The group called Lo’Jo was started in 1982 in Angers, France. The founders, Denis Pean and Richard Bourreau, continue to remain actively engaged with Richard playing the violin and kora and Denis the singer and keyboardist.
Deirdre Saravia: You live as a collective, right? Is that like hippies?
Denis Pean: Yeah, we have a common house where we invite musicians for residence, to work, to play, to compose in the country side, in the West of France. I see many people coming from any part of the world.
As music and poetry are intrinsically part of Denis’s life I wondered how it all started.
Did you know that as a young child that music was what you were going to do?
No, my parents were not interested in the arts. I began by myself, [as] a teenager. We had an old keyboard in my family house… the first time I touched the instrument, I began to compose something. I never had musical education, after I played with a classical orchestra, I played faggotte [ed. note: Bassoon], and I learned harmony but the first thing I learned by myself.
Were you parents happy about that or did they want you to have some sort of a profession?
No. My parents were farmers and they were afraid about the musician’s life and they couldn’t think it was possible to even have a life. They were very afraid [for me]. My parents changed with time, with me in a good way. I think parents give education to children but sometimes children give education to parents.
You really are a great pacifist, your songs convey the necessity for humans to love each other.
Yes, I think it is the main message in music, to find the way to understand different persons. A good weapon for communication, it’s my way to appreciate differences throughout the world.