L(oo)ping is a story that began with great trepidation and an initial polite refusal and may have never have been told. When the Philarmonie de Paris asked Rone to perform with an orchestra in 2017, the electro musician first declined the idea, preferring instead to give a special concert with guests such as François Marry de Frànçois, The Atlas Mountains, and Battles drummer John Stanier. Going on stage with an orchestra by your side? The proposal was attractive, but the French artist did not feel ready yet. He dreamt of hearing his music, created first in the privacy of his home studio being carried by an orchestra, but the configuration still seemed too intimidating to him. “I am a self-taught do-it-yourselfer, I feel a real inferiority complex in relation to scholarly music. As with the original film soundtracks, the right elements had to be put in place, like meeting Romain Allender. He really made the bridge between this world of the orchestra and mine”.
Romain Allender is a composer, arranger, and assistant to Alexandre Desplat for many film scores (Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson, The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro, etc.). He knows how to write for orchestra and, not insignificantly, he already appreciates Rone’s music in which he precisely detects a «sound texture close to that of an orchestra». Motion, their first collaboration, sealed their friendship and showed that, while coming from different backgrounds, the two speak the same language, both playful and experimental. Built upon just a few seconds of music composed by Rone and intended to score an advertisement, the arranger-orchestrator and the machine tweaker built a real symphony in three movements where electronics and acoustics dance together with fluidity and harmony. Depending on the sequences and an elegant balance, one artist takes precedence over the other or, on the contrary, fades away before returning to underline the melody or the emotion.
Recorded with the Les Siècles orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth and the participation of pianist Vanessa Wagner, Motion was reassurance to Rone. So when he was asked to conceive a performance with the National Orchestra of Lyon, driven by the Motion experience, he happily accepted. He and Romain Allender then leafed through his repertoire in order to choose the pieces that would best lend themselves to a symphonic re-reading. Evidence emerges such as the inclusion in the repertoire of excerpts from Mirapolis the 2017 album, or Room With A View, the musical and choreographic work imagined by Rone with the collective (La) Horde for performances given in 2020 at the Théâtre du Chatelet with dancers from the Ballet national de Marseille. But Rone and Romain Allender don’t forget the fetish track Bora either, Rone’s first release on Infiné with the hard-hitting and inhabited speech of the writer Alain Damasio. “It remains a very important piece for me, confirms Rone, I play it all the time and it takes different forms each time”. Together, guided by their strong desires, they designed a journey, a narrative with its dark passages and other brighter ones, grandiose flights and moments of intimacy. Thanks to programming software, Romain writes arrangements that avoid literal transposition, taking advantage of all the timbres offered by the orchestra.
On June 25 and 26, the L(oo)ping project was born in front of 2,000 people massed in the auditorium. “This fun title refers to acrobatic performance, to the puzzling side, explains Rone. “I didn’t want to come across as taking myself too seriously.» Placed at the back near the percussion, Rone is accompanied by his label colleague, the Mexican producer Cubenx, and lives inside the interaction between conductor Dirk Brossé, the orchestra, and the public. At the end of the two performances, the standing ovations upset him. Hence the idea of returning with more confidence in L(oo)ping at the end of 2022 with two new shows at the Lyon auditorium.
In a natural way, Ghosts (composed for a new collaboration with (La) Horde), extracts from the soundtrack of Les Olympiades (the feature film by Jacques Audiard), and the theme of Xavier Giannoli’s next series for Canal +, Tikkoun, integrate a slightly retouched repertoire. To immortalize these evenings, a team of five sound engineers led by Alex Ewald arrange 122 microphones, and director Louise Narboni places cameras, actors, and dancers for a future film that will be much more than a recording. After some tweaking in post-production and painstaking work by Alix Ewald, here is L(oo)ping. Available in Dolby Atmos format to promote immersion and transport listeners to the place of the conductor, this live recording, full of relief and finesse, gives thanks to the feverish collective performances given by Rone, Romain Allender, Dirk Brossé, the National Lyon orchestra, and Cubenx. And as the adventure is decidedly beautiful, it will continue in June with two performances at the Philharmonie de Paris…