Our interview with Chassol, guest at Opera Festival

Our interview with Chassol, guest at Opera Festival

Giulia Guido · 3 years ago · Art

Milo, the small village on the slopes of Mount Etna that inspired maestro Franco Battiato, will be the stage for the first edition of the Opera Festival, which will take place over two weekends during which the music of Italian and international artists will enliven the Sicilian landscape. 

This first edition, which will take place from 27 to 29 August and from 3 to 5 September, is entitled “Genesi”, referring again to Battiato and his 1987 opera, in which the maestro stages the irreversible decadence of the human race, which can only be averted through beauty, dance and music.
Opera Festival searches for this beauty in nature and in the elements offered by the landscape that embraces Milo, which will blend with the sounds of the leading artists, among whom Christophe Chassol stands out on the first day – Friday 27th August -. 

We at Collater.al were lucky enough to have a chat with the French composer and musician, who told us how his passion for music began, how his albums and films are created and gave us a sneak preview of his performance at the Opera Festival. 

Visit the Opera Festival website to buy tickets and find out the full line up, and read on for our interview with Christophe Chassol. 

Hi Christophe, this is the first time we talk about you on Collater.al. Introduce yourself to our readers. How did you get into music and how did your career start? 

My name is Christophe Chassol, I am a French musician and artist, born in Paris in 1976 but my parents were originally from West Indies, Martinique. I started with music very early, around the age of 4, and I learned to play the piano when I was about 5. I started with classical music, then I discovered other genres such as jazz, which I love, and when I was a teenager I had a band with which I did covers of jazz pieces.
After my teenage years I studied philosophy and went to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Over the years I have worked on music for commercials, movies, TV shows and various arrangements. For a while I also worked with a 24-piece orchestra with whom I did several shows and live performances.
Then I moved to Los Angeles where I started experimenting a lot until the advent of YouTube in 2005 when I started making music by integrating sounds from the videos I made. I started calling these tracks Ultrascores.
A few years later, in 2008, I got my first commission from a museum in New Orleans for whom I made NOLA Chérie, a film and an album, and from then on I started using a technique I call “harmonizing speech”.
My second album was made in India, where I recorded a lot of traditional musicians, and my third album, “Big Sun”, made with the same concept, was made in Martinique.
And then, well, there were so many things and other albums after “Big Sun”…

You are French and with Martinique origins. How have your origins and the places you’ve visited in your life influenced your music? 

They influence the music in the sense that I make music with the sounds I capture while filming. For example from Martinique for “Big Sun” I shot a bird singing and this melody became the bit for one of the tracks.
I could say that these places not only influence my music, but they are the material I need to make it. That’s why the structure, the sound, the form of my music is always the same because in the end I also have my obsessions and the things I like, but what changes is what you could call the soloist, the melody, which is closely linked to the place where I film and record. 

A more technical question. During your travels, what equipment do you use to record sounds and noises?

Oh, it’s very simple, often all you need is a camera and a microphone. Usually when I’m travelling there’s a cameraman and a sound engineer, but when I’m alone and I’m recording everything and I just put a microphone on top of the camera. That’s more than enough. 

Let’s go back to the concept of Ultrascore, what are they and how did this name come about?

I started giving this name to my experiments in 2005 because I needed to classify my work and I simply started naming the files this way. You know, with “score” I refer to the film score, so the music, whereas “ultra” is a very objective thing, almost joking, as if I used “super!”.

Chassol

On August 27th at Opera Festival you will be performing “Big Sun”, your latest album. Tell us about this album and what’s new about it compared to your previous works? 

“Big Sun” was released in 2015, but not everything that makes it up is from that time because it’s like I’ve been playing it all my life and I think I’ll go on playing it all my life. It’s a work, a film, that I shot in Martinique and the aim was to film Carnival because Carnival is a special moment, where things go upside down, during which, for example, even the most homophobic person can be seen dressed as a woman.

Moreover, as my parents are originally from West Indies, I wanted to capture not only the beauty of the Carnival but also the beauty of the island in general. Martinique is so small but has an unparalleled richness, both in terms of nature and in terms of traditions, culture, language and of course music. They have a much deeper and more rooted musical culture there than in France, for example, and yet it’s not seen very well here and people make fun of genres like zouk. So I wanted to show how rich and deep Martinique’s culture is, filming singers, musicians, people at the market, nature, birds, Carnival and harmonising all this to create a film and a show. 

Lastly, speaking of live performances and linking back to your participation in Opera Festival, what did you have in mind for the occasion? What kind of live performance will the spectators attend? 

Well, you’ll see fantastic drummers and on the screen there will be different characters. It will be a kind of triptych made up of the drummers, me on keyboards or piano and the screen. The screen is the real protagonist and we are like inside the screen. Actually we are in front of it but it’s like we are inside it. It will be a dialogue between the music and the images on the screen.

chassol
Our interview with Chassol, guest at Opera Festival
Art
Our interview with Chassol, guest at Opera Festival
Our interview with Chassol, guest at Opera Festival
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Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

Has food truly conquered us?
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Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.

Xiaomi

Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.

Xiaomi

Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.

Xiaomi

In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.

Xiaomi

Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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