Do you believe in luck for success or hard work to achieve want you really want?
It depends on what you call success. Usually, we speak about the public recognition, how many records you sell, how many people come to your shows, how many articles you have in the musical newspapers. I don't know how this stuff comes. Maybe luck can be part of it: the luck to make the good thing at the good place, at the right moment.
As for achieving what you really want, that's what I'm interested in. But I'm not sure hard work is the really the key. It's certainly necessary at some point, but I still have the feeling that the key is the will, the violent envy to create your stuff. When the envy is too strong, it makes you do things, it guides you, it makes you work very hard sometimes, and it can open any door.
Is it Sylvain Chauveau a citizen of the world? Do you feel that way when you are on tour?
I like the idea of world citizenship. I'm not sure the borders on this planet are a good thing. But I can't forget my cultural background. Every time I'm travelling I realize how french I am. It's not that I'm proud or ashamed of it. It's just that I've spend 36 years of my life in France and that is my background, my language - though I can speak fluently English and I can understand a bit Spanish. Now I am happy to live outside of France, in Belgium. It's good to try to see things from outside after a while. It makes one understand the world from a slightly different angle. In the past two years I've been touring in different countries, different continents, and I could realize how the french point of view is reducing. And there is maybe one thing I'm ashamed of: our president is really awful. I really hope the left wing will find a decent leader in the future to beat him. France will lose a lot with Sarkozy as president.
You play with Arca, 0 and On. How do you get time to dedicate to all of these projects?
Most of my time is used for my personal, solo work. I play with Arca, On and 0 when we have the occasion to meet and play altogether. We usually plan working sessions. And I always love playing in those bands, with my good friends. It's all different styles. Arca is closer to rock, or post-rock, but now it's song-based. 0 is a quartet, very free, from experimental ideas to melodic pieces. And On is a duo of abstract improv (prepared guitar and percussion).
What are your future projects? Do you intend to go on a World Tour?
I have been working for two years on a new solo album. The title will be "Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)". It will be out in February 2010 on Type, on vinyl, Cd and download. My vocal will play an important part on it. It's gonna be a turning point in my music, a very important step for me. Very quiet and quite abstract, textures and atmospheres without proper melodies, but in a song format.
No world tour planned. I don't have any agent. I just wait and when promoters contact me to perform somewhere, I go. It all goes through my website: sylvain chauveau
Which is your foresight for the development of Ambient / Electronic / Experimental music in Europe?
It's very hard to tell. Today I can't see any movement lasting. Maybe the diffusion of music goes to fast, with the internet. The day a musician develops a new idea, it's immediately hearable all around the world and many other musicians use that new idea. Everything is immediately absorbed. There is no more identity from Europe or any country or continent. You can enjoy a new recording by a Lebanese improviser via internet, or the day after a Chinese percussion quartet. Where you are from doesn't count anymore, which is probably a good thing. What will make you different in the future is the ideas, because with computers we all have access to the same tools.