The 2,000 choristers are back at the Galaxie d’Amnéville from May 27 to 29. For this 9th edition, they will sing Goldman, an artist like no other that their leader knows well. Like him, Jacky Locks is passionate about music and voice. A sensitive person who takes refuge in the delicacy of silence. Mosellan has created this unique ensemble, a showcase for the Lorraine region and then for the Grand Est.
Three pounds lighter each time. Physically, you need to hold the shock, also emotionally. And since he is very sensitive, Jacky Locks sometimes has to concentrate to stay the course and have control over his 2,000 choristers. This name, you know it for sure, also this face. Since 2009, it has been the symbol of a unique story in Lorraine. That of 2,000 voices who meet for three concerts every two years. 2,000 votes. Throughout Europe, we do no more, no better, and the man behind it all is him.
Music has always been an essential ingredient in Jacky Lock’s life. His father was a musician. At Freyming-Merlebach, when he was going up from deep mines, he had two passions: sound and the ball. Jacky got both. A knee injury prevented him from living out his football dreams. The music remains. Since he was 8 years old, he has sung in a choir. The chef leaves when Jacky is 14 years old and it is him we propose to take over. He says yes. As always. Like years later, where he will lead 2,000 singers. “Why? Because I’m crazy. I accept and reflect afterwards. From the moment he turned his back on the public to instruct others, Jacky Locks never stopped.” I understood that my life was music. He studied musicology in Strasbourg. and became a music teacher in college and high school in Creutzwald.Every time he creates a choir.Other choirs accompany his days and his nights.He can not stop singing and get others to sing.
“I would never have 2,000 choristers”
In 2009, Jean-Pierre Masseret offered him to work for the Lorraine region and turn his choir into a showcase for the local community. Jacky Locks welcomes and appeals to the various choirs in the region. “I expected 300 people to respond, not 2,000. I never wanted to make 2,000 choristers,” he says. He is not worried about his ability to lead them, but for the organization it will require. “I said to myself: my God, there are a lot of people, and then it is budgetary possible? “The answer is yes. By the way, a giant machine is set in motion.
The rehearsals begin ten months before the concert. Every three weeks, Jacky Locks travels to a place where he works with 100, 200, 3,000 singers. Today they come mainly from Lorraine and the Grand Est but also from the south of France, Paris and Switzerland. He knows all the faces, not necessarily the names. In addition, he wants to keep some distance. “We are a big family, but not a sect. I’m not a guru. I guide them during rehearsals and concerts, but each one keeps the secret of his life ”, emphasizes the one who does not hesitate to raise his voice when necessary. “The choristers are not choristers. I allow myself to shout at them when necessary. “It’s rare. This project only gathers enthusiasts as the demands are great.” It turns a life upside down for a year, “Jacky Locks insists.
“Like a Sculptor”
For Jacky Locks, this rhythm requires physical preparation. He goes to the gym four times a week. The rest can not be told. One has to see it to understand how to go about getting 2,000 people to sing together. “It’s the same as for 20 or 50. You just have to anticipate a little more, exaggerate everything. And above all, that the singers are in a good mood, that they can see me and hear me, ”describes Jacky Locks. He looks for those moments “of a state of grace when I do almost nothing. I listen, I refine. The power of my hands is magic. In those moments I feel like a sculptor.” Before this “communion” there is an incredible adventure , a colossal organization. The team of choristers takes over the Galaxy ten days before the performances. Each trade organization follows each other. Fifty technicians. A tent acts as a changing room and it takes a day just to set up the stage, which welcomes all the singers who sing with a symphony orchestra of 50 musicians. Four rhythm musicians have been added to the cast. “It’s the hardest kind of concert to stage. Everyone has to find their place in the sound,” explains Jacky Locks.
This year it is around Jean-Jacques Goldman that they have chosen to gather. The essentials. “He’s not an artist like the others,” emphasizes Jacky Locks, who knows him well. Goldman who loves choir, polyphonic singing and even wrote a hymn for them. On their latest album Chanson pour les pieds, Ensemble welcomes singers under the direction of Jacky Locks. He also accompanied Jean-Jacques Goldman on other projects such as the concert to help the victims of the floods in Gard in the 90s. It is therefore normal for him to be sung by his 2,000 choir singers.
Goldman and his vast repertoire. ‘We could have done three concerts. We had to choose, ”says Jacky Locks. The hits, the lesser known songs, the ones written for others: they all want to be there. Not him, but his state of mind, yes. For three concerts that can end a chapter in history. “We are behaving as if it were the last time.” After nine editions, now registered in an enlarged region, with a conductor retired since last year, administered by the association of the Regional Choir of Lorraine, the choristers end a chorus. A goodbye they might be singing on stage. No need to look far for a Goldman song that says it all.
“By everyone. I am often blamed for it, but I love to discover. At night, when I sleep very little, I sit in front of my computer and look for things I do not know, and I listen, I listen.”
His favorite Goldman song
“I want to be gone”. A not very well known song that appears on the album “Entre gris clair et gris noir”. She never leaves me unharmed. The lyrics touch me enough because I am nostalgic-depressed. I am overwhelmed by emotions I also like the strength that escapes from “Born in 17 in Liedenstadt”. She takes you. “
“I love the little restaurants you can find in a village. When I travel, I always avoid highway restaurants, I prefer to stop at a small place on the terrace with a glass of rosé, a salad, a meat. There I feel good, “Especially when I know that those I love are well. In Metz, I like to have lunch at Angeluso, Place Saint-Jacques. The pen with aioli is delicious here.”
“I love the mountains. I can spend three hours admiring La Meije in the Oisans massif. I see so many people that I am happy when I can seek refuge in quiet places.”
“When I turn my back on the audience and see my singers’ eyes sparkle. I am always looking for pure music when I am no longer conducting. »