Behind the piano

Behind the piano: Pascal Lengagne

A while back, I introduced you yo the track Brume by the French composer Pascal Lengagne. And now the time has come to get to know the composer behind the track a bit better!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from France and I leave in Pézenas, beautiful small city in the south of France, near Montpellier.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I am 53 years old and I’ve started playing piano at 5. I ‘ve tried to play saxophone one month, but I didn’t like the feeling of the vibration on the lips.

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
My first teacher said to my parents that music was not for me, because I didn’t want to go to her lessons. But she was a little bit scary for me. Now since 2003 my only job is music, composing for films, commercials and shows.

How long have you been making piano music? And tell us something about when you figured out how to make music yourself!
I’ve started when I was 16. It was at the cinema that I wanted to compose, I love film music, and also thanks to songs that I liked on the radio.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
My first hero is Ryuichi Sakamoto, and I like Olafur Arnalds, Max Richter, Nils Frahm too.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
I’ve played very often « Someday my prince will come » or Ryuichi Sakamoto’music, now I am improvising most of the time

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
Trying to be the best, want to prove something, seek virtuosity before musicality.

How do you record your music?
Most of the time at home on my lovely Bechstein upright piano (1925) , sometimes in a big Studio in Paris when I compose for films

Whats your take on sampled instruments?
Very useful to learn composition, we can try our ideas and ear the result easily now. Some piano library are very cool (like Noire piano, Native instruments)

The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from? 

Not only from the brain, inspiration is kind of magic. We need some technique first obviously, but when we have it it’s necessary to connect to our best part (soul ?), and let it flow. But sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it still gives shit music :). But I think that we need to find some evidence in the music.

Thank you for this wonderful interview Pascal!

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