Francesco Le Metre; is a witty, lyrical contemporary piano player with a firm footing in the world of indie, avante grade, and electronic music ala his contemporaries Rob Simonsen, Benjamin Wynn, Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O'Halloran. He is best known for working on film scores ranging from the critically acclaimed Sundance Film "Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen" to mainstream hits like "Adrift" and "The Hate U Give". His debut solo album, Abroad, will be released this summer.
We are proud to feature his new video & single "Fraternalism" (streaming now) on BuzzMusic! The second single from his upcoming album, this piece showcases Le Metre's ability to be equal parts reserved and jubilant with his playing. A keen sense of composition turns this song into a veritable soundtrack to the artists youth, with an accompanying visualizer that will guide you through a compelling journey of nostalgia. Enjoy our interview with him below.
"Fraternalism" tells a story sonically - can you elaborate on any specific themes or narratives you had in mind while writing it? I couldn’t have started the album in any other way than talking about the person that means the most in my life. My older brother. "Fraternalism" is the music of me thinking about all the beautiful memories that I share with my brother; with the video being all these snapshots going by on a screen. It is melancholic but also brings me joy. I first started writing the piece on piano; inspired by this childhood video that my father made asking my brother and I to talk about how beautiful our mother was. As I was writing the piece I wanted to go deeper and make the song a bit more personal. That was the moment when I had the idea to import the dialogues between my brother and I from the video, and make a repetitive loop out of it. I ended up tuning in the vocals to a constant pitch in order to make them cohesive with the rest of the piece and then added some verbs and delay to create a sound texture to support the main piano piece. As a final touch I added some subtle string quartet counter melodies and textures to add a layer of lightness and positivity into the song. Who are some "outside the box" musicians you really look up to and admire? It's clear that you write music that has a broad spectrum of influences to it rather than fitting perfectly in the "classical" or "piano player" box - we'd love to hear more about the artists who resonate with you! One of the artists that really shaped my musicianship, especially as I was growing, up is bassist Marcus Miller. He was THE person that took the concept of electric bass to the next level. He took a supporting instrument and made it the main protagonist of a band, still respecting its main rhythm section functionality. I also love his sense of mentorship and attention to upcoming musicians. Another musician and composer I really respect is Johan Johansson. Unfortunately, he passed away too soon but he had an elevated sense of minimalism and depth from the composition to his very outside the box sound design. On a similar, note I believe Jonny Greenwood is extremely talented and creative in his compositions. How has the process of writing the music for your debut album "Abroad" differed from the experience of composing for film and TV? Writing a record is definitely different than writing a score for a film. There are some commonalities, such as having a vision and creating a sonic concept that makes sense with the story. However, in this case, the story is very personal. The album is about my life journey, being away from my family, and overcoming challenges. Since the basic building block of an album (the music) exists mainly without imagery, motion, or dialogue, you have to get away from that sense of pragmatism typical of film scores. I would say It was less stressful in terms of deadlines and logistics. However, It took a big emotional toll on me as I was working on it. I didn’t find it easy sometimes to go deep and dive into what I was feeling. When you think you are going deep, you usually just scratch the surface and you have to push yourself more into it. "Abroad" comes out this summer - are you working on any other projects around this album release? Any new music on the horizon from you? I just wrapped a TV show, and I am currently preparing the soundtrack of the documentary I scored this past winter. As of the future I think I will definitely take some time off and reset a bit. I have plans for a second album and a possible collaboration with a friend of mine. But that’s for another time.