Hello, and welcome to my workshop, a space for creation, freedom and experimentation.
On this page that I will update regularly, you will find content that I have produced by my own. Nowadays, very rich and complete educational contents are available to anyone on the internet, and it is quite easy to get information on various topics.
I hope that this promenade will be of the greatest insterest with the diversity and the originality of the projects that I present to you, perhaps will incite some people to start the great adventure of the creation of projects in total autonomy, and I hope will inspire you by its artistic contents.
I wish you a nice journey.
The Chaconne for me is a monument, a piece that has always inspired me a lot. I started to work on it at the end of the 2nd lockdown in December 2020 and it is a piece that has always aroused in me a lot of emotion and motivation to deepen it, to work on it, to think on it…
Bach learnt on his return from a trip that his wife has been dead and buried for 10 days. Following this dramatic announcement, he wrote this chaconne. But this music being so universal, evreyone has the freedom to reinterpret it, to create its personal meaning through his experience and his imagination.
I wanted to make a transcription for cello that respects this incredible dimension. My idea was to start from the violin score and to stay as close as possible to the text, to try to realize all the chords, and in the same key as the original. The problem with this approach is that the realization of the chaconne becomes extremely difficult for the cello, and the difficulty can be felt in the expression. The chaconne, by nature, is one big phrase, so the dimension of fluidity was something really essential in my approach.
The recording of this piece was very special. I chose to do it in the middle of the night. The Queen Elisabeth Chapel gave me the freedom to record from 11pm to 4am. I wanted to be in a very particular atmosphere, to be in absolute calm, to be in a kind of trance to record this piece, and so it seemed to me quite obvious to do it at night. The atmosphere of the night always represents something extra-ordinary, very spiritual and almost monastic, and to record this piece, I really felt the need to do it in a very particular atmosphere and place. The Queen Elisabeth Chapel is a magical place, surrounded by the forest, with legends of the Queen’s ghost, and it was just right for the somewhat mystical atmosphere I was looking for.
As for the video-making part, the challenge was to manage to simulate 6 camera angles with only 3 cameras. Being completely alone on this project, I had to manage the angles between each take, then re-synchronize them almost note by note on the final recording. It was a crazy job. There is about a month of video post-production behind this. I wanted to be a perfectionist, so I really went to the end of my ideas, that’s what’s really great when you’re the decision maker on each link of the production chain, you have no limits. So I really wanted to go and find in the details of the interpretation everything that could be improved. At what point do you keep the dimension of human error in a recording? How to express feelings through image and sound? These types of questions arose and made my vision of the recording evolve a lot. It was my first major autonomous production of multi-cameras, so obviously it was a lot of time spent but also a lot of progress, new skills acquired, and I know that in the future I will be able to benefit from this experience.
I have always been fascinated by this piece for choir by Bruckner. Its harmonic construction is not extremely complex but the crescendos have always provoked an almost orgasmic effect in me !
So I wanted to recreate this choral effect by recording eight superposed cello parts. The question of intonation arises immediately when playing “with several people”. I chose to use a mode of intonation that I use every day with the Arod Quartet : harmonic intonation, also called pure intonation.
It is based exclusively on the way a string vibrates, producing a series of harmonics – called Fourier series in mathematics. Each chord is therefore built following this series. Maybe one day I’ll write an article on the details of this very complex functioning… In any case, in this world of harmonic intonation, an impressive number of different pitches are used. Indeed, a piano has 12 semitones per octave, I use more than 80… Think about it !
This recording is quite unique, by its virtual reality dimension. It is a concept that I wanted to experiment with for a long time, I had imagined the outlines but did not necessarily possess the necessary means to realize it how I was dreaming it. It is during the first lockdown that this idea came to me, by dint of being cloistered in a room for months. I was looking for a way to get out of the context of this room while recording, and the idea of the black screen came to me. This is how I was able to make this “virtual reality”, which is in fact a video with a 180 degree field in which it is possible to evolve freely.
The material with which I realized this recording was really very simple. The confinement forced me to leave my home in a hurry, without thinking, without taking any specific material except microphones and a very basic camera, and it is then on the spot that I had the idea of this black curtain. I really transformed a room in the house into a recording studio with a 5m x 5m black background! These videos are therefore seven fixed shots that are put next to each other, filmed on a black screen, which allows to create the illusion of not being restricted to a given space. This piece, “Après un Rêve”, is a rather universal piece which one can easily let one’s imagination run free… And I really had this desire to be able to take it out of a given place, to make a recording of a place only dreamed so that instead of the black background, one can imagine any place, any space…
This freedom of location also gave me a lot of freedom in the conception of the sound I wanted to render: often in classical sound recording, we try to imitate more or less the space in which we filmed so that it is coherent. Here it was quite interesting, thanks to the black background, to have no restrictions.
The sound that I released with this video is also quite unique: it’s a format called ambisonics. Instead of having a two-channel stereo sound – a left channel and a right channel – we have a 4-channel sound, which allows the video player to change it depending on where you are looking in the video. I chose to keep it pretty discrete so that it doesn’t interfere with the listening of the piece itself, but if you pay attention with headphones you can hear : if you look to the left of the video, you’ll hear the melody a little bit more to the right, and if you look further to the right it will be a little bit more to the left. It’s an evolving sound format that follows your attention. This already gives us a rather interesting immersion, but also corresponds to our natural hearing process when we listen to a concert. We will sometimes listen to a particular musician, and so our attention will be focused on this musician, with the others remaining in the context obviously but not with the same focus. This sound format tries to reproduce this process. For me, it was an experiment from that point of view. It’s the first project I did in ambisonics and I learned a lot about these formats, and I would like to continue to work in this direction from time to time because, especially linked to virtual reality, it’s a format that I find extremely interesting because of its interactivity and the immersion it allows.
For the recording of this piece I was also confronted with a very specific problem related to re-recording – the fact of recording superposed tracks : Where to start?
Do we start by recording the accompaniment (which is quite simple, a series of repeated notes of equal value), or do we start by recording the melody (which must remain very free, at the risk of creating desynchronizations with the accompaniment)? This is a question that took a long time to find its answer, many unsuccessful attempts! At the beginning I seemed to have started with the eighth notes, but then I was caught in a vice to record the melody. And then the other way around, I started with the melody, but it created eighth notes that were too irregular to have a natural flow. So the solution that I finally came up with was to first create a sort of interpretation draft of the piece in singing. I recorded a first track by singing the melody, and imagining in the melody what the eighth notes would sound like by subdividing them in the melody, and then I used that as a basis to record around the melody and the eighth notes. Finally, it’s a method of re-recording that I’ve used a lot in the future, and I thought it was kind of fun to share that with you, because you don’t necessarily think about these kinds of issues until you start to get into it. It was one of the first pieces I recorded in re-recording, after Moon River.
This recording came from the will to find a new format for re-recording, something more unified, more innovative by the dimension of videos in virtual reality, and experimental with ambisonics…
This project is a work in progress, the idea is to share with you the beginning of an idea, which I will certainly finish one day.
The major challenge of this project is to reproduce a rhythmic and harmonic complexity in a clear and understandable way. This requires absolute vertical precision, chiseled in post-production, sometimes even recorded at half the final tempo and accelerated in order to achieve a result that meets my expectations. These 30 seconds of music represent several tens of hours of work, so I allow myself to share this project in progress because it will certainly take me several years to free up the time necessary to finalize it.
However, I am already very happy with this first draft, so I share this happiness with you!