Les années Before | Soft Machine | Matching Mole | Solo | With Friends | Samples | Compilations | V.A. | Bootlegs | Reprises|
Words


     

 RENAUD MONFOURNY (photographe, auteur du portrait de couverture de la biographie et de l'album "Different Every Time")
[Telerama.fr - Sortir à Paris - 21 février 2016]

"S'il levait les sourcils, il aurait l'air grincheux… Mais Robert Wyatt est une belle personne, généreuse et pas aigrie malgré qu'il soit paralysé des deux jambes après avoir voulu faire comme l'oiseau, au début des années 1970. Après avoir tendu un drap noir pour rendre invisible son fauteuil roulant, j'ai remarqué ses pieds : il portait des baskets, deux pieds gauches sans lacet. Quand je lui ai dit, il m'a rappelé qu'en tant que membre du PC anglais - qui en compte 75 -, il était hors de question qu'il mette une chaussure de droite !"




 DAVID STUBBS
[Uncut - July 2000 - Jimi Hendrix: Public Image Unlimited]

Hendrix the black radical. Hendrix the glam dandy. Hendrix the icon. Hendrix the man. As Robert Wyatt says, "Macho was less of a big thing generally in England. The ideology and culture back then was much more hermaphrodite, pre-Raphaelite, boys being like girls and so on. Whereas in America, as Kevin Ayers once pointed out, when they grew their hair long, they immediately grew thick, bushy moustaches as well to show they were real men. Hendrix was very interested in that more English way of looking at things, musically and aesthetically."




 BRIAN ENO
[Chris Salewicz - NME - 7 December 1974 - ANNOUNCEMENT: Texans like steak, oil-wells, large hats and Eno… ]

That's the way Robert Wyatt listens to records - he's amazing, you know. He is incredible. I was down there the day he was doing NME singles or whatever with a fresh mind on each one, you know. He'd say, 'That's a lovely guitar sound' and I'd think, 'What a shitty record'. He'll read interviews that I'll regard as totally stupid or pretentious and he'll say 'Oh obviously what he meant to say was this but he didn't quite say it right'. So it's a question of making allowances.




 RICHARD BRANSON
[Paul Rambali - The Face - June 1984 ]

I thought we’d be able to consistently sell records by unconventional, difficult people. I indulged my fantasies of being able to make records with heroes of mine, people like Robert Wyatt.




 EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL
[Paolo Hewitt, NME, 1 December 1984 - Take The Melancholy Strain]

It limits their music to being 'really good' (which it mainly is) rather than 'great' because they, by their own personal beliefs, shy away from emotions they think are dangerous, such as anger or flippancy. But they have time on their side and talent will be heard. "I think Robert Wyatt is very similar," Tracey says. "He's very melancholy about the world because he's thought about it a lot and I think a lot about the world and it doesn't please me particularly. If it stems from anything it's that. I could quote Keats here, but I won't."




 DAVID BYRNE
[Charles Shaar Murray, NME, 8 December 1984 - Cents and Sensibility: Talking Heads]

Are there aspects of Byrne's character which don't surface in the music?

Oh, yeah. My political views are not very… um… so… lately I did some posters for the election and I found that that was a much more comfortable outlet. Maybe each aspect of my character has its own ideal medium for expression.

It's assumed that a lot of musicians are speaking for someone else — speaking for the steelworkers or for the underprivileged — whereas a lot of musicians are privileged people.

"I find that it rarely works, except in the case of someone like Robert Wyatt. When he does it I find it pretty touching in a way. They're definitely political sentiments that he's expressing, but he does it in a way that's so personal. It's an intense personal emotion that's being expressed which happens to be of a political nature.




 BRIAN ENO
[Cynthia Rose, NME, 26 July 1980 - Brian Eno: Into The Spirit World ]

Robert Wyatt said a smart thing, as he often does. He said, "Well the papers have to come out every day and the headlines always have to be the same size and it's as simple as that." It doesn't matter what the scale of an event is, you have to make it look as though something big is happening every day and of course the really big things, like the drought in the Sudan, rarely happen on a single day! Those events involving huge numbers of people simply aren't like the tube crash last night, with a nice round number of people led whimpering out of the tunnels. The format of newspapers just isn't suited to real news — it isn't suited to giving the background, the present and the possible futures of an event. It's a newspaper thing; I don't know what you can do about it.




