Murcof – The Versailles Sessions (2008)
In the summer of 2007, Fernando Corona, a.k.a. Murcof, completed a site-specific commission for Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, an annual festival of sound, light, and water at Chateau de Versailles in France, and composed a suite of music specifically for the grand evening fountain display in the Jardin du Roi. The Versailles Sessions is an aural document of the event, released on specially priced CD and limited-edition double vinyl.
The six compositions prepared for the project derive entirely from recordings of 17th century baroque instruments (including harpsichord, viola da gamba, flute, and violin) and a mezzo soprano. The recording process may appear to be a departure for an artist known primarily as an electronic musician, but in fact it’s a continuation of techniques Corona has perfected over a number of years. The Versailles Sessions should not be considered as the successor to 2007’s monumental Cosmos, rather as a special project preceding Murcof’s next album proper. The release coincides with Murcof’s first ever full UK tour in November, in which Corona will present a newly composed work (entitled “Oceano”) in collaboration with Spanish classical ensemble BCN216 and visual sculptor Flicker, in what promises to be a truly overwhelming live experience. “Oceano” will form the backbone of Corona’s next studio album (penciled for release in 2009), a testament to just how far he’s come from his minimalist beginnings, harnessing monolithic sonic power to his masterful control of timbre and atmospherics.