My first orchestral CD was recorded in 1999 in Abbey-Road Studio One, in London. The London Symphony Orchestra and the London Voices performed the music, together with the participation of Conrad Pope, orchestrator, and Shawn Murphy, sound recording engineer, both from Los Angeles (USA).
As I ambled across the white-striped crosswalk of that historic street corner in London and sauntered into the gate of the famed Abbey Road Studio, secretly, my heart soared—realizing my dream had come true. Here I was, finally—35 years after starting my own first rock ‘n roll group in France! Better late than never?
My friends Chantal, Dominique, and Luc accompanied me on that first day, and to this day, we still reminisce about that crowd of tourists—as ubiquitous at the main gate as the writing on the wall. As they watched us pass through the door of Abbey Road Studio, their gaze revealed the distinct impression that we were VIPS.
Truth be told, we actually imagined that we were very LUCKY people.
… six of my musical themes were performed by the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra and recorded at Abbey Road Studio, the studio where the Beatles recorded! Shawn Murphy, a famous sound engineer, and Conrad Pope, an astounding orchestrator, both from LA, worked on the project.
It is truly a privilege to have been able to record my music in this legendary place, where some of the world’s most revered artists have worked together to create enduring masterworks.
Since childhood, my element has been everything related to sound and music, including the world of the recording studio. Having worked as director of one of the world’s premier control rooms (in France), I understood early that the five recording sessions awaiting me - with one of the grandest orchestras on Earth, in one of the most prestigious studios - would be a serious challenge.
An audiophile and music lover, Shawn Murphy is one of Hollywood's busiest and most respected scoring engineers. His distinctive and amazing sound is equalled only by his kindness, attentive ear, and professionalism. He recorded and mixed a staggering 664 albums, from movie soundtracks (Mary Poppins, Star Wars) to Dmitri Shostakovich : Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, "The Year 1905" (2018). I am so deeply honored that my album, "Frames for a Fairy Tale," is one of Shawn’s 664!
One of these great talent is award-winning composer and orchestrator Conrad Pope, regarded among his peers as a "musician's musician." Pope's scores range over the entire cinematic spectrum. Emotionally evocative, his music expertly creates for each film what The Hollywood Reporter called "sub-textural punch."
Recalling the sessions we had at Abbey Road twenty years ago, I am still struck by Conrad’s professionalism, scholarship, and refinement. In the highly stressful atmosphere of the control room, communicating by telephone with the conductor in the next room, Conrad demonstrated exquisite tact and diplomatic skill, calmly giving me direction when he observed that I was not quite up to tempo as a producer of my own work.
But mostly, I recall how it felt to enter "Studio 1" for the first time, just as 95 musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra were preparing to perform… and how profoundly I was struck, as by a slap - le souffle de l'orchestre - when they began to play the first bars of my composition. Wow ! I sat up straight in the studio armchair, eyes and ears open wide. On that day, it seemed to me that my music was given brilliant new life.
I cannot overlook the excellent musician Luc Marty, who prepared the first orchestrations ; the great pianist John Alley, now retired; the exceptional soprano Susan Kinsey and the superb conductor Paul Mann, who managed the amazing feat of recapturing, off the cuff, a taping that we thought had been lost.
Permit me a moment of silence to honor my great friend and brother Dominique Julliard, who made so many heroic efforts in preparation for this great moment in my career.
And a big thank you to my dearest companion Chantal Desmoulins, who, without having any musical training, expertly transcribed all of my remarks during the taping, phrase after phrase, permitting me to arrive at the editing room totally prepared.
My thanks to all the great artists, collaborators, and fellow travelers for an unforgettable moment!