It was rather dark the first time that I saw Keren Ann. The camera shook a bit. It was quite an effect. She walked through the small back-alleys with Frédéric Taddéi, recalling her childhood and Paris. It was nighttime, and she had a soft and curious air about her, a little in the clouds.
The second time I saw her was at Bataclan. I remember I was standing to the left, just in front of the concert pit. She was the opening act for Goldfrapp, but stopped short of conjuring up a certain energy or largess. She was a bit timid, fragile, and her attempt to cover Marilyn had a kind of clumsy charm and crazy allure. This charm became even stronger afterwards, while we tried to endure the self-importance of Miss Alison Goldfrapp.
The third time was here. And we weren’t there. For this third encounter, she arrived with straight-cut bangs and huge, black shades shadowing her eyes, which she only took off once. She had her trumpeter with her, and spoke to him in a foreign tongue. She asked us two questions, spoke with the trumpeter, then came back to say that it would be good to do it here, only to be turned down by the resolute Vincent Moon. She turned back to the trumpeter.
Keren Ann had tons of ideas and very little time. We had a single idea and all the time necessary. We had the entire Olympia and its empty seats to ourselves, and we wanted to have fun, even if it was dark. Keren resisted for quite some time, but in the end we convinced her.
So we played in the night. We could hardly see a thing, and it was, without a doubt, better that way. The anxious Keren Ann, whom we had met just moments before in the corridor, was no longer there. She became something other, which appeared to us through her voice. A voice so utterly beautiful. A voice that we loved listening to and filming, nearly alone in an empty concert hall. A voice that 3,000 people would admire just hours later that same night.
Afterwards, she finished. We left. And she forgot about us.