Montreal's own Lydia Képinski writes music inspired by the work of some of the greatest French poets (see Georges Brassens, Gaston Miron) and is never at a loss for words. The grand winner of Les Francouvertes invited us into her home where we chatted about her Polish background and where she draws her spurring inspiration.
1. Lydia Képinski in five words?
Maybe polish certainly queb ok
2. Before playing a show, pierogis ou Borscht?
Neither. I stopped eating wheat and I'm not a fan of Borscht. I eat dressed sauerkraut.
3. In which place do you find the most inspiration to write and/or play music?
4. How do you identify yourself in the writing of the song Andromaque? Can you tell us a bit about the story that hides behind your lyrics?
One of the major themes of the story of Andromaque is the "Cornelian dilemma". Overall, it's about making a choice between two options: one of these options represents duty and the other represents love. We are allowed only one option, hence the concept of dilemma. Cornelian comes from the dramatic author Corneille who enjoyed putting his characters in this type of situation.
So, Andromaque is a character hailing from literature surrounding the myth of the Trojan war. To make a long story short, at the end of the war the ex king of Trojan, Hector, is killed by Achille, who takes over the town. The son of Achille, Pyrrhus, is destined to marry Hermione, but instead wants to marry the widowed wife of Hector: Andromaque. So he holds her captive and threatens to kill her son.
For Andromaque, choosing duty corresponds to remaining faithful to the memory of her husband and not marrying Pyrrhus. Choosing love corresponds to restarting her life with Pyrrhus, forgetting honor and trying to live with her betrayal. And obviously, she must manage Hermione (and her friends) who hates her because she is "stealing" her boyfriend.
It's while reading that story that I told myself that this was insanely contemporary and that, at the moment of discovering this text, I was exactly in the same situation, but just a less trashy version. I was Andromaque, my ex was Hector, my new boy was Pyrrhus, his ex was Hermione, and to sum it all up everyone hated each other and everyone was putting all the blame on me when in the end, Andromaque has to stand up to more shit than she creates.
5. Since it's POP's #SWEET16, we would like to know how your sixteenth birthday went and which song were you partying to the most?
I honestly don't remember. As a matter of fact, sweet sixteens are an American "tradition" that I don't really relate to.
Lydia Képinski - Andromaque