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MAYBE THIS TUESDAY, the soundtrack.
Music has always been my primary source of inspiration. I rarely work without it, all genres,
but particularly British/American rock music and film soundtracks. I usually make a compilation
of the music I have listened to while producing an album thus creating a musical souvenir of a given period.
1: U2 – No Line on the Horizon

I wrote most of my script at the beginning of 2009. It was at this time that U2 brought out their long-awaited new studio album « No Line on the Horizon », of varied quality but featuring a genuine masterpiece in the opening track which gives its name to the title of the album. The words were very suited to the theme of my book 'I know a girl/who is like a sea/ I watch her changing/every day for me....'. 'Maybe This Tuesday' is as much a love story as that of a man casting off, both literally and metaphorically.

In the end my story opens with another quotation from U2 'Like a desert needs rain, like a town needs a name, I need your love'. (Hawkmoon 269)

2: Frank Sinatra – This Town
Anglo-Saxon crooners were not at all part of my culture before I lived in Australia and my Australian wife introduced me to them. Ever since, I have found Frank Sinatra and 'This Town' an ideal way to end a stressful day. 'This Town' was used on the 'Ocean's Thirteen' soundtrack. I include it in my list because it symbolises for me Achilles' arrival in the great metropolis at the start of the story, 'The town where everything is possible' as Selina, the barmaid he meets when he gets there, tells him. I felt rather like this myself when I first walked the streets of Sydney, which is the backdrop of my tale, although I have altered the name of the city to Hawkmoon – another nudge in the direction of U2 and their song 'Hawkmoon 269' from their album Rattle and Hum (see above)
3: Suede – The 2 of Us
In my opinion Suede is one of the most interesting Britpop groups of the nineties, and 'Dog Man Star' which includes this song is by far their best album. The track ends with 'Alone but not lonely, you and me' and the angelic voice of Brett Anderson transports my being each time I listen to it. The two characters Achilles and Rebecca are soul mates and are as one, though they don't realise it in the beginning.
4: The Verve – Sit and Wonder
As with Suede, the Verve belong to the first-class Britpop movement and although they are less well-known than Oasis or Blur, for me, they are standing up better to the test of time. Richard Ashcroft has a raw-boned romantic side which corresponds perfectly to what Achilles has kept pent up inside him for so long. I was very impressed by The Bitter Sweet Symphony' in 1997 (when I was 26…) and 'Sit and Wonder' from the 2008 album 'Forth' is of a similar standard.
5: Moby – Mistake
Taken from the album 'Wait for Me' released in 2009 'Mistake' has a floating and melancholy aspect typical of the universe of Moby, of whom I have the complete works as I have listened to them endlessly while creating my albums. The words of 'Mistake' deal with someone searching for love but keeping his intended at arm's length so as not to suffer. This is a classically ambivalent feeling which is at the heart of 'Maybe This Tuesday'.
6: Alain Bashung – Le secret des Banquises (The Secret of the White Wilderness)
I am not very fond of French pop. Alain Bashung's 2008 album 'Bleu Pétrole' is the exception which confirms the rule. Brilliant from end to end. I listened a great deal to this song while writing my scenario and the singer's death at the same time just added apoignancy to his masterpiece.
7: Supertramp – Take the Long Way Home
Now we are back in the seventies – I'm a child again! When I hear Supertramp I see a mixture of sun and melancholy. I could have chosen 'Logical Song' but 'Take the Long Way Home' isn't bad either when you want to describe the disenchantment you feel when adulthood looms as you leave adolescence and dreams of eternity. Achilles and Rebecca will be forced to confront this in their way. Having seen Roger Hodgson live in Brussels in June 2011, I can assure you that his songs haven't aged at all after thirty years. 'Hide in Your Shell' for example takes on a whole new meaning when performed live.
8: James Newton Howard - 'I am Legend' soundtrack
I saw this film in Singapore airport in 2009 while travelling to Belgium to promote 'Nine Months', an earlier book. There was an unreal feeling as the whole world was paralysed by the AH1N1 viral epidemic and people were wearing masks in the most beautiful, the cleanest and most hygienic – and also the most utterly isolated from the rest of the world – airport I have ever known. In the film Will Smith wanders through the streets of a devastated New York with the population of the planet almost obliterated by a virus which was intended to cure cancer. In my story, when Achilles sets foot in Hawkmoon he feels a bit like Will Smith: completely alone but unaware of what dangers lie just round the corner.
