Returning to Canal93

March 2013 and we headed back to the French capital for another series of recording sessions at Canal 93, the venue in the Paris suburbs of Bobigny who are supporting Orchestra of Samples and where we’re currently part of their artist-in-residence programme.

First up, THEO HAKOLA:  Presented with the opportunity of working with renowned American singer-songwriter Theo Hakola, we jumped at the chance, inviting him to sing on the project.

Prolific musician, lyricist and cultural activist, Theo has lived in Paris since the 1970s, where he formed punk band Orchestre Rouge, before later forming Passion Fodder – one of the most renowned cult French bands of the 1980s. The group toured extensively, supporting acts like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and recorded five albums, including Fat Tuesday which they toured in the USA, and where they also recorded their final two albums.

Theo returned to Paris in the 90’s, embarking on a solo career and has to date released six albums under his own name – including 2012’s excellent This Land Is Not Your Land.  He’s also worked on a number of albums as producer for different artists, including the first album by French band Noir Desir, whose impact on the French music scene assumed Nirvana-esque proportions!  And away from the music biz, Theo’s also published a number of novels and acted in both French films and on stage. Check him out HERE.

Next was LUCAS FOX:  We’ve known Lucas for a quite a few years now, and we’re stoked he’s joined the project!  Lucas is a producer, musician and music-supervisor on movies, and in 1975 was the original drummer for British heavy metal band Motörhead – performing on the album On Parole, and rocking the stage and bursting eardrums with Lemmy & co before spinning out.  He returned to the band for a special one-off 10th anniversary gig in 1985.

He was also drummer with several groups, including punk band Warsaw Pakt, working on their album Needle Time.  As a producer, Lucas worked with many indie bands, including Batmen, A Wedding Anniversary and Paul Collins Beat.  He still found the time to drum though, playing with groups including Australian band The Scientist and in fact opening for The Sisters of Mercy‘s last UK tour before they split.  He also produced Giving Ground, the first single for Andrew Eldrich‘s side project Sisterhood and worked on their first album Gift. Lucas is presently music supervisor for films with publishing company Notting Hill Music.

Then was CHRISTOPHE ROSENBERG: Christophe is the Mediatech and New Technologies Coordinator at the Cité de la Musique – the group of institutions dedicated to music and situated in La Villette in Paris.  Himself a fantastic sax and flute player and a great connoisseur of world music, his flexible and versatile style has lead him to create film soundtracks and of course collaborate with an incredible range of different musicians, artists and poets.  His current collaboration is with Japanese Koto player Etsuko Chida, who also joined us.

ETSUKO CHIDA:  Yes! Finally we get to record a Koto, the beautiful long Japanese zither style instrument!  It was wonderful to record Etsuko Chida from Sapporo, Japan, who’s currently in Paris. She starting playing aged 5 – following the rigorous teachings of three of the greatest Koto players from Japan’s Yamada School of Music.  During the 18th century the school added narrative singing to it’s Koto playing style, privileging the use of the instrument in traditional Japanese music rather than the Shamisen 3-stringed lute, which was dominant at the time. Etsuko has performed in Japan and across Europe and in 2002 released Chants Courtois, an album of traditional Japanese songs.

And lastly was MOULOUD CHOUTRI: Mouloud is the recording engineer at Canal 93, the partner venue where we’re recording this current crop of musicians.  He’s also a keen bass player and has collaborated with many musicians, including Modou Gaye, the son of the great Senegalise Sufi Master!  Having recorded so many other artists for Orchestra of Samples, Mouloud just had to pick up the bass and join the project himself!