Cleo T.: Musique est une invitation au voyage

Verfasst von Pam am 11/04/17

CWLM: Tell us something about your ambition to make music. 

My main ambition is to invite the listener to take part of the artistic process by investing his feelings, his thoughts, his soul. There is a french poet called René Daumal who says that we have to be two to make a poem, the one who speaks and the one who welcomes the poem inside himself.

My only guide is to be as true as possible. Without any consideration of style or genre. Just make a song as unique as we all are. I think the artist’s main material is himself. It’s about trying to reach the purest and most transparent dialog with yourself, in one continuous, fluid and every-day movement. Only then can you try to create a sincere dialog with the listeners. 


CWLM: The songs on your new album are very divers. You sing in different languages, use different genres. Where does this diversity of ideas come from? 

I like the idea of re-composing reality through the prism of my own visions and imaginary. Sensitive reality is nothing but a surface of projection for our sensibilities to express themselves. I find fascinating the moment when Paul Cezanne looks at a landscape he knows by heart and suddenly interpretates it only with geometric lines, squares, cubes, opening the door to cubism. I try to use my sensibility as a broken mirror, reflecting a thousand skies.


CWLM: There are many exotic instruments on the album - the Oud, Tablas. Where does the inspiration to use these instruments come from?    

It is definitely more about connecting with great people, opening the doors to different cultures, backgrounds, sensibilities, than a formal sound research. In African Queen for example, I wanted to share the vision of this possibility of a promised land of Beauty, with Adnan Joubran, oud player from Palestine. His playing, his music approach but also what he carries as a person and artist is enriching the song. Then it was also a way to push the frontiers and create new imaginary associations, with those evocative instruments, bringing sudden atmospheres of unknown lands, of dreamy landscapes and exotic perfumes. Une invitation au voyage.    


CWLM: There are 13 artists supporting you on the new album. That gives your music a very distinctive sound. How did these collaborations come together?

 They all are artists and persons that I love and admire, both for their music and personal paths. I wanted the album to open a space. A no man’s land where everything could be possible, without consideration of background, nationality, or artistic heritage, just by the energy and the dialog of people gathered here and now.

In a way the whole process is to be thought as an artistic gesture.

Of course you need to find a common vocabulary to speak of a music that is not shared by everyone. And this forced us to speak about what matters most in each song, its color, its mood, its meaning. 


CWLM: You’ve moved from Paris to Berlin. How do you like living in the capital of Germany?    

From my point of view, Berlin offers much more freedom than Paris. First, there is more space , which allows to extend your ideas, your projects, your mind.
I find Berlin surprisingly « dolce » and I think it’s due to the diversity. You find any kind of shops, of crafts, you hear at least 7 different languages when going to the market. I feel like spaces and people communicate more than in other european capitals. Maybe because of the movement of people moving in and out. We are so many visitors and strangers coming here, we have to be more open minded and curious than in your own town.

One thing I also like about Berlin is that it’s less theatrically beautiful than Paris or Rome, where the cultural patrimony overwhelms you everywhere you look. And in a way it gives more possibility to unexpected beauty to show up in everyday life and decor.


CWLM: In your videopoem „Look at me I’m a horse“ you combine videoart and music. Where do you see the connection between both?

I like associating different media like video / poem or digital art / music and see what they can reveal when put together.

The live show is meant to be an immersive sensorial experience, where musicians are mostly in the dark and lights spread towards the audience. I consider art as a door to a kind of inner temple. Artists are meant to be guides, lighting up ways, unveiling new territories for anyone to walk through.

I read several reviews telling my new album is a « difficult » record. And indeed I don't think music and art should necessarily speak to everyone, speak directly, without any kind of prelude or effort. I like getting back to a sculpture, a record, a painting.  Investing my emotions, my knowledge or my personal experiences before finally understanding it. Then I have an intimate and unforgettable connection with it because I’ve been experimenting something myself. Not just receiving a product designed to please me. It’s not easy for artists today to resist to numbers - followers, streams, likes etc. But in fact it’s never about numbers. It’s about Intensity. 

The first thing I did when moving in my berlin flat was to draw a white square on a white wall as a mantra. Malevich shows us The White Square but we have the possibility to turn it into the door to transcendance, to spirituality, to anything we can find on our initiatory path. 

Roberto Bolaño spoke about the Poet being a hero, who unveils other heroes. In everyday life as in artistic process, I think we must take every possibility to become greater, to extend our limits, to spread our own light. 


Klickt hier, um zu Cleo T.s neuen Album zu kommen:

And Then I Saw a Million Skies Ahead