••• I had trouble getting myself fully involved in anything during the early 90's for several reasons. First, the french bicentennial had been so mentally exhausting that it took me a full year to recover. Second, after the birth of our second son Cedric-Olivier in November 89, Genevieve and I felt the need to re-establish ourselves in France. And last but not least, I had trouble defining what to follow my first two albums with, fearful of the misunderstanding both of them did foster among fans Plus.

••• I had conceived "Words Of A Mountain" in an effort to put an end to the confusion the "Echoes" album had generated, but it yielded on further deepening it Plus. So I was left wondering whether to pursue my "Echoes" agenda by preparing an 'all-african dance' or 'all R&B' next. Wondering whether I should have vocals in it or not; if yes, whether to sing it myself or not; whether to have other guests or not; whether to recreate another "Echoes" album, now that it was viewed as a self-coherent body (in contrary of what I was repeatedely told at first), or another "Words Of A Mountain" album, to further distance myself from the continuing misperceptions Plus. Or whether to simply do nothing solo, and be happy just doing production jobs.

••• My wife and I were fortunate to find a nice property in Normandy, less than an hour away from our 'parisian' domicile of Puteaux. I had one of the buildings turned into the new Studio 'W' Plus. In there I kept on doing film scores and worked pre & postproduction for african legends Salif Keita, Wasis Diop, Youssou N'Dour, Papa Wemba, as well as other world-music giants such as Carlinhos Brown and Trilok Gurtu.

••• All the while, I did not stop demoing and writing for my own, still no precise direction in mind, eager to deliver something, but determined not to do so until I felt 'musically' compelled to, just as with my two first instrumentals. I felt no pressure (other than living up to the standard those albums did set), no commercial 'dictat' should make me release a new, no matter the elapsed time in between. Thanks to Chris Blackwell, who fully understood my quest for uniqueness, I managed to go through that 'non-productive' period that never seemed to end. The day I get to deliver an award speech, it won't take me long to figure out whom my first thanks should go to ...

••• Because I'm glad I stuck to that principle, judging by how those two first instrumentals are now celebrated, even though not in astronomical numbers, in the northern hemisphere that is. I am confident of the concept I now feel should be next. I owe this rejuvenated strength to the patience and support of fans the world over. And I'll stick to it, no matter how hard, no matter how long it will take to get it done: I feel serenity in resuming the "Echoes" agenda I now realize I should never have given up.

••• In the mean time, I've been busy helping Ernest Adjovi in the making of the Kora All Africa Music Awards' jury rules Plus. Since 1998 also, I've enriched my life educating myself in film making, and taken acting lessons since 2002. Thinking another trip within could not hurt. Just a feeling.

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Sun, Jan 3, 2010

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