NICOLAS GODIN'S JUNGLE SOUNDTRACK
When Humberto and Carol asked their friend Nicolas Godin, one half of French electronic music pioneers Air, to make the music for the Kenzo Men’s Spring Summer 2013 show, it seemed to make sense to everyone. But no one was prepared for just how perfectly Nicolas would match sonically what Humberto and Carol were creating physically for their jungle-inspired runway show. With phenomenal African drumming, wild animal sounds, Nicolas' distinctive synth lines, and a heavy dose of plain old jungle energy, the piece captures Carol and Humberto's modern take on the Kenzo jungle. Kenzo Digital sat down with Nicolas after the show to get his input on the show and how he went about creating the music.
What did you look to for inspiration when composing the music for the Kenzo runway show?
Well I had a first meeting with Humberto and Carol where they told me the inspiration of this collection was the jungle. I knew immediately I could recreate a jungle of sounds in my studio and that it would be great to achieve for the show.
What is it about Humberto and Carol and the Kenzo brand that made you want to work with them?
Well, I went to Carol and Humberto's first fashion show for Kenzo in the Kenzo [office] building last year and I was very impressed. It was very different from all the other fashions shows I’ve seen in the past. Something cool, fresh, spontaneous and pop was in the air. I felt very happy to finally contribute to this spirit.
What is your relationship to the Kenzo brand like? Do you have any memories of its early days?
I was a child when we first heard about Kenzo in the seventies. That was the new wave of fashion, when people broke the rules and Kenzo was one of the names that made the changes appealing.
The piece has some really beautiful and unusual sounds and seems like it was really fun to make. Who are the musicians who played on the recording and how did you go about creating the different sounds?
After I met with Humberto and Carol I called one of the best drummers in town. His name is Vincent Taegert and he has a big collection of african percussions he got from his trip over there. Then for the keyboards I asked one of his friends, Vincent Taurelle, to help me to shape the music on the top of the beats, and I played all the guitars and bass and some synths too. [The musicians] were available the day after the meeting and forty eight hours later Humberto came to the studio to hear what we had recorded. Everything had been recorded with no computer clock and no loops, just human beings surrounded by great microphones.
Have you ever made music for a fashion show before? What was different about this process compared to composing for a record?
That was the first time, that’s why Humberto and Carol’s input was especially important. Humberto came to the studio twice and he gave me some precious indications to improve the music for the purpose of a fashion show compared to a classic song format. You need ten minutes [of music] but you want to stay focused on the energy of the path... I visited the show venue two days before the show and I could feel that Humberto and Carol created something very staged, like a musical or a ballet, and I felt it needed something gorgeous and evanescent. That was the final theme, and it was added at the last minute.
Can you share with us any details on the next big project you're working on?
I am recording a special project without Air with a lot of collaborations. It sounds different from everything I have done in the past. Eight of the tracks are done already and I am very excited about it.