Fire of Light … is the Sword able to challenge the forces of darkness and the Angel of the Death. He is an emissary of the Logos. I prefer this term (Logos) and not say “God”. It’s just a belief. Better to not believe and worship, but to act and to transform the darkness which is in us in light.
The entire meaning of human existence is to fight against death and darkness to be delivered of them … and that our matter, our body, skin, nerves, flesh, leaves the place to light and immortality. A body of light but MATERIAL. Our duty is to remove the veil and then to be absorbed by the Ultimate Light while remaining alive and conscious. This will be the Supramental Being upon earth. No place here to develop further, sorry!
Les fous d’or starts in the same way as Hathor but then completely change its course.
I.W.: Hmmm… no. Not at all. Not at all in the same way. “HATHOR” is starting with a glorious hymn to Sathanael. At contrary, “Les Fous d’Or” introduce immediately a strange atmosphere, ritualistic, very occult. There is an expectation, all the atmosphere is muggy; I invoke the spirits of the night in the forest and they accept to manifest their presence. The listener share with me the privilege of this rare encounter. Not so many musicians can do what I do with the spirits of the nature. About “Les Fous d’Or”, all the album is a kind of mental labyrinth: you open a door and you find yourself facing odd things, not necessarily logic but that you hold in yourself without knowing it most of the time. My music is a kind of therapy that helps to unveil mental images that are not necessarily personal but archetypal, collective inner landscapes. My music propose a collective psychotherapy: more efficient and cheaper. It’s the role of the music in fact: to heal. To provide happiness. To enter in our own body cells …. because everything is happening at this level: our body cells. The cell is the key of the human transformation. If the things are remaining only in the mental, or in the vital, emotions, sensations, feelings, ideologies, ideas …. nothing fundamental can change. But if with the help of the science and the yoga (spiritual work) the Force can enlight the cells … then a great mutation of the human consciousness and human body will occur. Sure.
To end with this topic, “Les Fous d’Or” is proposing some audio-mental landscapes, sound images. Each of my albums propose a journey inside ourselves. Images, travels. Things are in motion, like passenger of a train. We all seat in the wagon while the train carry us and through the window we can observe many kinds of landscapes: at the end, what did you see? What is the image that will remain from all the travel? What image will be the synthesis of all the journey? … Now it’s my turn to ask you the question: From all my past albums, what is the track that is the synthesis of all the journey proposed by these six albums, from “Logos” to “Let’s Start” ?! …. of course, the adventure, the journey is far to be finished. Nevertheless, I put this question in front of you and of your readers.
Everything is joyous in fact, wide open on a glorious world to come. The title of my albums are the keys opening the doors of my inner universe. But it’s a common house. Its not “my” inner world. We are not the owner of anything, just the caretakers. We all share the same universe, the same house. A fantastic cosmic vessel!
Are all of your albums created from a similar concept or do they actually differ in its meaning?
I.W.: I’ve already answered to this question before in this interview. In particular just before, about “Les Fous d’Or”. However, it’s clear that each album is spontaneous and different from the others and the meaning of each different and multiple. A “Fugue” of Bach is mathematical, abstract: it’s difficult to put images on a fugue of Bach. Yet, our soul is marveled by his Fugues or his cantatas. That means that geometry and numbers are the roots of all the images and forms, structures, mental structures and organic structures that are created by the consciousness. Images are the product of the consciousness and they are alive. Images are not just what we see. They have their own power of creativity, their own life. I don’t know if you follow me. That means that the images arousing from my music have some powers in themselves, independently of my will. They are free and I let them wander around. I have to be extremely conscious when I compose and mostly when I release an album: I have to be careful about the kind of sound-images that I introduce in the mind of the people. In my next album (to come soon) there are plenty of new images extremely suggestive. They are good horses (!) and should penetrate deeply in people’s mind.
We are multiple beings … divided inside ourselves and outside as well … though absolutely one in essence, individually and collectively. So, in the diversity of all my albums and recordings, you can find and see the unity linking all of them like the pearls of a same neckless. The neckless is the thread, the unity. Let’s say, the line, the trajectory. Unity. I am the neckless and my albums are the pearls! My god. But each pearl is different, their aspect is different. It’s not the same pearl repeated each time. What makes the beauty of a neckless is all these elements put together. My neckless is not yet completed. Far to be completed. That’s is the fun of it. I would be an ordinary artist … you would know already everything. With me, even if I answer your questions, you know nothing about me and you are always expecting the adventure to continue.
