Melkite, syriac, maronite or byzantine: for nearly thirty years, sister Marie Keyrouz resonate the beauty of these ancestral traditions. She has spent a dozen albums. It is rare to see it occur in France, where she resided for thirty years. She manages, however its association, Children for Peace, and the International Institute of Sacred Chant, which she founded in 1994. Saturday, 15 December, sister Marie Keyrouz was made in the Ardèche, at the invitation of the festival Labeaume en Musiques. The nun looks back on her extraordinary journey, and entrusted to the Figaro his view of the world, the fate of the christians of the East to that of the “yellow vests”.

” READ ALSO – Sister Marie Keyrouz-to-Labeaume in Music: a voice toward the East as the sacred

LE FIGARO. – It has been nearly thirty years as you browse through the world of churches, in concert halls, in the Middle East in the United States. Why make such a commitment?

Sister Marie KEYROUZ. – My purpose is to bring to life the people with God through music. Transmit something that can bring people together, invite them to come and live with me this place of well-being. The show, the lights I don’t care! I would have been able to do my featured and put on low-cut ( laughter ). God gave me everything, I have nothing. I have only the burden of cultivating this talent. It is so precious that it must make it grow. A little cold, and it’s finished, isn’t it?

Is it difficult to be both a religious and a famous singer?

I had some constraints, yes. In the convents and monasteries first, and in the East which does not always leave room for women. It is necessary to be able to prove and defend his talent. I had the patience, I had confidence and I was left to make my father, my dad. If we can have confidence, we will include tomorrow.

Child, you want to be a doctor…

Yes, but my order (the Basiliennes Chouérites, editor’s note) I was banned on the pretext that “I was going to be awake at night”. So I’ve given up on being a woman, wife, mom, to be loved and to buy dresses for, finally, not to be taken from my bed at night? I was very unhappy with this response. Later, I understood that I was meant to bring people together by voice. This is the doctor that God wanted me to be.

“I have received testimonies in my life that go beyond what we can imagine. For the moment, I believe that the beauty of these awards hurts my modesty. You will read after my death”

At the end of the concert, the audience is in a hurry to come see you. That is what it’s like to feel such affection?

The love of others is an encouragement. I have received testimonies in my life that go beyond what we can imagine. For the moment, I believe that the beauty of these awards hurts my modesty. You will be reading after my death. The key is to be in harmony with the other, never colliding. The night following a concert, which I am concerned, this is what I have been able to do that would have hurt.

How did you become the ambassador of sacred chants oriental in France?

maybe It was my mission. I’m arriving in France on 5 September 1987. At this time, there was no record of sacred music of the East. I was in a doctorate in musicology at the Sorbonne. And then, I’ve been asked a bit by chance at a seminar in Montpellier on the traditions of the east, where were these houses of discs. What I had learned in the monasteries, I recorded it. The French public has been very receptive. He only wanted to know, even the music the most difficult. It is also proof that there are no boundaries, that men are universal.

Christians in the West, the christians of the East: what is it that differentiates them?

The relation to God. In the East, Christians are a minority, therefore they relate to their tradition. In their liturgy, the incense, or the clothes, I feel more faith. One could also feel the difference in sacred music. The East is very busy because she is born in a context where there were many heresies. Music and poetry were composed in defense of the faith. At the time of the quarrel Nestorius (in the Fifth century, editor’s note) who believed that Mary was the mother of Jesus but not of God, they were called the singing to meet them.

“there are the christians of the East who will still want to stay closer to their holy places, even to the suffering of the wars and of the interests of power”

The diaspora of christians in the middle East continues…

I’ve seen of refugees, christians driven out of Iraq: what they have supported is something of a miracle. Those who leave their country, can we blame them? Twenty years of war in Lebanon, you realize? There will always be christians who want to stay closer to their holy places, even to the suffering of the wars and of the interests of power. Even if we are martyrs, it is our earth.

We know that you have conducted studies of musicology and anthropology of music. And that you founded an international Institute of sacred chant in Paris in 1994…

Share the love by sacred music, it is a great responsibility. What is transmitted, it is not that of the notes. Where are the studies and the research that I wanted to do to try to express things in the best way possible. The song is the word perfect. Otherwise we would just have to say, why sing it?

what is it you say to yourself seeing the events of the “yellow vests”?

In a health clinic that we support in the north of India (with its association with Childhood for Peace, editor’s note), the nurses were ten deliveries per day to the light of a single candle. Next to it is a palace with wealthy owners. There is no link between them, only indifference. It is a threat to France today, on a smaller scale. The gap is widening. And it scares me. Politicians should focus on values and respect.

And yet, you seem to be brimming over with optimism…

life is a mountain. With time, the trail is steep but becomes more distinct. The past comes to give you a light. Then the more I advance, the more I trust it. Whether we call it God, Father, or other, just to feel the Grace. Leave the doors open, the breath in between. Because it can fit even in the smallest of cracks…