 HUGH HOPPER
[Gérard Nguyen - ATEM n°8 - 1977]

Tu peux dire quelques mots de Rock Bottom ?

D'abord, c'était bien, parce que c'était la première fois que Robert et moi on se retrouvait depuis Soft Machine. L'enregistrement a été amusant. En premier, Robert a fait les pistes de base chez lui : percussions, clavier, chant. Il m'a envoyé les bandes pour que je travaille dessus chez moi. Je les ai faites avec mon magnéto et je les lui ai renvoyées. Après, nous sommes allés au Manor de Virgin et nous avons joué séparément. Il avait commencé, j'ai mis la basse sur mes morceaux et, un autre jour, Laurie Allen a mis la batterie... En fait, le groupe ne s'est jamais retrouvé au grand complet.




 BRIAN ENO
[Ian MacDonald, NME, 3 December 1977 -Eno Part 2: Another False World — How to Make A Modern Record]

I still don't know how pleased I am with what I've done. Robert Wyatt said to me once that you commit yourself to what you're left with ? you know that this is the only thing left that you can do.




 EVAN PARKER
[The Quietus - July 17th, 2013 - Complicated Sublimity: Evan Parker Interviewed by Stewart Smith.]

The first recording I did with Robert was for [Canadian jazz-poet] Paul Haine's Darn It [a 1994 album recorded with a host of avant-garde luminaries] where I was just in the studio waiting for my turn to record and Robert suggested I play a solo as a coda to the setting he had done of one of Paul's poems. Later he invited me to play on Schleep. Robert loves the studio so much that he slept there while he was making that. I think he had 48 tracks to work with and there must have been many changes of mind as each layer was added. Robert was a friend from the days when we both lived in Twickenham. My two older sons used to call in on their way home from school to see him because he could play them the music they didn't hear at home. Last time I saw him was backstage at Ornette's Meltdown.

http://thequietus.com/articles/12819-evan-parker-interview




 MARY HALVORSON
[Destination-Out - october 6, 2010 - on Robert Wyatt & Indirect Influence]

People who hear my new record, Saturn Sings, might wonder what it has to do with Robert Wyatt. And rightly so– I think it’s safe to say that my music sounds almost nothing like Wyatt’s. That being said, there have been two occasions when, after a gig, I’ve been asked if I’m a Wyatt fan (shout out to Pete Galub and Bernard Lyons). Both astutely zoned in on some intangible element of my music that reminded them of Wyatt. All the years of listening to him must have seeped into my music somehow.

The first time I heard Robert Wyatt was in 2006 when a friend played me Rock Bottom (1974). I still remember the feeling of hearing the first track, “Sea Song.” I was sitting on my living room floor in front of the stereo. It was one of those rare moments when you are so completely bowled over by a piece of music that you don’t know what to think. I wasn’t even sure I liked it; I was just completely freaked out. The music was so beautiful, so strange, incredibly dark, and entirely unlike anything I’d heard. That’s what I love about Wyatt’s music. He’s not weird for the sake of being weird. The music is purely his own.

As I normally do when a record freaks me out that much, I listened to Rock Bottom probably six hundred times that year. That and a few other Wyatt albums. I barely listened to anything else. At one point I thought it would be a good idea to learn “Sea Song” on guitar and try my own version. Two hours later I had managed to suck the life out of it. Lesson learned– if a song is already perfect, no need to ruin it by creating an inferior rendition.

One thing I admire about Wyatt is that he didn’t just make a hit and ride it out for the rest of his life. He is a true artist who is always searching and continues to create new and interesting records today. A recent favorite is Comicopera (2007), an opera in three parts. Love songs turn into political songs which turn into songs with lyrics in Spanish and Italian. Wyatt has explained in interviews that he is so fed up with politics in England and the Western world- most recently with the war in Iraq- that he doesn’t want to associate himself with the English language. The album resonates with a feeling of being close to home while gradually lifting away from the world entirely, hence the name of the third act “Away With The Fairies.”

