{ memoirs } echoes

once upon a time, i stumbled upon the term “apex“.
it was a few months before moving to Paris.
truly, that was one Hell of a creative time…
i needed to create things, even small things, experiment ways to get them out of my mind, by whatever means i could.
i was playing with the word apex and i thought of an acronym and that’s how one of my many small projects got its name.
a small project that first began like many: for fun.

on some cloudy day of winter 2001, a couple of months before moving to Paris, a good friend introduced me to a pretty basic sample software.
i began baby-stepping through it, with samples & loops. but soon, like everything i did, i needed the canvas to be organic, made from some kind of flesh & bones stuff.
i knew what kind of things i wanted to create: instrumental and dark.
what i craved were sounds that weren’t usually heard in a melodic way, sounds that’d be both odd and familiar at the same time.
i searched online for some wind wav files, and that’s when i stumbled upon a medical sounds database of myocardial and pulmonary diseases.
that was it !

crafting things with that audio material, both raw and somehow strangely poetic, was the beginning of the “a.p.ex.” project, and gave birth to a small ep, never to be released.
i became very enthusiastic creating these small pieces, it seemed to fall in all the right places at that time.
nevertheless, i was shy to let my friends listen to those hectic experimental short tracks, even though most of them weren’t judgemental and knew i had fantasized for years about creating my own music label.
some friends told me i should follow through, even my partner in crime at the time told me i should just go for it, start a label and be more consistent with music and stuff, and we knew a lot of people that worked in the independent music scene at that time, that could have helped.

but for me, the a.p.ex. project was for fun, for my own self-centered world, and i knew i wasn’t that good at making music, anyways.
it seemed i had been far more gifted with helping others do their own marketing, or at making graphic stuff like band logos, flyers and posters.
besides, nothing i had done was made to be released in the first place, i just wanted to experiment a new medium, and see what could go from there, while the main goal remained the same : having fun through the process of creating something.
though a.p.ex never made it through the online scene, some tracks were embedded for a limited time on my parano profile.
just a few months before i left Paris for good, the one friend that introduced me to the sample software, insisted on remixing one of my small track. this remix was allegedly played, one winter night, at some small underground hard-tek party he was attending.
after leaving Paris, the a.p.ex. project went back to my many unfinished dilettante creative attempts.

the acronym “a.p.ex.” stands for “a perfid existence
(at first it was “alice perfid existence”, because one of my many nicknames used to be ‘alice.d‘. but i finally gave this name to a now lost track).
of the 10 tracks i had made then, only 6 survived.
(it seems like i have a tendency of throwing everything away, from time to time, part of my tabula rasa way of life).

though i keep listening to those small surviving bits through the years, i’m not 100% ok with them. only 2 still have my favors.
this is one of them.
most of the beats are sounds from myocardial diseases, distorted and reworked to sound like usual electronic beats. the voice sample was taken from a site that used to have lots of slutty phrases taken from movies (mostly p0rn) but that were easily downloadable wav format files.

maybe one day i’ll exhume the a.p.ex. project…
after all, 18 yrs have passed since the making of the first track.
seems like a reasonable time for a come-back.

a.p.ex – “i won’t bite you” (2001)


{ dance with somebody }

it’s not about trancing, it’s about letting everything go…
these few months have been supercharged, either in experiences or encounters i never thought i’d have. energies adding up on energies. this fuel needed to be burnt, or at least celebrated.
(“but you hate people ! yes, but i love gatherings, isn’t it ironic ?“)
melting with others, feeling the soft touch of people around, all enjoying the music and the electronic beats, one of kind of an emotion, since i consider myself mainly an hardcore individualist who once in a while like losing herself into the crowd.
feeling the music rolling, coming and keeping on coming again & again. priceless moments. my mind addicted to the thrills of the beats kicking in, running all over me, feeling stranded in a blessed & safe state of mind.
when the sound waves come and go, that’s when i feel hyped, my body becomes hyper-sensitive and i finally allow myself to lose grip on everything.
every wave that touches my skin is like an extra shot of a long-gone drug i seem to have experienced several thousands years ago…

