“After obtaining a first prize for virtuosity at the conservatory, I went to study composition at the New York University. It was like a big slap in the face! I discovered the contemporary music of Guezzo, Cage, Babbit for whom I created some music. And I learned the new technologies of music. In ’85 I was part of one of the first multimedia performances of history. I was playing marimba, there were sensors on it that were connected to a computer which transformed the sound and controlled the lights of a building in Washington Square!
When I came back to Geneva, I put up a notice in a shop: “Musician experienced in music technology”. Charles Aznavour sees this, and he was completely crazy for new technologies, so he calls me. You know, when you’re coming out of punk music, Aznavour… I wasn’t very impressed. But as soon as I saw the guy… He became like my dad. He was one of the great ones. He didn’t seem very friendly, but he was such a cool guy. We used to eat at the Migros cafeteria in Vésenaz, and people would tap on his shoulder: “damn, you look so much like Aznavour!” And he’d turn around : “Yeah, people always tell me this!” (laughs)
From then on I started to do everything and anything for him. As we drove from Paris to Geneva, he’d try to explain to me that a song must tell a story. He disliked my atmospheric texts, my poetry of emptiness. He didn’t have this spoiled kids’ thing that allow us to be floaty artists (laughs)! What’s nice is that when you’re with him you end up in the studio of Queen with Dave Richards in Montreux, and you meet everyone. You bump into Bowie, and Aznavour tells me : “I’d like to do a duo with Bowie.” So I go to see Bowie and I tell him. Damn, he looks at me with hatred in his eyes. He wasn’t interested at all (laughs)!
All these stories are beautiful, but once I moved to Paris, I was in the hands of his business guys. It wasn’t interesting anymore. So I told myself: I’m an artist, I’m not an employee of the Aznavour holding. So I decided to leave.”
(translated from French)