Who did the cover artwork for your albums?
I.W.: The choice is always mine. Never it is the recording company who is imposing me a cover. But they have talented graphic designer to arrange everything, the title, my name, the inscription, the design of the letters. The inscription is always very important for me. It’s the best moment when my heart can offer my music – even imperfect – to somebody that I love particularly. But even if it’s not mentioned, all my music is dedicated to my mother and my little brother. Marica and Alexandre. Concerning my covers, only HATHOR cover was of my own. “Let’s Start” also. The cover of “Let’s Start” shows the Sacred Mountain: the Rock. The symbolic meaning of the rock is extremely profound and important. Not at all something sexual, even if you see a phallus. Erection is the external action only – as a physical consequence – of the Snake of Fire that you can admire for example on the walls of the Luxor Temple in Egypt: the action of the life-energy across the universe under its natural aspect. The Universe is not merely Nature. Behind the natural forces of the Cosmos (including our planet who is a synthesis in small of the entire universe) dwells an abstract universe, an universe of totally abstract nature: the Cosmic Consciousness has two faces, two aspects in one: one aspect is the Nature – upper nature and lower nature, two hemispheres who are globally named “Elohim”, the ruler of the cosmic natural forces – … and the other aspect is the realm of the Principles: what the Christians are calling the “Father” and the Jews are calling the “Tetragram”: Immanence, pure abstraction, geometry and numbers; they are the direct expression of the Will-Power – RATZON – which is the architect and the ruler of the entire creation, including ELOHIM, the other aspect of the Tetragram, four letters that cannot be pronounced. We use to call the entire creation and its structure: the LINE: an extension of the Initial Point. That’s why the number 2 is attributed to the Line. But two in One. The Unity is indivisible. Nothing can break the Unity. Within Himself – as an act of auto determination – the One allows and accepts the play of the duality for the only purpose of the manifestation. I explained a bit these things before in this interview. The other covers of my albums are by: William Blake (“Logos”); Philippe Druillet (the famous comic-strop french designer) for “Dr. Faust”; … then, my father Georges Wakhévitch (“Les Fous d’Or”) and a friend of mine, a very talented painter, Olivier Legris (“Nagual”).
What about Nagual (Les ailes de la perception) and Let’s Start releases?
I.W.: “Nagual” is an album made from small fragments of a much longer piece of music of two hours that was performed under the title “Human Called Being” by Carolyn Carlson and the National Opera of Paris Group of Theatral Researches, at the International Festival of Shiraz-Persepolis in Iran, a world creation in the effective presence of Her Majesty, Royal Highness, the Empress of Iran, Farah Palhavi (see my website www.igorwakhevitch.com for the photos of my encounter with the Empress).
The Nagual, a “nagual” – in the Toltec tradition – is a “master of the consciousness”: he can change his appearance at will and travel in the world of the Nagual, which is the left side of the nature, the irrational side (a very versatile place), the magic side, the occult side of the Nature, a world of pure energy; but it’s a conscious energy, a place where the consciousness adopt the form of dreams, a world of dreams, but in term of energy, where the consciousness is able to take the appearance of certain beings, including trees, plants, animals, river, wind, inorganic beings even, etc. … and attract you in a story of her own, not only symbolic. To enter in this world there are special technics and require a very high discipline and a long training. The use of certain natural substance coming from the plants are part of the exercise. The “nagual” is very present in the story “The Lords Of The Rings”. By yourself you should be able to recognize the moments of the story – a legend, a myth – in which the Nagual is very active. All the atmosphere of this record – “Nagual” – is permeated with magic, occult momentum’s; even the innocent pieces, joyful as “Peter’s Journey” is … are belonging to the Nagual side of the word. It’s the case also with the “Smile Of Wolf On The Bench” at the limit of mental balance, a very pathetic piece; and also “Cinderella”, “Stop The World” and of course “Chirakan Ixmucane” … a piece that a lot of people in India – where I was living – was listening all the time during years: it’s a music which takes you very high and provokes a kind of inner ecstasy. It’s not a music that belongs to ordinary life, meaning the life of everyday, on the plane of self-consciousness, the cartesian order of the things: the “tonal”. The right side. Nagual’s music (my album) belongs to the left side. Soon you will listen my right side! ha ha ha ! As crazy as before! (joking).
