How’s the culture going? # 4

Quentin Rollet : “I want to go free!”

Furious saxo and relentless activist of free music with his labels Rectangle and Bisou, Quentin Rollet is one of those who hold at arm’s length our underground noise, jazz and improvised, which always needs it. But since March, this absolutist of meeting and mutual aid has been at bay – zero concerts, sales stopped … We gave him a phone call to check on him.

“2020 was the year I had to have the most beautiful concerts. With Ghédalia Tazartès, with Nurse With Wound, a music-on-film project that was to be presented at Beaubourg and Moma in New York, invitations to Vilnius, Budapest, London, Amsterdam… Everything jumped. Huge disappointment, especially since each concert generates new ones behind. And then concerts are a way to meet other artists, to sell records. With our label, Bisou, we sell a lot more by talking to people than through shops. And we haven’t sold anything, physically, on the site since March … However, we are not at all ready to stick to digital. Because for me, a file is not a disk (with a beginning, an order, an end). So, although it is very hard to continue, we don’t want to stop, so we offer more and more record books – the object seems to interest more than just a record.
“The management of the government, I find it very badly done. Why not let people come to concerts seated, a little apart from each other? There are so many genres of music, including experimental, research music, like mine, which is played (usually already) in front of small audiences… But the government only sees big events, opera, festivals… There is a lack of culture on their part about the reality of living music as a whole.
“During the first lockdown, I recorded remotely on nine different projects – like the duet with Kim [Kim & Quentin Rollet mettent une ambiance de malade, ndlr] – which allowed me to occupy myself during all this time that in normal times I don’t have, because normally I have a full-time job alongside my activity as a musician. But playing alone at home, for me it’s horrible! What I want is meetings, reacting to things that are offered to me. Playing with and for people. At the first deconfinement, we found ourselves with musicians in a house in the suburbs, to play, for hours, thoroughly. I have so much energy to give back as a musician. I’m dying to be able to interact, to hear the real sound of several musicians again, playing together in the same room.
“I want to go free! To play free! ” Collected by Olivier Lamm

Aline Rolland : “Hopefully the third deconfinement will be on a Wednesday!”

At the head of the two Cameo arthouse cinemas in Nancy, Aline Rolland is an independent operator who fears that 2021 will not mark the end of the tunnel, and is preparing for the resumption against the backdrop of an unstable release schedule.

“We reopen on December 15 or 16, we don’t really know, distributors and exhibitors can’t come to an agreement. Suddenly, the release dates keep changing, it’s a moving carpet. It’s not like the first deconfinement, where there were few entry issues for the period June-July-August. We had worked at a loss, seven days a week, looking no further than doing our job “as usual”. But on the 15th, I do not resume “as usual”. I have a broken room that needs to be repaired – who says “shutdown” says “the equipment has broken down”. We reopen on a Tuesday, why? We are lost, we no longer know what the programming day is [où chaque salle sélectionne les films qu’elle mettra à l’affiche la semaine suivante]… Rather than watching movies, and yet that’s what we should do, we ask ourselves questions that we shouldn’t have to ask ourselves. I have a little humor at the moment, I say to myself: let’s hope that the third deconfinement will be on a Wednesday!

“In 2021, I don’t know how I will be able to continue to open every day, to pay 50% of revenues to distributors, when I have just lost 700,000 euros in revenues… I will have to release fewer films, that’s for sure. . We still have to get aid, because the loan guaranteed by the State is called a loan anyway: I am taking over six years of debt when I was almost out of it. I do not regret doing this job, far from it, but the fact remains that there are quite anxieties. As long as the spectators are there, it will be a real pleasure to see them again. ” Collected by Sandra Onana

Constance : “It’s not because it’s shit that you have to do anything!”

Comedian Constance Pittard, known simply as Constance, continues to ensure that “People have a good time” in his regular column on France Inter, anxiously awaiting the resumption of his self-produced show Pot Pourri.

“I want to, but it’s very fragile. The right word to talk about the reopening of theaters is “vital”. I set up my company to be in self-production, which means that I am not intermittent, I have no safety nets like partial unemployment. I eat thanks to the stage and I survive having played four or five times since March. Radio makes it possible to maintain a media presence and to continue to create, it is a joy to exhibit and a laboratory. On the other hand, it is very very poorly paid, it is not at all what makes me live. The problems were there before the Covid on the public service – there were the layoff plans, they are cutting the fat. What makes me very happy to be on France Inter is to be able to take the time to write my columns and be proud of what I do. Just because it’s shit doesn’t mean you have to do anything! It is also my social bond, otherwise I would spend the week hyper-isolated: already as artists, we are people a little neurotic, a little anxious. The loads fall every month and we must continue to remain funny, light, creative, while we do not sleep at night … I squeeze my buttocks and I expect only one thing: that it starts again. ” Collected by Sandra Onana



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