For me the word Friend is synonymous with support, exchange, creation, possibility… because it is through dialogue that ideas can hatch, and it is by being several that they can be achieved. When I dreamed the children’s harp competition, it is by working with Vinciane and Agnès that it could be born. I am a dreamer, apt to let loose in flights of fancy and bursting with ideas and projects… my head tends to be in the stars and thus I need to be surrounded by well-grounded friends to be able to bring all those projects to fruition.
My families are very important to me: my « lineage » dedicated me to music from the start: my mother is a Music Therapist, especially open to spirituality. She does marvelous work with gongs, using rebalancing and transmission principles. My father is squarer and dedicates himself to contemporary music. My grandfather is a violinist. One can climb up my family tree and find, in each generation, one or more musician. Beyond music, my siblings and I are very close, tightly knit. My brother and I play together, but I have very strong bonds with both my sisters, and this « upstream » family has an important role in the family my partner and I recently started…
Choosing to be a musician was natural, but I imposed the harp on my family. It was an unknown instrument to them, so they were reluctant; only the piano is less suited to an apartment in Paris. Besides, as of today there hasn’t yet been a concert where I wasn’t asked if choosing the flute wouldn’t have been more practical. But choosing the harp never failed me and I fully embrace it. This instrument makes me dream, it has its own symbolism, an evocative power no other instrument has. I told you I was a dreamer : the sound of the harp is synonymous with waterfalls, with fairies, with sprites, with mythic characters, with magic. And besides this dreamlike quality, it is a terribly sensual instrument, with which the musician has a carnal relationship. He holds it tight to him, kisses it, produces a different sound according to the pressure of his fingers, as in archery pressure decides all. The harpist is a musical craftsman.
Music is my family, it has always been a part of my life, has been transmitted through the generations: my grandfather, Haïm Lipsky owes it his survival in Auschwitz, and he wanted it to be a part of the life of his daughter (my mother) and her descendants. I am the heir to that story. Music came to me. Music is my family, my history.
Our harp duo… I dreamed of it for a long time. During my reunion with Agnès, it came to us very easily: we shared the same teacher, we complement each other, and I think we managed to create our own universe throughout our concerts. It is such a pleasure to meet our public together.
Opera and I
In the orchestra, the harp is both lonely and a soloist; this instrument is easy to recognize because it carries its own color. Preparing an audition to work in an orchestra is a trade in itself, and few are chosen. The orchestra trade in itself is an experience to be acquired on the job, over a period of time. I was very lucky to live in Berlin, inside the school-orchestra of the Philharmonic. It allowed me to build up my musical self and to broaden my experience of Music with a capital M. Returning from Berlin, joining the ORW, I had the pleasure to be warmly welcomed by colleagues practicing yet another trade, that of the opera musician. The opera musician has to be able to accompany a scene, be attentive to a singer, and serve a production. I like the idea of being a tiny part of a huge project whilst knowing that that part is important, that without it something would be missing. I especially like the verismo composers (Puccini, Mascani) who give the harp a significant dramatic dimension: through their work I enjoy myself.
I am passionate about exchanges, encounters, the sharing that music brings. A concert is a moment of communion with the public coming to meet us, with those who discover our instrument. Beyond concerts, there is the sharing with pupils, the teaching projects, going towards those who cannot move around. Music becomes a conduit, a way to battle shyness, to express myself.
There are many partnerships I take to heart – with my brother, with Agnès, Harpegio, and I am open to any project, to any new dream. Since I became the mother of twins, I take early childhood to heart. I have discovered babies, how sensitive to music they are, how much it can contribute to their development. I have had the opportunity to perform at my children’s nursery with a storyteller friend, and this experience gave me a desire to create a show dedicated to the little ones, with different variations. But shush, all is not ready yet, it is an idea we are taming and building between friends.
The harp is a multifaceted instrument, and to be a harpist is to be several people at once : working in an orchestra would not be enough because I need the meeting with other people. I know I am lucky to have « received » so much from so many marvelous teachers and the need to give back is obvious. I had already taught in France when I did what I had to do to get the belgian teaching degree. I feel very involved in the life of the Académie de musique de Waremme, I especially promote meetings with other classes. I am sorry that the harp is a somewhat isolated instrument, and I do all I can to foster communication with other instruments. What I would like to build in the coming years are interdisciplinary projects. Through teaching to play the harp I want to see the pupils’ autonomy hatch, to see them slowly learn to know themselves and not stay frozen, to accompany them, to respect what is natural to them whilst giving them what they need to go forward. Teaching is synonymous with constant questioning.
The Paris-Liège-Paris trip paces the rhythm of my couple, of our family. My partner is a journalist for TF1, whilst between the ORW and Harpegio, I am based in Belgium. We chose to buy our house, and raise our children, here. Thus the week has two rhythms: from Monday to Thursday, my little ones are mine alone – between school, rehearsals, projects and playing, and from Friday to Sunday, we are 4 to enjoy our reunion and family life. It is slightly atypical, but it allows the both of us to fulfill our passions, whilst sharing a family life.
I think I am a very faithful person: to my roots, to my values, to my family… I have underlined the importance of intergenerational transmission, but there is another kind of transmission that has a role in my life: the teachers I met, the different schools that each brought something to me: Annie Fontaine, my « second » mother, with whom I was very close, allowed me to ground my technique and enter the Paris classes of Isabelle Moretti and Germaine Morenzini. And Marie-Pierre Langlamet, from the Berlin Philharmonic gave me a lot through that unique experience, and also Marielle Nordman who guided me towards the spiritual aspect of the harp, and self-confidence.