“Let’s Start” – at contrary – is announcing a cosmic civilization. It’s just the beginning. That’s why I called it “Let’s Start”. But it doesn’t mean that there is no poetry anymore in the cosmic consciousness; at contrary, everything is part of it. That’s why “Taddy’s Fruit Garden” figures on this album; or “Ramallah’s Road”. Taddy boy was my best friend in India, a kind of Mowglee playing electric guitar, making his own guitars from local wood and taking months to achieve them.
His fruit garden was existing for real and he was very very proud to show me his papayas, tomatoes, marijuana, potatoes, leaks, etc. just behind his house. He had also in his bedroom a very naughty and cruel mongoose. All these elements are belonging to the cosmic consciousness. Same for “Monks in the snow”. Just imagine a monk in the snow. Not an ordinary monk. An orthodox one, with a long long beard, a long black dress and a wooden crucifix on his chest. Caught in a snowstorm. Not doing ski. This would be a non-sense. It has to be a snowstorm and the monk has to be in great difficulty, caught by the violence of the storm, his beard and long cloak swept away by the whirls. This is cosmic. Not to go sledding. Although …. why not?
But a monk. Only a monk. You or me, not at all! Both we are not enough cosmic for the moment. We are only tourists drinking coca-cola or tomato juice, wearing sun glasses, having some hot-dogs with ketchup under the sun. Poor solar system. Poor sun. A so distressing show.
Is there any unreleased material?
You’re also a great friend of Robert Wyatt and Mick Ratledge of Soft Machine and you also met Pink Floyd. How did you get to know Robert and Mick? What do you think about Soft Machine and its legacy? And what’s your opinion about Pink Floyd?
I.W.: What I can disclose now to the public for the first time, and it’s a real scoop, a true story, not a fantasy of my mind, is that I was the anonymous person who saved the Soft-Machine from starvation. I fed them, taking care of them like a mother. Each musician received a lemon pie and a packet of cigarettes Lucky Strike. That’s why they adopted me in their group like an orphan; all of them was brave and charitable people, good-hearted, the cream of Her Majesty people. Kevin Ayers with his long hair and his burgundy jeans in velvet was taking bath in the Mediterranean sea while Daevid Allen was drawing and writing poems. Mick Ratledge with his small rectangular blue glasses was drinking coffee all along the day, never eating anything, just drinking coffee. He was really a great musician and his electric organ something totally magic. I never heard such sound. I was literally hypnotized by this organ. Everybody was fantastic, including the roadies. Often I was on stage with them, interacting in a kind of crazy happening performed in the middle of them, interacting with them. Robert Wyatt was a genius of drums. He was never putting a shirt on stage. I was always with him, taking care of his suitcase and of his many drumsticks. Very often I was sharing dinner with them after the big concerts like the Palais des Sports in Paris, listening the recording of the concerts just after. The dinner was always served on the floor. They had also a very good young manager; this aspect is very important for the musicians. My only manager till now is the LOGOS.
Strangely, I met the Pink Floyd for the first time exactly at the same place that the Soft-Machine, just maybe two or three miles of distance. The Soft-Machine was very poor, the Pink Floyd almost rich. Not very rich, but on the way of becoming very rich. The four Pink Floyd listened my album “Logos” in my presence. I tried to look natural; I was so impressed! All of us sharing the same sofa. Try to imagine! Incredible! This is history. It has been the beginning of a real friendship. They told me that with the kind of music that I was doing, I should go to England to work and live. It was very true, a very good advice. Unfortunately I didn’t follow their advice. I was engaged with my projects in France and having a contract with EMI. I didn’t want to leave immediately my country; … and what? … After this first encounter and a delicious dinner with them, I met them several times, mostly before and after their concerts. It was great to be with them in their dressing room and also on stage after the concert, David Gilmour and Richard Wright introducing me to each of their instruments and technical system. Nick Mason also was explaining me his electronic drums. Pads. Really nice memories. I have some also with the Rolling Stones.
About Soft-Machine legacy, according to me, their best legacy is Robert Wyatt. He is a genius and an ice-cream. Strawberry ice-cream with a pinch of cardamon and a huge spiral of chantilly cream on the top, you know what is the chantilly of course if you are a real manager, the inspirator of “It’s Psychedelic Baby”. Robert is a so charming and nice person. A beautiful soul. His music is wonderful, so innocent. So, it’s what really remains from Soft-Machine: Robert Wyatt.
