• Spotted!

    Spotted: Laura Christie Wall and Fransoafran – I Have Loved You

    Today I’m introducing you to the track I Have Loved You by the British composer and piano player Laura Christie Wall and the violin player Fransoafran. I have previously written about Lauras song In the half light here, and about Fransoafrans collaboration here!

    The track I have loved you was released as a single on the 11th of September, 2020.

    Tell us something about the track I have loved you!
    Immersive and emotional in style, ‘I Have Loved You’ is an instrumental collaboration between me and Francois Mathian. The soft & contemplative piano melody together with the vulnerable sound of the exposed violin captures the painful moments spent longing after a lost relationship; of not being quite ready to let go but accepting that it is necessary to save your heart from a one-sided love. 

    Thanks for sending me this track!

    For more information, please check out the following links:
    Laura: Facebook / Instagram / Spotify
    Fransoafran: Facebook / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Sarah Coponat & Fransoafran – Home (piano and strings)

    Today I’m introducing your to the track Home by the French composer Sarah Coponat. This tune was recorded together with the violin player Fransoafran.

    Sarah has played the piano since the age of three with a diploma of the national conservatorium of Marseille in classical piano. She have been composing for as far as she can remember.

    Fransoafran started out playing the piano as well, but later switched to the violin. After a classical training, he embraced many styles from jazz to pop rock, latin to country music, with a taste for improvisation. He is born in France but is now located in Australia.

    Tell us something about the track Home!
    “Home” evokes the nostalgia of people and places that bring you back to your childhood. It is a peaceful and melancholic track, collaboration with violinist Fransoafran who brought a beautiful depth to the track.

    The violins and viola were recorded in studio in Vietnam, being currently based here temporarily. It was not easy finding a classical viola in Vietnam, and I was starting to lose hope in including one on this record, but by a happy synchronicity, one of my violin students told me she had a viola she wanted to give away, it was such a perfect timing for this recording!

    Thank you Sarah and Fransoafran for sending me this track!

    For more information and updates, please check out these following links:
    Sarah: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Website / Spotify
    Fransoafran: Spotify

  • Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Francois Mathian

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I was born in France, raised in Burgundy then lived in Paris for a while before moving to Australia where I spent over 10 years, to the point that Sydney now feels like my “home”. Currently I live in Vietnam, where I find a great energy to create.

    How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
    I started learning music with piano lessons when I was a kid, and although I switched to violin as my main instrument after a few years, I could never go without having a piano around. It is a fundamental part of my composition process, along with the violin.

    Tell us about how you started playing music. 
    I started playing music at the conservatory in Burgundy, and as soon as I started learning the violin I could become part of the student orchestra, which was such a great learning experience, and a lot of fun. 

    How long have you been making piano music?
    I had been improvising on the piano pretty much since I started music, but I did not put the effort into structuring my ideas until a few years ago. However it is only since a few months ago that I have started releasing solo piano tracks, I have found they allow me to express calmer emotions. 

    Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I was a teenager at the time, and the piano was part of this process. I remember writing some melodies and showing them to my violin teacher, but to be honest my knowledge of harmony was still quite green and I’m glad I took up harmony classes later in my life.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    I really enjoy the modern composers: Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Yann Tiersen, Peter Cavallo, especially because they also excel at arranging piano with strings and create these deep experiences. For piano solo, Dominique Charpentier, Ludovico Einaudi, Ron Adelaar, Elliott Jacques, are wonderful inspirations.

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s? 
    Most of the time when I sit on the piano, it is to improvise or work on a new piece of music, so it feels more like a white canva. 

    What rules (in making music) need to be broken?
    I would say some harmonic rules still make a lot of sense in the neoclassical style, although to break them repeatedly with intent can create a more “electronic” vibe to the music. Also, in our current streaming and playlists world, we tend to constrain ourselves to create shorter and shorter tracks, but I hope there is still room for longer pieces to come through.

    How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? Etc.
    I produce and mostly record myself in a small studio, currently based in Ho Chi Minh City, where the mixing and mastering are also done. If I need to record a real piano, I would however hire an external studio. 

    What’s your take on sampled instruments?
    I do find some of the sampled piano quite realistic, although I must say for solo piano works being able to record with a real piano changes significantly the emotional and authentic impact of the music. For piano and strings, being able to use sampled instruments can be an advantage, especially during mixing, with the ability to fine tune the best matching sound and minimising the use of post-processing.

    Anything else you want to share? 
    Apart from neoclassical, I also find the piano to be a very versatile instrument, and recently have enjoyed creating more electronic ambient and lofi pieces with it as well. 

    The last question is asked by my 7 year old son:
    Where do all your songs come from? 

    The music I produce comes through me from a desire to connect and express authentic emotions.

    Thank you for sharing Francois!

    For more information and updates, please check out the following:
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website / Spotify

  • Spotted!

    Spotted: Francois Mathian – Tout Doucement

    Today I’m introducing you to the composer and piano player Fancois Mathian, from Australia, and his track Tout Doucement. Francois started playing the piano as a child and later switched to violin as his main instrument. He is classical trained but later embraced many styles as jazz, pop, rock and so on. I have previously written about tracks featuring Fransoafran, which is the very same person as Francois!

    The track Tout Doucement was released as a single on the 10th of September, 2021, and will probably be on an album later on!

    Tell us something about your track Tout Doucement!
    My main instrument is violin, and I have mostly been composing piano and strings pieces so far, which tend to be on the stronger emotional side and more cinematic. That being said I have been increasingly drawn to the piano as a main composing vehicle to express calmer emotions, usually starting with improvised melodies I play on the keyboard and then develop . “Tout Doucement” in french means “very softly / gently”, therefore for this song the preference was to record it on a large upright felt piano to capture the emotional, intimate and tender tones of a gentle sunrise.  There is also a piano, violin and cello version of this track currently in mixing, collaboration with the wonderful cellist Eva Brönner, to be released in a few weeks.

    Thanks so much for this!