January 16, 2009

Hector Zazou

Hector Zazou (keyb,el-b,electr,p,synth): [ZNR: Barricade 3] [Hector Zazou: Chansons des mers froides] [La Perversità: La Perversità] [Hector Zazou & Sandy Dillon: Las Vegas Is Cursed] [ZNR: Traité de mécanique populaire] Hector Zazou: "Beauty"

Hector Zazou died about half a year ago, in mid-2008. This man received the obituaries that he deserved, for his life's work in music was unique, creative, influential, and... hmm... "architectural". One of these obituaries was a rather personal one from Galician/celtic flute and bagpipe player Carlos Nuñez:

The man who lived in the heart of music

“At any rate, I don’t think that we can go any further in this way of electronically treating organic music.” “This CD will be my last testament,” “In India, I discovered a mystery that is linked to our musical origins and we need to pierce that mystery.”
Those are a few things that Hector said to us a few weeks ago, Xurxo and me, as he held our hands on his Parisian hospital bed, from which he could see the Eiffel Tower. And then he said “Goodbye, my friends.”
Hector Zazou was our friend from the day we met him, some twelve years ago. The Master of electronic music, in his most romantic, multi-cultural and human phase, recently passed away from a cancer that devoured him in just a few months. He had just turned 60. He had the enthusiasm, spirit and generosity of a beginner and was undoubtedly one of the most mysterious musicians of our time, both in the way he operated and in the way he created. He hid from photographers, fled from the stage, took the metro from his apartment in Paris’s city center to find refuge in his creative cave in the African neighborhood of Montreuil. He hid his real name and sometimes used other pseudonyms (he once admitted that one of them was André Compostel).
We collaborated frequently over the years. Every time he was involved in an interesting project, he would call me from some far-off corner of the world to tell me about it, or invite me to participate. As far as my own work goes some of my favorite recordings, like “Danza da Lua en Santiago” or “Danza de Entrelazado de Allariz” would never have been possible without his mysterious electronic treatment and his advice on musical shapes and macrostructures. I also have to thank him for the happy idea to record a Bach prelude played on a Galician gaita. Hector was particularly generous with Xurxo, sharing his secrets with him like a son... We will never forget the Christmas that we spent together, holed up in the house in San Adrian to prepare “Os Amores Libres”... Music was Everything for us and you proved that it was the same for you.
The last time I left him, I told him “Hector, you are not a tangible and quantifiable being like other humans; you are some strange energy that lives in the heart of music, you are like a spirit that hides and only allows its presence to be divined…. beyond the world of appearances.” I think he liked hearing that and he told Jean-Michel Reusser, his manager and friend, “Remember that Jean-Mi, for my epitaph.” I could have told Hector another thing, when we said goodbye, something I had once told my manager, Fernando Conde, the day after our last recording at his place last winter. I was saying how I thought that the recording session, with my Galician bagpipe and music from India and Uzbekistan, was the most incredible I had ever experienced. Hector was a genius, and allowed me to rediscover the instrument I had been playing for nearly 30 years. He guided me toward territories that I am pretty sure have never been explored, thanks to his desire to free this instrument from its “Celtic music” context and put it back on the path to its lost origins, in Eurasia. That last recording with Hector was like an initiatory journey for me.
He’s gone now. And as we said goodbye that day, he told us that he was leaving feeling accomplished and happy.

Carlos Nuñez (English translation Tanis Kmetyk, along with original French version found at Taktic Music)

No comments: