French artist Superpoze release his new studio album “Nova Cardinale” on March 25, 2022. After composing for cinema, theater, multi-platinum French rap singles and French Chanson albums he now continues his journey in electronic and instrumental music. On „Nova Cardinale“ strings, flutes and choirs join synthesizers, pianos and percussions. Gabriel wrote a letter of intention in which he tells the story of the conception of his album, from the birth of the impulse to the pure technical realization.
On this scale, only the tenth box is assigned to purely instrumental music. I felt «driven» by this reading: pure instrumental music, which does not accompany anything, which is emancipated from any function, which is at the service of nothing but itself, is rare, precious and as such, it must be cared for. A few weeks later, at the invitation of Stephan Eicher, Grauzone founding member, I went to Geneva to compose a piece for his ensemble of automaton instruments, for the occasion of an event he was curating – something I had already done in 2018 for the Artistes et Robots exhibi-
tion at the Grand Palais in Paris. I spent a week writing for these instruments: piano, organ, glockenspiel, drums, TB-303, Rhodes, xylophone and vibraphone. I put together and arranged three melodies that I had in mind for a few months. After four days, it was there, it was beautiful, and it served no purpose other than to «be.» This piece laid the foundations of my album and became the triptych Air – Parabel – A Ballet of Life and Death which opens the record. When I returned from Geneva, I spent days sorting through everything I had written down and recorded since 2018. I launched into the creation
of this album, Nova Cardinale.
RECORDING AND PRODUCTION
Active writing for the album began in August and was completed by the end of November 2020. I first recorded demos, without worrying about production or sound; something new for someone with an electronic music background, where composition, recording and production usually happen at the same time. I worked exclusively on the piano and with virtual instruments. I then imagined that once the composition was finished, I would like to place myself as a producer and have instrumentalists play the piano, strings, wind instruments and choirs. I resisted the call of words to make an instrumental album, I did not resist the call of the collective experience!
The writing work was solitary. The recording and the production were a group work: first in my studio with Sylvain de Barbeyrac – sound engineer, faithful friend – to lay the foundations of the album: prepare the sessions, record the first synthesizers, sort out the sounds of the demos that I wanted to keep, etc. Then, we recorded the acoustic instruments at Studio Pigalle in Paris with the precious help of Jérémie Arcache – arranger, cellist – who had previously transcribed my demos into a score and made a five star casting of musicians: Robin Pharo on viola da gamba, Mélanie Flahaut
on medieval flutes, Maholy Saholiariliva on transverse flute and Jérémie Arcache himself on cello. Guillaume Ferran came to play the piano and guitar parts, and Yndi da Silva, Corentin Ollivier, Louise Legeleux and Iris Bry joined us to sing the choir parts. Finally, I went to the Motorbass studio in Paris to record the drums, percussions, drum machines and synthesizers, then to produce these sounds with the magnificent machines that inhabit this studio: amps, reverbs, filters, echoes, delays, etc. I spent a few weeks in Normandy to finalize the album and Sylvain de Barbeyrac mixed it in his studio in Paris in the spring of 2021. The album was mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound in New York in June 2021.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ALBUM
Nova Cardinale is an album conceived as a world rather than a story. A place made of sounds in which one can find a path, get lost or stay still and observe the surroundings. An album in which the tracks live on a grand scale, ranging from intimacy to emphasis. An album with perspective and vanishing points. It was an intimate and sensitive writing work, and also a real technical work of sound and production. Listening to the album, these two aspects seem to me indissociable today. Thanks to all the people who accompanied me throughout the making of this album.
I sincerely hope you will like it,
Bonne écoute !
Gabriel Legeleux, Superpoze
Picture: © François Quillacq (img20211115_21464396-paysage)