No opinion on Pink Floyd. I have only opinions when I don’t like something. They had a great influence on me when I was 16, still in the Conservatory of Music. Nobody was listening this kind of music, except me and a friend of mine in the Conservatory, also a pianist and later a good composer. It’s sad that most of the greatest bands are deciding to frustrate us, not playing anymore together. Maybe no more juice. Creativity lost. That’s the point: we have to be always linked to the source of energy. Not only for music. For the person, for the soul. Few have the knowledge of how soul is functioning … and what is its structure. Even the pope. He doesn’t know. The priests are ignorant. It’s a pity.
I.W.: “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” (the title itself is incredible) is the most important psychedelic album of all time. Syd Barrett is the soul of the Pink Floyd, the root of the band. I think that Syd one day had a vision of me flying high in the sky facing the Gates of Dawn. These gates are in India. It’s where you can find them. The piper is me, very fragile. Very risky. Just an attempt to cross these doors. Unfortunately Syd Barrett is totally unknown from the actual generation who doesn’t imagine even what is real music. I don’t know if you realize that such kind of music (I speak about Syd Barrett) was never heard before. Nowadays, it’s the reign of rap, slam, techno, electro, etc. They need to find their Syd Barrett. Meaning a revolution. They have to do their revolution. But wait for Gigi l’Amoroso. Soon he will open his mouth and his divine lips will begin to shine.
How about other French bands and German bands of the time? Did you enjoy any? For instance; Magma, Art Zoyd, Universe Zero, or German bands like Tangerine Dream, Can, Amon Düül II, Faust?
I.W.: I never comment about other musicians. In your list, many are wounded. I love “Grateful Dead” because they don’t need at all the help of a nurse.
How about Silver Apples or The United States of America (Joe Byrd), two electronic driven groups from the USA?
I.W.: Same answer. Don’t try to make me stumble. My taste for apples is limited. It’s a sin to eat an apple. You know it very well. Mostly silver ones. For me an apple should be transsexual and adopt an orange color, like apricots, mangoes, oranges: all of them joyfully have adopted the orange color in favor of transsexuality. What about me?! What kind of fruit am I? What is my color? … Maybe I am a peach. A mixture of yellow, white, pinkish-red. A new sexuality to be invented. For that, in this perspective – a very exciting adventure – I am searching for a good partners. Gigi? Rose? Arthur? Lakshmi? Paul? Casimir? Frodo? … a balrog, a demon of the ancient ages, a peach of fire? problemo, Gandalf doesn’t let him pass. My sexuality with a balrog is very compromised. I think Frodo is perfect for such kind of sexuality, he is a very cute peach. Nice color. The “Silver Apples” are psychedelic in a too narrow manner according to my taste. It’s just a façade. Some Americans, the true ones, are hard psychedealers. I like them, they are crazy, non-conformist, like me. Nobody can fool me in terms of psychedelism. I always had to hide my psychedelism. To avoid crazy people all around me: those who have the most ordinary life. When I was a child, in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a french resort, during the summer holidays, on the beach, the daughter of the french poet Jacques Prévert hit my head with a hammer. By jealousy only. Pure jealousy. I was so cute, so beautiful, blonde like the little Prince George, that everybody was looking at me all the time. Poor girl. That’s why I’ve been mentally disturbed all my life and psychedelic since that time. A hammer. In french, a “marteau” (hammer) is somebody mad. Crazy. I am completely “marteau”. Thanks to Jacques Prevert’s sperm. Spermato-zoom.
What happened in the 1980s and onward? You were and are still very active.
I.W.: I have collaborated with Indian dancers, odisssi and baratha-natyam. Uttara was living in New-York and was a pupil of Martha Graham. Ileana is a great odissi dancer (a style of dance from Orissa), very famous in India. She was born in Italy. She wanted to do a choreography inspired by “Echo And Narcissus” the Greek myth. Knowing how much by birth I am echo-man, and Narcissus-born with a pair of ski on my feet already in the womb of my mother, she asked me to compose for her dance my best echoes. A piece full of echoes. It has been a great success! Good collaboration. I’ve collaborated also with the thunder. Sincerely. Yes, the thunder. You know very well that I am perfectly able to work with the thunder. You’ll see. Or you’ll hear. I’ve also collaborated with the Goddess of Dawn, Usha. During many years the 28th February. At dawn of course. Another collaboration I had … was with an orchestra of frogs. “The Boobalan Frog Orchestra”. They are very famous in all Tamil-Nadu. Incredible electronic musicians. I think I’ve lost the tape of my work with them. It was one of my hits in India. Number one at the hit-parade for more than six months in a row. Renu Neogy, plus Nathalie and Rondha was my best fans. To close the matter, in the past I’ve collaborated with the past. A very famous guy, very popular due to his glorious past. A very chic fellow, but PUNK. Or punk, but CHIC.