My next Robert Wyatt discovery took me back in time to one of his earliest projects. Before his paralysis in 1973, Wyatt was a drummer and vocalist in The Soft Machine. Check out their self-titled 1968 album, particularly the tracks “Hope for Happiness,” “Why Am I So Short?” and “A Certain Kind.” After listening to so much of Wyatt’s solo music, it was interesting to hear his earlier music with it’s strikingly brighter energy. I was of course not surprised to discover that I loved his drumming, too.

This brings me to another interesting point about Wyatt– he is known to be a huge jazz fan. Although his music would probably not be categorized as jazz, he has done some covers of standards which he colors with his unique energy and feel. I found a rendition of “‘Round Midnight” on a 1999 compilation called EPs, as well as a version of “How Insensitive” on Cuckooland (2003). Thinking about Wyatt’s connection to jazz made me wonder how his music relates to my own. In 2008 I mailed Wyatt On and Off, my duo CD with Jessica Pavone. He was nice enough to take the time to respond, which meant more to me than he realized: “I definitely sense a musical empathy- only the dialects differ, I’d say.”

http://destination-out.com/?p=1613




 GILAD ATZMON
[Jazz Magazine - mai 2013 - entretien "Sans tabou ni trompette"]

Terminons avec un sujet à la croisée de la musique et de la politique: vous jouez avec Robert Wyatt, qui se situe très à gauche. Comment l'avez-vous rencontré?

Sa femme m'a abordé lors d'un festival où je jouais en me disant: "Mon mari est très timide, il est musicien et il aime beaucoup votre jeu. Accepteriez-vous de le rencontrer? " Et je découvre ce type en chaise roulante, qui me dit qu'il voudrait enregistrer avec moi. Je dis oui et je prends sa carte sans la regarder, et c'est seulement le lendemain que je réalise qu'il s'agit de Robert Wyatt. J'ai souvent joué avec lui, j'ai même produit un de ses disques. Au début, j'étais un peu sur la défensive car je savais qu'il était communiste. Mais c'est une des personnes les plus adorables que je connaisse. Il y a tant d'innocence et de force chez lui que ça me rend presque jaloux.




 CHRIS CUTLER
[Macao - décembre 2005 - propos recueillis par Patrice Boyer]

Peux-tu nous dire ce que représente Robert Wyatt pour toi ?

Robert est l’un des derniers batteurs dont le style a influencé le mien. Exceptionnellement musical, il était à la fois hamonieux et délié – une combinaison rare pour un batteur de rock. C’était un maître des mélodies avec les percussions, il semblait appartenir à un univers situé quelque part entre La Motown et le meilleur du rock, mais avec une flexibilité habituellement liée au jazz. En tand que compositeur et chanteur, “Moon in June” fût un modèle sur la manière de developer la forme des chansons sans la détruire. Je pense qu’un des grands cadeaux de Robert est une forme très complexe de simplicité. J’admire sa constance politique.


Could you tell us what is Robert Wyatt for you ?

Robert was one of the last drummers whose style influenced mine. Exceptionally musical, he was both tuneful and loose - a rare combination for a rock drummer. He was a master of percussion melody, and always surprising, seeming to belong somewhere between Motown, and the best of Rock, but with a flexibility usually associated with Jazz. And as a composer and singer; Moon in June was a model of how to expand the song form without making it collapse. I think one of Robert’s great gifts is a very complex form of simplicity. I admire his political consistency.




 BJÖRK
[XFM - 25 August 2004]

He lives in Louth, Lincolnshire and he has equipment in his bedroom where he records himself and his albums. We brought a G4 and Pro Tools and recorded it in like one afternoon. He's such an extraordinary singer. Before he left, he insisted to give us a scale of his voice, where he sings all the tones - and he has the most amazing range, like 5 or 6 octaves. What's really interesting about his range is that each octave is of a totally different character. We actually ended up using that later for 'Oceania', we used what he calls the 'Wyattron'.





