It’s a logbook, the one I’ve never really kept. My years of blues/rock and early music mingle here; the thousands of kilometres travelled with that theorbo of mine, the cities and the countryside, the railways, the skies, the scents, the lights; but above all, the music of the people.
Partite variate sopra quest’aria francese detta l’alemana is a tablature by Piccinini of an aria also called La Monica. In North America in the late nineteenth century, railroad hoboes carved their vagabond pseudonym along the tracks, which they called their ‘moniker’ . . .
Corrente VI sopra l’alemana, by the same composer, is the energetic counterpart to the noble and meditative allemande.
Like a Belfry is taken from a dream... Rosemary Standley has set her words to the melody and sings them.
J. H. Kapsberger’s Toccata nona is associated here with Perivoli Blue. Perivoli is a village in the south of the island of Corfu.
Thanks Toumani expresses my fascination with Mandingo music.
Bellerofonte Castaldi’s Arpeggiata a mio modo was one of my first challenges on the theorbo.
Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no.1 arrived under my fingers without warning and made a place for itself here by fitting in so naturally that I couldn’t say no to it. This is the piece chosen by my photographer friend Richard Dumas (who did the booklet cover and portrait) to make the video clip of the album.
With Kapsberger’s Bergamasca, a dance from Bergamo in Italy, the theorbo becomes a festive and agile instrument.
Dans la chambre de mon théorbe. Over a passacaglia by J. H. Kapsberger, we hear the actor and author Jean-Luc Debattice reading a poem he dedicated to me.
A Tea with Bach is an arrangement of the Minuet from Bach’s Cello Suite no.1.
The Toccata Undicesima serves as the introduction to an improvisation: Vos luths. And invokes India.
(from the article Carnet de route by Bruno Helstroffer)