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Travelling with a piano

A lot of people ask me if I travel for concerts or for pleasure.

At the moment I don’t travel much for concerts abroad except in Australia but one of my dreams is to take my music all over the world.

Travelling is my second passion. I find in travel what music brings me: meeting people, creativity, novelty, exploration and the unknown.

I like to travel in particular to discover the diversity of nature.

It is February 12, 2023 and I am currently based in Arusha for 2 months, a city in the north of Tanzania where tribes and religions have come together to live in harmony without conflict and judgment.

The city is surrounded by lush vegetation due to the abundant rainy season half the year. The population is very young, there are about 5 children per family.

From there I go on excursions to the plains of the Serengeti or to other national parks to meet nature and animals.

I am attracted to the great outdoors, which nourishes me with its power and immensity. The plains of the Serengeti are called “the infinite plains”, those that have no beginning and no end. In these spaces filled with herds of animals during migration, time is no longer, it stopped a long time ago.

When I travel I always take a keyboard and music paper. It is during these trips that I get the most inspiration. Melodies come out, harmonic colours come out of the piano as fast as I write them. It’s great for my creation. So I know now that I need a time during the trip when I can sit down with my instrument and get out all the things I accumulate when I am in contact with the wilderness.

Another aspect that I like very much about travelling, which is also very useful for my creative work, is the encounters. Contact with other cultures. Here in Tanzania, I visited a school. The pupils are between 3 and 14 years old and there are four in each desk. There are no books, the kitchen is only a wood fire, and some of the children do not have the opportunity to eat lunch with the other children.

They all wear uniforms to avoid being different. 70 per class, disciplined, the pupils are desperately short of a teacher and know how lucky they are to be at school.

Children full of life, strength, joy, desire and intelligence, should also have the possibility to live their dream.

As an artist I can only compose and write about these injustices and inequalities.

It was while driving my car across the plains of Tanzania in the oppressive heat of the dry season that I composed Burning Road. Scenes of the harshness of local life are constantly exchanged with scenes of beauty, colour and harmony. This composition is the result of these tensions flying through my dust-covered windscreen.

Burning Road will be released on 3 March in an album called Utopian’s, which is a collaboration of several pianists around the protection of nature.