 PASCAL COMELADE
[Les Inrockuptibles - juin 1998]

De qui es-tu réellement fan ?

De Robert Wyatt. Un fan jusqu'à la pathologie - depuis la première heure. Un type qui a une énorme culture musicale, curieux de tout. C'est un des rares, pour moi, qui ait un ton aussi implacable. Le jeu de batterie, la voix, la façon de chanter, les arrangements, son jeu et ses sons de clavier : c'est un monde unique. Pour moi, un des plus beaux morceaux de ces trente dernières années, c'est Moon in June, sur le Third de Soft Machine : un concentré fantastique ... A une époque, on a eu une petite correspondance via des cartes postales - il écrit beaucoup sur ce support. C'est pas bien de parler des choses qui ne se font pas, mais il y a entre nous un projet qui dure depuis longtemps, l'idée de faire au moins une chanson ensemble.






  PACÔME THIELLEMENT
[Même les morts sont malades - extrait de la conférence musicale du 22 janvier 2014 dans le cadre de "Satan Trismegiste", résidence au Monte-en-l’air (Paris XXème)]

... Ce qu’on a souvent dit d’Apollinaire, tant pour le glorifier que pour le critiquer, c’est qu’il se comportait comme un brocanteur de la poésie. C’est son invention : le poète brocanteur, à la recherche d’images rares ou désuètes, tapageuses ou délicates, construisant son poème comme l’étal d’un marchand. D’où cette sorte de joie triste qui ressemble plus qu’à tout autre au Rock Bottom de Robert Wyatt. Oui, Apollinaire est à Wyatt ce que Jarry est à Zappa. Apollinaire et Wyatt ce sont ces grands mélancoliques sourieurs, ivres d’une virtuosité masquée derrière un apparent bricolage.
La brocante vient nous parler d’autre chose : elle vient nous parler du fait que nous ne pouvons pas vivre dans le décor de la modernité, quand bien même nous voulons marquer le coup de celle-ci. Gertrude Stein l’évoque également à la fin de son livre sur Picasso : elle a remarqué que tous les artistes les plus prophétiques de son époque avaient besoin de vivre entouré de vieux objets fatigués. Si Rilke, dans une lettre célèbre accompagnant l’écriture des Élegies de Duino, parle de ces objets manufacturés qui nous viennent d’Amérique, qui n’ont pas la durée des objets des anciens (une chaise devait durer au-delà de la vie d’un homme), mais devront s’éteindre après quelques années et si Baudelaire parle de la forme de la ville qui change plus vite que le cœur d’un mortel, Apollinaire est le premier à chercher la solution dans la « puissance révolutionnaire du suranné » comme dirait Walter Benjamin. Si Rilke parle, avant tout le monde, de l’obsolescence programmée, Apollinaire invente une poésie de fortune – une poésie de troc, de récup, et de bricolage tout à fait représentative de l’économie qui désormais nous échoit. Une poésie de collage. Si vous voulez : Apollinaire est le premier poète décroissant. Il est le premier à se préparer au moment où ne vivrons plus que dans des espaces de fortune. Il est le premier à voir la Terre elle-même comme un lieu d’errance. C’est le mondialisme et le cosmopolitisme – mais du côté des pauvres et des poètes, pas des élites transnationales ! C’est le monde dans lequel nous entrons, vers lequel nous partons. Il faut partir maintenant. Et nous chantons encore avec Apollinaire :

Nous ne sommes que deux ou trois hommes
Libres de tous liens
Donnons-nous la main


Satan, c’est fini.
Voici le temps de la magie.





  ROBERT WOOD
[Impro Jazz- janvier 2016]

Il semble que Robert Wyatt soit une de tes idoles, si idole il y a...


A une époque j'ai adoré le fait que Robert Wyatt ait pu faire Matching Mole, j'adore Rock Bottom, j'adore ses compositions, très sensibles, très riches. C'est un genre musical qu'on retrouve peu dans le monde, c'est essentiel. C'est très anglais (même si je suis à moitié écossais, je suis aussi anglais). Et puis avant, question batterie, c'était quelque chose...