What currently occupies your life and what are some future projects?
I.W.: Ha, ha, ha, ha !!! … How could Igor Wakhevitch have projects? He is the anti-project by excellence. Because he is at the image of Aleph. All of a sudden he appears and disappear before even he appeared. Aleph cannot be captured by space-time. Aleph is intermittence by nature. Appearing suddenly, intermittently. Discontinuity. Continuity is a process of evolution in the duration: YOD. Yod is not only a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. It’s a structure, a principle, a function also. Each time you see the letter Yod in a text, that means that the energy that is involved in its structure (the structure of the letter and its attached number) is active, in action, in interaction with the other letters of the word or the entire phrase’s structure. Existence is the process of evolution in the duration: YOD. It’s something – existence, this process – which is offering resistance to Aleph … because Aleph is not at all duration. Aleph is timeless and spaceless. It’s action is a pulsation: so fast that even the speed of the light is slow compare to Aleph’s immanence. Speed. Aleph is a totality, but not involved in space-time. That’s why any project is the enemy of spontaneity. They are antagonist. They have to fight against each other. Duration against Aleph, the Timeless. It’s a struggle between them, but there is no winner. They need each other. From their fight arise Indetermination. For the Primordial Consciousness it means the liberation from self-imposed boundaries and limitations implemented for the only purpose of the creation and the BEING. “To Be” is a burden. A slavery, totally antagonist to the Absolute, to the NOTHING ELSE. Then … you can understand … that all the projects are non-projects, and in the same, time, are existing in an Eternal Present. Sheltering time, space, being. Aleph is a kind of explosion. A centrifugal force. That’s why I am actually focusing on a point. Be enough clever and understand by yourself.
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?
I.W.: Oh yes. It’s my pleasure. The complete opus of Carlos, the french singer. I recommend to your readers plenty of albums and my favorite songs:
1) DALIDA: “Il avait dix-huit ans”
2) IGOR STRAVINSKY: “Symphony of Psaums”, “Noces”, “l’Histoire du Soldat”, etc. everything from Stravinsky. “Petrushka” “Really you” (an unknown piece that I discovered recently)
3) BELA BARTOK: Concertos for piano. “Le Château de Barbe-Bleu”. “Le Mandarin Merveilleux”, “la Vie en Rose”; “Satisfaction”; etc.
4) PROKOFIEFF: “L’Ange de Feu”. “Peter and the Wolf”. “Leo on the Beach”.
5) ALBAN BERG: “Wozzeck”.
6) THE ROLLING STONES: Concert for violin in A flat. “Aftermath” Album.
7) RAY CHARLES, FATS DOMINO, ARETHA FRANKLIN, NINA SIMONE, OSCAR AND THE WILDES, CHARLIE MINGUS, ELLA FITZGERALD, DONALD TRUMP QUARTET AND THE GYPSIES, OSCAR PETERSON TRIO. Duncan Mciness. BERG YODEL. CHIKEN YODEL
8) RAPHAEL : “Caravan”
9) JOHNNY HALLIDAY : “Je suis né dans la rue”. “Retiens la nuit”. “Le Pénitencier”. “Da Doo Ron Ron”. “Gabrielle”. “My dinner with Igor”.
10) MILES DAVIS : “Bitch Brew”
11) DING-DANG-DONG : “Jumbo Jet” with Leonardo di Caprio on the congas and Gigi l’Amoroso on the clarinet.
12) KLAUS FRANÇOIS : “Alexandrie, Alexandra”
13) JOHN LEE HOOKER: “Im bad Like Jesse James”
14) RY COODER: “Here’s a song for you … Nobody’s Fault But Mine“
That’s all. Oh yes: I forgot “Don Giovanni” by Wolfang-Amadeus MOZART. “The Magic Flute”. “Les Noces de Figaro”. All his works, including the “Requiem”.
When you listen to music, do you still learn?
I.W.: Guess? What do you think? …. ?
…. I am a Rossignol, never forget it. The forest is full of birds who are such a great musicians. We all communicate permanently. We are a cosmic network of information based on self-progress through each other. We are a single bird and his singing lights the stars. The Bird’s singing is the nectar of immortality. I am an humble apprentice bird.
Interview completed on 05. 05. 2018. Copyright Igor Wakhevitch with special authorization granted to Klemen Breznikar and the magazine It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine for release on any kind of platform including Internet. Interview by Klemen Breznikar.
– Klemen Breznikar