French artist Claude Violante just released a new music video for her track “We Go On“, it was the good occasion to catch up with her and chat about her music, inspirations and process.
Where are you right now?
I am at my music studio right now, it’s way too hot but it feels like home!
How have you been doing during these past couple of months?
I have been very good lately, working on the release of my new EP Water Signs, making sure everything is perfect before it comes out.
Do you think that the pandemic had a positive or negative influence on your creativity?
Well at first the influence was very bad! Being suddenly trapped inside your apartment is a very unpleasant feeling.
But I started to shift perspective and try to see things differently : what can I do now that I wouldn’t do in my « normal life »?
I started to get interested in building my own synthesizer, because machines are awesome and I can also make music with it!
So I got very deep into the process of buying parts and learning electronics, solving problems and after that there is the reward of using the machine that you just built with your hands (plus electricity of course). It’s fascinating and the learning never stops.
Could you introduce Claude Violante to our audience?
So, I would say Claude Violante is a pretty nice girl! Kidding, but seriously, it is the name that I chose to produce my music. It’s a mix of electronic textures and vocals, the encounter of the machine and the human. I love to be stuck with that only question, trying to make it work in harmony and finding new ways to see them communicate. Claude is a very emotional but creative geek.
You’re just releasing a new – very personal – music video using footages of your mom, could you tell us more about it?
Well it was a long process to allow myself to show such a personal part of my life. It is about love and loss, about construction/ destruction, cycles and about the world. I really wanted to show something personal and universal at the same time.
I think the idea came up as I was talking to my friend Alexandra Reghioua who helps me with the visual artistic direction of my project. I wanted to do something very personal because the music really is about intimacy, I didn’t set up boundaries for the music production, I felt free and open. We thought the video should follow this path.
We started with the pictures that came with the record, the idea was to do everything ourselves, DIY style. So I went to a Photo Booth near my house with props and that was it, as true as it gets! Then we had to do something of that same nature for the video.
There was this film that my father made when my mother passed away ten years ago, it was some kind of crazy montage of different images of her and of her life. I was telling Alexandra about this footage in a different conversation and she thought we should use it. I think I needed someone to say that it was ok to expose these images and that it was interesting enough to be enjoyed by anyone.
That was a big part of the editing process, finding the right balance. It was very important to us that anyone could relate in a way or another, not to the « story » but to this sort of universal melancholy and to the tone of the images.
The video is very experimental and fits really the music, how much experimentation is part of your creative process?
I have to say that experimenting has always been a very important part of the music I make. I think it is the most important thing as someone who creates something to always question either the form or the substance, or both! I would probably be very bored if I didn’t question what I do.
Because I use a lot of machines in my creative process, I can choose many different ways to use them. The possibilities are endless.
But since I started to build my own modular synth, I have been experimenting even more, most of the tracks on my EP start from experimentations. I don’t know the notes, I just play them and then something comes up that I want to hear again and that is how I start a track most of the time.
When you’re making your songs, do you listen to other music? Have you discovered any exciting musicians recently?
Yes, I listen to a lot of music but I am very monomaniacal when it comes to it. I will listen to the same track over and over until I can’t hear it anymore. Then I move on to another obsession. I discovered someone that I like a lot, Shygirl from London, I think her music is pretty cool. But to be honest, I don’t listen to very new tracks! Most of the time I just listen to Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell over and over… I also like weirder textures and sounds like Pauline Anna Strom, Eartheater, Andy Stott or Caterina Barbieri.
One movie, one book, one song?
One movie would be the first I saw in a theater in a very long time : Promising Young Woman. I am not sure that I loved it but it was very interesting and raised some important questions.
The book is the one I’m currently reading : « Les fous du son » in French. About the inventors that created music with electricity, it’s completely fascinating!
The song I am listening right now and that I love : Helix (Edit), by Kelly Moran
What are your plans for the summer?
The plan is half work half holiday!
A question we forgot?
Nothing is ever forgotten 😉
Watch her new music video directed by Alexandre Reghioua below