By Rosine Alleva, Rock At Night EU Editor
Anthony Rouchier opened up to music by starting with the guitar and studying electro-acoustics at the National Conservatory of Nice and at the CIRM (International Center for Music Research), then in Musicology at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He is today multi instrumentalist, combines tango, electro, rock and classical music. His last album “Powerslave” was released last April.
I asked Anthony where this multifaceted gift was coming from. He said he doesn’t consider it as a gift like maybe other musicians. It all came with a lot of work. Playing guitar and electronic music pushed his curiosity to discover more instruments. He considers the gift is probably more in the composition, having the ability to transcend your feelings, an emotion with something artistic. Every approach is different. When composing for dance for example, Anthony feels more free than for an album. Creation for theater, film or dance is more mental than playing live in a band!
When we talked about Anthony’s favorite musical creations, the ones he liked the most to compose were the reinterpretation of “the Rite of Spring” from Stravinsky in 2003, a specific piece the artist is very proud of and “Nu Tango”(2001), mixing tango with electronic music (one of the first to innovate the style).
Music has no religion, is transcending language, politics and national boundaries.
An interesting conversation followed about this total ignorance during the long months of lockdown when culture was zeroed out…Especially for artists like Anthony Rouchier covering several disciplines.
Anthony said it’s clear and precise that this Pandemic showed the limit of the capitalist system, where culture has been forgotten. “People think culture is great crying when Daesch destroyed Palmir, when a Léonard de Vinci painting is just priceless…In fact the only thing that’s important is the consumption, the business. People don’t care about culture. Culture is important, it’s the pillar of our civilization! Putting Healthcare prior to freedom of expression is unacceptable!!”
Was culture particularly needed during the Pandemic?
Anthony Rouchier pointed out the difference between culture and entertainment, explaining the lambda individual wanted entertainment during the lockdown, like trying to become a DJ or taking out his guitar when he didn’t play for years to put it online while Netflix exploded. “There is a difference between Rock culture and variety music which is entertainment”.
Anthony insisted on the fact that since years one put so much emphasis on individualism that lack of culture is evident and that Covid did accelerate this process! The precautionary principle was so huge that it became anxiety-provoking, people went mad, suicidal.
Psychologically Anthony managed to hold on because he has more than one string to his bow. He lost a lot of money, two creations for the Metz opera were cancelled. With the resources he had, he still was able to create 2 mini albums and other projects. “From a psychological point of view we were able to bounce back, we’re a family of artists. Financially it was very hard as everything was cancelled, we had no choice! I had a financial audit to justify the French state help which wasn’t much at all, I just felt like a thief! I didn’t ask to stop working!”
With no financial assistance for foreign artists, we know some gave up their art and had to find other jobs…
To Anthony Rouchier money isn’t the reason why artists gave up their art. For him the real artist will always keep creating, whatever happens, forced to push himself to his most ultimate goal, with probably the best creations. “Those who stopped were surely meant to…Many artists in US or UK had double jobs, went through the Pandemic and kept creating! Art isn’t money!“
Ephemeral artists, social media & Live stream.
In France, Sacem (Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers) was giving money to create live streams! Anthony explained people did it for financial support and weren’t even artists! Others were artists scared to face reality who needed to keep existing through followers on Instagram or other social media! “It lost all meaning to me, the most important is to take pleasure and be proud of what you do! Virtual is killing venues, the Pandemic dehumanized!!”
Evolution of culture after the pandemic
Culture regression, pessimism, theaters closure, venues struggling are the main consequences according to Anthony Rouchier, wondering if it isn’t a big conspiracy to control people! “But there will always be small groups to move forward with a new wave of music, the return of poetry for example”
PLANS for 2022
Anthony will move on composing and play guitar with the new rock band he started with. He wants to play with real people, a bit fed up working in front of his computer during lockdown. “A live rock band, let’s be more physical!!! There is a rock culture in France! But most of all let’s stay in good health!”
Thank you very much for this very interesting interview!
Photo credit: Anthony Rouchier
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