Neon Fiction Vol.1
We asked our bidulist-reporter and storyteller Amaury Louis to tell us about his meeting with the brussels based musician Monolithe Noir.
He came back with what he calls a fictional-interview... Surreal.
Somehow, I always manage to end up in weird situations. It’s exhausting, really... The other day, I was in the Botanical Garden, walking Fristi, my cantankerous chihuahua. I bend over to pick up one of his cute little droppings in the shape of candy, when something catches my attention: a guy in glasses, short brown hair, wrapped in a big dark blue coat, poorly hidden in the hollow of a bush. I bend over slightly to enquire as to what the hell he's doing there. Wham! The guy grabs me by the collar and asks me if I can keep secrets. My answer is “no”. He tells me I might be his only chance. Again, my answer is no, but he doesn’t seem to care much. He seems too busy, but at the same time his eyes reveal something quiet I would like to see more often in my loud-mouthed chihuahua Fristi’s eyes.
- Dude, NASA is looking for me,” he confides in a whisper. “They just carried out a search in my shop; they trussed me up to a chair, but I'm too clever, I managed to play a record by the sheer force of my mind. Obviously, I blew them away: Suzanne Ciani's Buchla Concerts. Got them under my spell. I untied myself, and voilà. The only thing is, I don’t know where to go now. I think I have a shocking revelation for the press.
- Alright, alright, I answer – still wondering why my walks with Fristi always have to be punctuated by such events – Alright, but what’s your name and why is NASA looking for you? What the hell did you do?
- You fool, don’t you know me? I go by the name of Monolithe Noir, born Antoine Pasqualini in a small village in Brittany, surrounded by corn fields and houses under construction. The view was clear most of the time, my head in the stars; already then. I would build towns’ worth of sheds with my cousin; building shit always fascinated me, you know? One day, after earning my stripes playing in pop-rock bands — banging on casks, writing lyrics and pinching strings — I thought that I had covered every topic I could. So I started to build my own boxes, tinkered around and finally, believe it or not, I managed to get in touch with an alien life form. But they are not grey, with oval heads, like one would imagine; I rather think they are ethereal beings, like farts – but perfect farts. Rest assured, we exchanged a couple of messages, and they don’t give a rat’s ass about us. Our species is not of the slightest interest to them. Only three things prevent them from blowing us to pieces: Fugazi, Neil Young, and Eliane Radigue’s record La Trilogie de la Mort. Fugazi, because they will for sure start World War III; Neil Young, so they can watch it cozily unveil, sipping cocktails; and Eliane Radigue for a soothing note once they are over it. They must be laughing their heads off, looking at us.
- I find it comforting in a way, I say. It would have been sad if we were the only ones in the whole universe splitting our sides laughing. What is your plan now? Why don’t you go to NASA and explain everything?
- I have more important things to do than explain the object of my art to NASA, for Christ’s sake! Enough, hand me that megaphone, I need to speak to the rabble and reveal everything!”
Don’t ask me what I was doing with a megaphone in the middle of the Botanical Garden, I couldn’t possibly explain it. The fact remains that I hand him the apparatus, trying to calm down Fristi, who starts to bark at him, mercilessly, in cutesy, high-pitched screams. I look around me and come to realize that a huge crowd is beginning to gather around us – I would never have thought that there were so many people in Saint-Josse. I just think to myself “Curious”; I turn, and see that the world has become black and white, not depressing black and white, but rather an elegant, aesthetic black and white, reminiscent of Nouvelle Vague or Ingmar Bergman, ivory and ebony.
Monolithe Noir comes out of his hiding place, puts his mouth closer to the bullhorn and quietly recites: “Citizens, listen to me. All this has no sense, I concede, but please listen to me until the end: one cannot kill in the name of freedom. No, wait... I didn’t mean to say that: you have to connect your body and mind! That's what the aliens explained to me last Thursday, after the news on TV, when I was fiddling with intergalactic sounds on my box.” People seem in awe; listening to him, they sway softly and waddle from time to time; Monolithe Noir's voice is now set to a heavy, implacable beat, and around the voice, one can hear tarred seagulls gravitate, joking worms swarm, millennial rocks roar. When I listen to him speak, in his distorted yet paradoxically calming voice, two words linger in the back of my mind: quiet apocalypse.
I look at Fristi. He has started waddling too, leaning on his little right paw first, then his little left paw; I like him better like that, Fristi, and I think to myself that Monolithe Noir beguiles people in the same way. I turn my attention to his speech again; he has now adopted a trustworthy, benevolent, generous tone “I don’t know if you can say that I’m politicized; well, I’m against real estate taxes, that’s for sure. But you can’t prosecute people for that, could you ? I just want you, humans, to reconnect the earth to the stars, your brain to your guts. My music has no other aim than help you get there; I’m a nice fellow, I-”
The crowd roars. Monolithe Noir just dropped his megaphone; a red hole appeared above his glasses. He collapses in the dust, with a smile on his face; men in black scatter the crowd and tell everyone to move along, “there is nothing to see here”. They gather around the monolithic corpse; his skin becomes vinyl in texture and colour. The men in black do not manage to seize him, he is too smooth, too monolithic, too colossal; black blood flows at the foot of the Great Stone and telluric vibrations, dark and rhythmic, shake our intestines. One of the guys in black approaches me, holding onto his belly, before asking me:
- Did he tell you anything? Did you know him?
- Me? No, I had never seen him before. Didn’t understand a thing, officer, just like all of you!”
I yell at Fristi to come, and go back home, telling myself that decidedly curious things were happening to me lately.