An aperitif with Forever Pavot: “The heritage of French music is extraordinary”

Emile Sornin, leader of the Forever Pavot group, at the Exterior Quai cafe, in Paris (10ᵉ), on February 28, 2023.

Emile Sornin puts his blue teddy on a chair. Apologize for being late. Then puts his jacket back on at the photographer’s request. The leader of Forever Pavot, a Parisian psychedelic pop group, met at Exterior Quai, a bar next to his rehearsal studio. “I come here regularly, I have the fantasy of the artist who lives and is inspired by café life. » Glued to the Gare de l’Est, the bistro mixes a heterogeneous population of regulars and travelers. The decor has been redone, false bar atmosphere of the 1950s.

The musician has chosen a place in his image, with a certain taste for the past. His masters? Ennio Morricone, Francois de Roubaix, Philippe Sarde. He also cultivates a passion for the illustration music of the 1960s and 1970s, released on album, then used for the jingles of TV or radio broadcasts. At 38, with a mischievous little mustache, sharp eyes and a distinguished look, Emile has a quick and well-syncopated elocution – a bit like his music, which enjoys a good reputation within the French psychedelic pop rock scene.

The past is also embodied in the instruments played by Emile Sornin. He coaxes his analog synthesizers and other unusual machines. His taste for China was even at the origin of a nine-track mini-album, released in 2016, the aptly named Le Bon Coin Forever. “It’s Guillaume Chiron, from Modern Comfort (place of culture in Poitiers), who offered me to find ads on Leboncoin and to go to people’s homes to play with the instruments they were selling. » A documentary was made on the occasion of this journey in Poitou-Charentes, by his best friend, François-Xavier Richard. We see Emile recording himself with incongruous and hybrid instruments, with bizarre sounds. “The disc is anecdotal and funny, but the documentary is interesting. You see me arriving at people’s homes, trying out their instruments, discussing their stories with them, there is a very satisfying human thing. » We discover a mouth organ, a bombarde, a Roland CR-78 rhythm machine, a 1917 violin made in cigar boxes, a harpsichord, a modular synthesizer, a Michelsonne keyboard, a church organ and so many hacked instruments…

Emile collects fads, by periods. It’s time spent in flea markets, at garage sales for Z-series VHS tapes, super-8 and super-16 cameras. It’s Turkish music too. “I even went as far as Istanbul to look for records there”, he confesses. But leading a group and having a family life, with a 6-year-old boy, absorbs a lot of his energy.

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