it’s not about trancing, it’s about diving into the deep…
dancing is like wearing some magic suit : i let my insecurities and fears out in the open. i peel everything off, and there i am : soft, fragile.
i put my armor to rest and, for a little while, no irrepressible flow of ideas overwhelms me, no anxieties, no relentless voices babbling in my head.
eyes closed, oscillating, vibrating. smiling.
becoming just another human being, swimming through the beats, the bass, the melodies, into the rhythmic chaos that’s swallowing me whole.
dancing is maybe one of the few moments in my life i accept being brushed, touched & caressed by other people. while dancing.
it’s not that easy becoming that vulnerable, every movement of air around me gets me feels i usually try to control or repress.
but my mind knows better than i do: it loves the anticipation of my synapses exploding, delivering all the sweetness they have to offer. every move, every step, is like a pouring rain of soft filaments flickering against the shores of my skin. every assault of loud decibels being draw in, my ears, my nose, like some dense violet fumes.
and there is solace and catharsis in all this.
every time i dance alone, amid some packed-up club or venue, i lose myself.
i lose myself and i am lost and i’m born again.
i can’t control anything, my mind rambling free, my thoughts light as feathers.

it’s not about trancing, it’s about that one moment in time…
when i’m that high, the energy i radiate feels like a phoenix rising.
the only fire that fuels life, that opens up the way to another realm i thought i could only experience alone.
but my mind keep recalling this one night, way back, when i was dancing and suddenly felt being lifted from the floor.
it was a very strange feeling, burning out and from the inside at the same time. the place wasn’t that packed and we were all dancing in the dark, some UV lights blinking from time to time. the sound of some EBM music was flowing. i was so high, eyes closed, smiling, thrilled by the chills on my neck and forearms and legs. the perfect balance between melancholy and happiness. all falling into place, while dancing, at peace with almost everything.

that’s when i felt the soft and delicate burn onto my hands.
my arms were crossed behind my back, and someone had put his hands in mine, and was swaying with my movements.
and then it came :
the rapture.

i can’t explain how strange it felt. i never turned to see whose hands were holding mine. i knew those hands so i just went with all this, with that very soft and silent presence dancing behind me, so familiar, so welcoming, yet so eerie. like returning to an ancient place i knew all along. welcoming and caring, gently applying pressure and giving me warmth. and i gave in, softly. for a few minutes, i felt totally protected, shielded, both known & owned, but freed from everything at the same time.

when the rhythm changed and the song came to an end, leading to a more upbeat one, i opened my eyes, looking at my feet, letting the darkness embrace me.
i then looked in front of me, and was going to turn around, expecting to see my boyfriend, smiling back at me, grasping my hands.
but instead, my eyes glanced towards the dj desk, and that’s when i saw my boyfriend, maybe 10 meters away from me, (he was doing some dj sets at that time) and he was talking to a friend, laughing.
i felt a rush of blood, through the music bumping once more and people passing me by, i asked myself who was actually holding my hands behind my back…
that’s when the warmth faded, the stranger’s hands swiftly retrieved from mine.
i remember turning around, in a gasp, only to see some feet wearing boots, and a tall figure in a dark coat blending swiftly and disappearing into the crowd.

we only danced for a few minutes but it felt like ages.
i never saw him ever again, nor felt that feeling again either.
for years i wondered who the hell he was, why he’d chose me, or if the guy was doing stuff like this every time a girl seemed high or defenseless.
but the strangest part is, after the initial shock, all i ever wondered about was : did he felt like i did ? this rapture, this elation, this comfort of being just at the perfect time in the perfect moment in the perfect place ?
somehow i know he did sense something. i could never thank him for that stolen moment, but i know he knows.
this memory forever engraved in my mind, like a soft scar.
still burning and yearning from the inside, whenever i dance.

it was never about trancing,
it’s about dancing with somebody,
and feeling the f*ck alive and home.