9: Carter Burwell – Burn After Reading Soundtrack
When it came out in Australia in December 2008, 'Burn After Reading' made me scream with laughter. I am a great fan of the Coen brothers and also Carter Burwell who has been their official composer since their first film 'Blood Simple' in 1988. As with Moby, Burwell's music has an uplifting and melancholy side with which I can identify when I am listening to it in the silence of the middle of the night as I work at my drawing board, which affords me almost a feeling of levitation.
10: Danny Elfman – Milk Soundtrack
If there is any one soundtrack that I listened to during working on 'Maybe this Tuesday' then it would have to be the music composed by Danny Elfman for 'Milk' by Gus Van Sant, which for me remains one of the best cinema moments of 2009. Although I am a huge fan of Tim Burton, I quite like it that Danny Elfman is a bit unfaithful to him in penetrating the universe of other producers. Thus he often demonstrates his subtle and unexpected sides as in 'Milk'.
11: Alan Silvestri – Forrest Gump Soundtrack
Usually I am not very keen on Alan Silvestri whose music is often somewhat heavy. This is not the case however with 'Forrest Gump', a film which did not entirely win me over when it came out but which has improved with time. Also in my story there is a bit of Forrest Gump in Achilles, the candid man wandering aimlessly, while Rebecca is similar to one side of the character played by Robin Wright – lost innocence.
12 : Hans Zimmer – Frost/Nixon Soundtrack
Like Alan Silvestri, Hans Zimmer is not renowned for his musical subtlety. However, occasionally, he brings out a gentle score, as with 'Frost/Nixon', a wonderfully subtle film of 2009 the original soundtrack of which I listened to often while writing my story. When I'm in creative mode I need overpowering, sometimes monotonous but intense music to give total concentration to my characters.
13: Thomas Newman – Lemony Snicket Soundtrack
I didn't see the film but I came across the music while trawling through iTunes on the lookout for any rare albums by Thomas Newman which I don't already possess. I was not disappointed. I have been an unconditional admirer of this composer since 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1995) and of course 'American Beauty' (1999). I adore the cold, fluid, aquatic side to his compositions, and one of Newman's idols is Stewart Copeland, the drummer of Police, a group of which I was a childhood fan. We have come full circle!
14: Thomas Newman – Revolutionary Road Soundtrack
Sam Mendes is one of my all-time favourites but I was a bit disappointed by 'Revolutionary Road' even though the acting and staging were admirable, and the music brilliant. Thomas Newman composed the original soundtracks of all Mendes' films and on each occasion, be it 'American Beauty', 'Road to Perdition', 'Jarhead' or this film, his music makes me take flight spiritually.
15: Ella Fitzgerald – I Got a Guy
I called my daughter Ella as a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. The same goes for her as for Sinatra: I discovered this branch of American music quite late – but what a revelation! 'I Got a Guy' is a song which Rebecca could hum at the end of the album when she has finally found peace. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald you are struck by the contrast of her very sweet voice and her rather chaotic existence.
16: Peter Gabriel – Heroes
Taken from the covers album of 2010 by Peter Gabriel, 'Heroes' is a tremendously efficient song. I already adored the original by David Bowie and Brian Eno but Peter Gabriel adds a rather original and peaceful touch through his magnificent voice, which is both strong and fragile. 'Heroes' is truly a song for those who feel that two people are better able to confront together our complex world, even if this remains an illusion… But anyone can be a hero, 'Just for one day'.
17: R.E.M. – Around The Sun
Though it may seem a bit 'arty' to invent creepy, violent or morbid books or films, I have always wanted to include a bit of optimism. My working life consists of drawing subjects such as war, famine, cataclysms and general calamity so when I do graphic novels I aspire to other things. 'Maybe This Tuesday !' is a book which is intended to bring a certain peacefulness to my readers, both male and female, when they finish reading – in the same vein as '80 Days', which I wrote with Olivier Guéret for Casterman in 2006. This is in some ways the feeling I get when listening to an album by R.E.M. and more so when I listen attentively to Michael Stipes' words, he who is not exactly a laugh a minute but who never gives up aiming for happiness! The song starts with the following declaration, which we could all take to heart: 'I want the sun/To shine on me/I want the truth/To set me free'.


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