It does not matter, sometimes a turning point in the career. That of Chilly Gonzales took place at the sound-proof door of room B of the Ferber-studio & # 39; s. Old golden framed discs take up dust on the wall. At the back of the room, behind a screen, drags a mattress – we do not want to know what he knew. And close to the door is a piano, whose open box makes the soundboard sound in the open air. It was on these keys as he performed for Jane Birkin and tinkering between sessions of harmless little tunes that Chilly Gonzales thought, "And why should not I record a record?" Turn Bing. The interrogation has turned into a series of hit albums, Solo Piano, the third album of which will appear this Friday.
Chilly Gonzales tells us this in the same studio, fourteen years later. He wanted to change for the photo. He put on a bathrobe and put on slippers, which are more or less regular uniforms (he had also walked around with underpants and sneakers for only work clothes). Sitting on an old couch, enveloped in the delicious smells of sweat and cold tobacco that make the soul of music locations, the vampire-like, pale-looking dandy is warm, almost friendly, a crazy horse who likes to talk and talk. Of course. The moment is a bit special for him: "We have to fight against the fascination to be in the paper." And to add: "I have nothing to do with the media", which have spread enormously about the character. "But when I lived in Paris, I told myself that what I really liked was the portrait of the Libé!" Without going over?
Chilly Gonzales, before he got his portrait in the paper, was born as Jason Charles Beck, a descendant of a Canadian entrepreneurial father in the construction industry, rich. His brother is another composer, Christophe, a lover of film music. In the second he associates the idea of opposition, of rivalry between musicians. Initially, the sediment was a creed that allowed him to turn his head: the obsession with success. "With us, religion was a success," he sighs. My father only thought about that. He did not doubt himself. I had that chance. "Before I explained:" I have a relationship that does not have to do with money, complex with success. "
It is an easy part, but it is as follows: to challenge the reputation and to compete against the underground bustle of Berlin, where he lived for a long time – today he takes care of in Cologne – Jason was built in the course of from the 2000s the character of Gonzales, self-proclaimed "musical genius", dictator of all music. "To always be Chilly Gonzales, I would feel super villain," says someone who is shy in revealing his private life. "I do not like to talk about it, I have even removed some albums that went too far", where the text became too clear (and no, he is not gay). In his peel of Gonzales, both shield and screen, Jason goes from rap to pop, from rock to jazz, from classical to varied, from Feist to Peaches, from Daft Punk to Drake, a crossover career by nature, where the mix takes place of matrix, and where the character, the man of appearance and inspiration, is a subject. A motto glides through a sentence that has fallen into studio B: "It is not art if you do not talk about yourself."
Jason learned the piano from his grandfather. Serious. Every day he listens to his dose of classic, closes himself in adulthood in an apartment to resume the study of teenage cores. He is aware of his technical limitations, he will never become Horowitz – who has never called rap. But he tries to do things right, as if the earnestness is the promise of his good faith. "I went back to the piano, I got used to the instrument again." Harvesting: the famous Solo Piano, an accident album that has become a hit with its "satiesque" miniatures, aligned as weak studies on wobbly riffs. Chilly Gonzales is hit by the reception, & # 39; personal comments & # 39; that has awakened the CD. "It is addictive to know that music contributes to something positive, it was the most optimistic period in my life." Especially because he "experiences a problem with playing the ill-mannered artist." It becomes cliché. After 40 years we are deeper. "He puts the cover in his piano in 2012," more ambitious. "New success, and today this third album, which wants to be more raw, decorated with a docu in its glory.
In this classic world where he evolves willingly today, Gonzales is tolerated as a free spirit, held on the edge. He has a foot with Deutsche Grammophon – which proves nothing. The Histrion is considered a distant cousin, rather nice that one only comes on Christmas days. That day, in the corridors of the Ferber studio, they meet Katerine, Souchon, with whom he has already worked, then the laureates of the last Chopin competition.
Despite his expertise in the underground of the music factory, the beast Gonzales, also "melancholic humor and Jewish culture, Groucho Marx Woody Allen", would be complete without his extraordinary landscape know-how. What a showman my grandfathers! Joker, playing with the audience, with the works … "Performer is the top of the pyramid.It is a place of exaggeration, which does not lead to more truth, but to authenticity." He sees humor as something that has to be strategic. sprinkled. "But I still need a piano: I could not get up." He sometimes regrets that the entertainment takes up too much space in his recitals that have the length of the oceans: he is the record holder of the concert the longest, twenty-seven hours thirty minutes forty-four seconds, in 2009, at Ciné 13, in Montmartre. Troubadour to the end, he pulls a dry guitar next to the couch, chained together and the minor with syncopes in the following Bossa way: "Guillaume Tioooon, Guillaaaume Tioooon …" Only that, we hold on for a minute. Fun.
The only one of its kind, Chilly, could only try to reproduce Gonzales. So he opened a Gonzervatoire, self-financed ("it's my entrepreneurial side, I'm thinking of a guitar harpsichord, the" guitar playing ") and he teaches seven invited students to" let go "in public. Nobody learns how to act on stage and greenhouses build up musical robots. Music is not the disk. The music is played in a room with a performer and spectators. We must tell them that red light is freedom.
1972 Born.2000 First album.2004 Solo Piano (No Format) .2009 Recordman of the longest concert.7 September 2018 Solo Piano III.3 October Release of the documentary Shut Up and play the piano.
Guillaume Tion photo Jérôme Bonnet for liberation