{ “l’art de plaire est l’art de tromper” }

“you’re so gifted !” someone once told me.
“you’re definitely gifted and destined to do great things.”

for quite some time, i believed this was true: that i was gifted. 
and that my life was going to be a wild wild ride on the mountains of creativity…
(blessed be the flames of egomania, burning mankind one bonfire at a time).

a few years back, something hit me :
how can you possibly be so gifted whilst your brain can’t help but screw you so deeply, like every minute, every second, that passes by ?
so gifted that you can only glimpse under the thin veil that is the great magical land of creativity, that you can only get a swift taste ?…
so gifted that you feel like miles (*light years*) apart from all your fellow humans and their patterns of ideas ? alien, awkward…
as awkward in life as Baudelaire’s Albatross ? (damned romantic poets !)

thinking of it, maybe i was just designed to be gifted but only as a f*cking introspective persona.

inside of me, there’s a whole frakkin’ universe, full from top-roof to a hundred ceilings leading to rooms & rooms roaming and bursting with high voltage and neuronal disasters, down to a labyrinth of basements (and finally below it: 13 stairways to my personal hellish caves).
and all this universe is overflowing with exuberant ideas & (maybe genius?) thoughts… some deeply colored, some just plain mono, but all delicately intricated in a precious and evergrowing entanglement of webs of thoughts, clothed by the texture of what poetry is made of : the gold of the ancient alchemists.

meanwhile IRL, i’m crying my heart out, every now and then, being either so belated or so sad, trying to uproot some tiny sketch or erratic rhyme, or even some maniac prose, all out of this mischievous mind, that i was granted to bear and deal with.

the final finding being that, 99% of the time, when this mysterious force called ‘creativity’ overflows outside of me,  i’m having a small (ego-tripping) epiphany realizing that i’m just a goddamned imposture, driven by sensations, feelings and even visions that are mostly alien to me.

sure, my inner child (whom i’m so ferociously protecting & nurturing) can lure the adults around me, but not my adult-self : i’m far from gifted.
this flow of messed-up creativity is just a curse (thank you romantic poets !).
after all, it’s just a matter of “matter” :
my brain is hijacking himself in a perpetual movement.
like an ouroboros on an acid test.

and all i can do is watch.
sometimes full of contentment, sometimes in sheer awe or through a kind of hazy fog (depending on my mood swings) what wonders this messy fountain of creativity will spit out of me.
and i nurse myself: don’t worry, all this is only the reflection of a long lost family madness, everything is just fine. go for it, absorb it, & think afterwards when the waves have rolled over the shore.

see, i’m not gifted.
my mind is full of endless spawning legions of thoughts & ideas.
and this ain’t going to end in peace whether i make offerings or not.

and yes : i tried meditation and yoga !
and yes : i can silence all this mess for a while if i really want to.
but do i want to ??
truth be : all i want and can do about it is to smile.
for i am enjoying this wild ride 99% of the time.

i’m not gifted, i’m just playing around with make-believe,
while enjoying the irony and the views,
wondering if all this grey matters turning into cotton-candy actually *is* a present,
or maybe just venom for the soul.

{ “L’art de plaire est l’art de tromper” – Vauvenargues }

Gift / Etymology / Wiktionnary
From Middle English gift (also yift, yeft, ȝift, ȝeft), partly from Old English ġyft, ġieft, ġift (“giving, consideration, dowry, wedding”) and Old Norse gipt (“gift, present, wedding”); both from Proto-Germanic *giftiz (“gift”). Cognate with West Frisian jefte (“gift”), Saterland Frisian Gift (“gift”), German Low German Gift (“poison”), Dutch gift (“gift”) and its doublet gif (“poison”), German Gift (“poison”), Swedish gift (“gift, poison, venom”), Icelandic gift (“gift”).