Sébastien Badel

About my music.

The Race

We live in perpetual motion. Time flows by itself, without effort on our behalf and we must always adapt to new situations. New needs arise. Elements move, all by themselves, each with their own momentum and energy. We would love to stay ahead of them. It's not a win, it's a race.

Engaged in this race, we constantly face disturbing forces, opposing themselves to our comfort. One way or another. No matter what our social status, our wealth, our success, or the lack thereof, there is always a procedure going on, calling for attention to defend and maintain our comfort and balance.

It seems that life itself is in constant strive to throw man out of his comfort zone. Undoubtfully for his good. And surely with the intention to offer him a much more sustainable and solid well-being than his little temporary desires.

But to this day, most people on earth live in constant fear that their comfort, so hard-won, will cease to be available. Ouch!

The Suffering

Also, most people are marked for life by moments of suffering and difficulties. Each marked his own way, more or less obvious. I suppose everyone has already gone through passages that we would never want to go through again. This is at least the first conclusion.

There will certainly be other conclusions, later. More considered, with deeper understanding on the long-term benefits of our suffering. I am convinced that the universal healing of life is as real as its discipline. Although for the present moment, we do not see much of the long-term value.

It is a fact. Sufferings are present. Memories of them fill us with fears and anxieties. Maybe we don't want to admit it, or they're not the actuality, but whether conscious or not, we are all influenced by our past traumas. Birth itself being the first of them. Some people will never forget the suffering of their past. I am part of thim.

Man, therefore, seeks for ways to escape from his sorrows. Even the small ones: work, finances, stress, family. Each in his own way finds more or less his own escapes.

Freedom

Me, I play piano.
I play to stop my race for a moment. There I create a different micro-world than the real world. My own. In my music, I talk about the real world and how I experience it. But above all, I'm leaving it! I leave my material realities to enter into another universe, where the rules are different.

I don't forget the worries or the sorrows. My music is often influenced by it. But I manage to express and channel, to get rid, in some way, of my pitiful troubles. In this other world, I am free and I do not suffer. I dance and sing there. I speak freely there, a different language, little understood by the masses.

How it works ? The challenge is to enter a state of freedom. There, we decide the rules. Truths and realities are created there. And no one intervenes. It's a world of ideas, with no restrictions to submit to, except those we choose.
This is spiritual freedom.

This is important to understand, because from there, everything becomes possible. Every moment is a new opportunity. Even after the worst musical disaster, music starts again, enthusiastic and new. As soon as we decide. The desire to live and succeed is inexhaustible. From one moment to the next, everything can be possible and available again, as in the beginning. We can always start again after a development has led to failure. In music, as in any other adventure.

At the end of the journey, often long time after, one realizes that the whole journey, with its enormous catastrophes and difficulties, was only a challenging journey. One necessary and perfect in itself. Considering the present elements, the trip could not have been any better.

To find happiness in all of that, we must accept the flow of life and not complain about it. Nor be wanting to change it. Life flows and its journey is perfect. A river always takes the easiest route. With all its obstacles, its passages, its waterfalls and disasters, it just keeps flowing and filling all the holes. Until it overflows. Yes, waterfalls generate fear and anxieties. But only when we don't know that we are immortal! LOL.

My music is therefore a sharing of this freedom. I don't care about the public approval, nor the one of those who don't like it. You have that right, but I don't play for those who don't like it. LOL again!

It is a sharing for those who want to discover and who can, more or less, identify with its speech.

The Judgment

In music, there is no sense of what is right or wrong. Everything is pure and authentic. Like a child drawing a picture. We like it or we don't. That's all. And that can change along the way. We are leaving the realm of judgments. Those who remain in that realm will suffer from the limitations of their own opinions. This will prevent them from experiencing a new, stimulating or enriching adventure. Too bad for them.

In freedom there is no judgment, only new discovery.

We must therefore try to enter a state of emptiness, in order to be able to appreciate this musical moment. There are people who are naturally capable of doing this: being without judgment or expectation. For them, things are easy to understand.

For others, like myself, it is more difficult to relax and enter a perceptive state. Or humble. But only in a state, void of opinion, can life speak to us and take us on a journey. Without that, we end up being bored to death, or seriously annoyed. It's a failure.

With a good disposition, the journey is unique and new each time. After about fifteen times (LOL), we become comfortable in a piece of music. I know what I am talking about. I listen to a piece at least fifteen times before publishing it. I need all that time to get the hang of it. Then, we begin to anticipate and understand the movements. This is where we will experience pleasure and discovery of its richness. The music becomes a spiritual dance. Or a state of soul.

I sincerely believe that very few people experience what I am talking about. Obviously, I find this a shame. That's why I'm writing this explanation. To increase the pleasure of my listeners. And thus also mine.

The Practice

Practice all that?

Forget for a moment where you are.
Forget for a moment what you think you are.
Forget for a moment, if you can, your past and your future.

Just be there! Life is here and now.
Just let it speak to you, through the music.
Be empty of opinions and expectations. It doesn't matter if we miss a bit. We'll just start again. Nothing's easier.

Life itself will speak to you, it will take you. Certainly it will give you a few pinches of its happiness. It will be worth it.

The Rules of the Game !

“This guy put honey with his pindakaas!” In the 80s, no Dutch fellow would have thought of doing such a thing. Toast with honey and pindakaas (Dutch peanut butter). At breakfast. My father, yes. No problem. It was the order of the day.

Stick to your principles and your boring future will be assured. Fortunately there are crazy people who go beyond any framework or structure. They are the ones who make life interesting and innovative. But yes, it's crazy and a little scary. It's never been done, we don't know it. So we rather don't want it. We are not very comfortable with strange things. We may lose our comfort.

Personally, to disturb the established order doesn't bother me. It has even become a pleasure and often the objective. Not to destroy, but to make progress.

Who is this proud person who claims to possess the only truth, with its absolute rights? I don't mind disturbing him !

To disturb properly, one needs style and class. And respect for truthful things. Too often, rebels are fools, with no understanding of the deeper values of life. Harmony is deep. Opposing selfish and proud people, no problem. But to oppose life itself.... ? That's really not smart. Life is infinitely stronger and more cunning than us, weirdos. We risk losing our battle against it. Even though it will always remain loving and merciful.

Still, weirdos are weirdos. There are always two sides to a coin. For now, I identify with them.

My piano playing? It is about life. Life is in charge. Nothing else. Life is what expresses itself, at best and at worst. It's up to it to do what it wants. Sometimes it's capricious, sometimes classy, sometimes it's crazy or distracted. Sometimes even lost, because, yes, life itself gets lost too. More often than we think. But it will always remain beautiful !

Life does what it wants. It's is sovereign. I am only one of its temporary expressions. And I'm happy with that. That's enough for me. With life, we have all we need.

Sébastien Badel,


France, Rhone-Alpes, January 29, 2024. Today is my Dutch grandfather's post-birthday. A man of valor, who loved me when I was little. To him I dedicate this text and its music.