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Mathieu Karsenti Gives Us “Nocturne”

Mathieu Karsenti, a musical genius of the modern era, has proven his mettle in the realm of sonic landscapes. His remarkable talents have led him to compose television, film, and dance scores and collaborate with renowned celebrities at the BBC. His impressive portfolio, boasting multiple awards and credits, has garnered him recognition on major networks such as Netflix. This French native's extraordinary skill set and unique vision prompted a move to Los Angeles, where he continues to captivate new audiences.

Karsenti's approach to music is akin to that of a painter, carefully overseeing every element from cover art to orchestration. This attention to detail and dedication to his craft has solidified his reputation as a 'modern-day French Impressionist for the Social Media generation.' Through his work, Karsenti continues to craft engaging and imaginative compositions that resonate with listeners.

"Nocturne," Karsenti's latest offering, is a mesmerizing instrumental piece that transports listeners to a dreamy realm of musical scapes. The seamless fusion of nostalgic and royal undertones creates a distinctive medieval James Bond-like ambiance. As the melody unfolds, the therapeutic, organic quality of the music invites a feeling of serenity, as if wandering through a mystical rainforest.

The enchanting flute notes, interwoven with the calming bass, showcase Karsenti's mastery of multi-layered compositions. The delicate yet bold arrangement demonstrates his commitment to evoking powerful emotions in his listeners. It's hard not to be drawn into the allure of "Nocturne" with all its ethereal, otherworldly charm.

"Nocturne" is a testament to Mathieu Karsenti's expertise in creating captivating sonic landscapes. This dreamlike melody is a true auditory delight, offering a therapeutic escape from the mundane. Dive into the mystical world of "Nocturne" and experience Karsenti's powerful composing voice.

Float away with this one today, available on all platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic Mathieu Karsenti! cheers to releasing such timeless pieces with "Nocturnes,” which has a smooth, dream-like quality that will transport listeners to various ethereal scapes. Can you share the inspiration behind these unique melodies and how you captured such a vivid atmosphere in the composition?

I composed ‘Nocturnes’ at the end of 2019 and before we hit lockdown in the UK.

I was thinking about music to be listened to at night, and the classical format of nocturnes seemed to be a good direction. I also wanted to compose for 2 or more instruments having a conversation, and it turned out that the flute, clarinet, violin and viola were the right instruments for this release. Other than arranging woodwinds in my commercial TV work, I hadn’t composed for them in a solo release project. They feel very flowing and watery, and I started to imagine these nighttime atmospheres, scenes happening in nature, in forests, somewhere unknown… I could create tracks with more drive and drama with violin and viola. So the first part with the winds may be more meditative and reflective, and the second part has more momentum and is more emotionally charged.

The seamless blending of the mystical, golden age, and mysterious elements in "Nocturnes” is truly captivating. What brought you to develop this calming fusion of styles, and what challenges did you face during the creative process?

While composing for solo instruments, I wanted to ‘cocoon’ them in atmospheric settings, something quite abstract but that could be mysterious and perhaps otherworldly. So I played around with various found sounds, pitching them and automating them so that they crescendo with my musical arrangements. I also envisaged an all-encompassing, all-enveloping musical ‘aura,’ like a wave that would mould itself around the solo instruments. The challenge I encountered was mixing all the elements together. My work is often in layers, with each layer unfolding and revealing new sounds as the tracks progress, but it can take a while to get the balance and mix of sounds right. The instruments have to sit in there naturally, and nothing can or should overtake them. So as the lockdown happened, my energy was focused on piano work, and I left ’Nocturnes’ to mature a little on the side. I revisited the project a couple of times, adding a few things and changing the mix, and eventually, this year, it felt the moment was right to consider it finished!

The organic nature of "Nocturnes” is especially evident in the presence of breath between certain flute notes. Can you discuss the choice to maintain this authenticity and how it contributes to the overall therapeutic effect of the piece?

Yes, breath is important. The woodwinds were recorded close to the microphone, and it didn’t occur to me to take the breaths out at first. Some of them were a little too loud, so I adjusted the volume, but overall, I kept them for authenticity, as you rightly pointed out. They also add to the meditative nature of the track - like deep breathing in meditation. After a while, I found myself breathing along too. It matters to me a lot to work with real musicians; their interpretation of my pieces is crucial to make them come alive. I love those extra bits of realism; it’s perfect for this project!

Given the enchanting, multi-layered arrangements of "Nocturnes,” can you walk us through your process for composing such intricate pieces, from the initial concept to the final stages of orchestration?

It’s hard for me to talk about that process in detail because my mind is on auto-pilot when I work. Unless I’m working out an arrangement or a chord progression specifically, I tend to switch the analytical part of my brain and let the feeling part take over. I normally start out with a chord, a pad or some atmosphere and start exploring, playing around with a specific instrument. I used computer sounds to compose for the winds and the strings, and that is always a challenge because they never sound or behave like the real thing. When so much of your work is feelings-based, making a computer more human can be tricky, so you have to imagine that it will sound good when replayed and rerecorded. Working with George Millard (flute and clarinet) and Violeta Vicci (violin and viola) exceeded my expectations of how good the tracks could sound. In terms of orchestration, I layer bit by bit, making on-the-spot decisions about where to take the tracks. As I mentioned above, I used a lot of found sounds and textures; I also played electric guitar through FX pedals with added delay and reverb. And I wanted to treat all these textures more creatively, manipulating and distorting them, cooking up some new sounds. And lastly, I worked a lot on the mix. This is usually a more cerebral approach for me as everything has to be balanced, and I try to stay true to what I want to convey in the music.

With the success of "Nocturnes” and your distinctive composing voice resonating with audiences, what does the future hold for you as an artist? What new projects or creative avenues are you eager to explore in the coming years?

I’m always grateful for how complimenting and supportive audiences have been towards my music since I started releasing albums in 2017. In this age where we have access to so much music, it means a lot that someone would listen to my music and part with their money to purchase it. The fact they are willing to engage their imagination with my often abstract and cinematic work is gratifying! So in the future, there’s more film work for me which I love doing. Being part of a team working towards a common creative goal is fantastic and completely different from my solo work. In terms of composing, I have also written five large piano projects. One of them will probably come out later this year; the other four, I’m not sure when. And in between, there will probably be more explorations and musical adventures!


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