Charly Martin and his music project Wings for Louise can be seen as an enrichment in the genre of ambient & neoclassic.His new album "Fauna" has been able to print further facets of emotionality in relation to its predecessor.So it's time to introduce the musicians from Montreal in more detail in an interview with the music magazine.
Born in France, Charly has now been living in Montreal for 10 years.
Hi Charly, nice that you have time. How are you doing right now? Hi André, I’m good, thank you the summer is here in Québec and the outdoor season is starting.
"Transcanadien" was released in 2020 with quite a lot of success. did you expect that? « success » is maybe a bit much but I’m happy it has some nice reception. I’m really happy of this first album yes, even if I hear a lot of mistakes, I cannot imagine Transcanadien without these « mistakes ».
The album was included by the magazine 2020 in the category "Musical "Reference Ambient & Soundscapes". What do you think about when you read something like this? I think when I read this at first, it comforted me with the definition and genres I tried to put on my music. I wanted to do it folk, I wanted to do it classical, I wanted to do it electronic, but ambient is, for me, a musical genre that has really blurry boundaries, and I love to explore music with this mindset. My music is made to accompany images or moments, so ambient and soundscapes are great words to define it!
Tell a little bit about your musical past. How did you get into music? I really got into music by playing the guitar at the age of 12, I think. One of my friends went to my parents' house and saw my father's Gibson Les Paul. He started playing Iron Maiden songs, and it blew my mind! He taught me how to play them and introduced me to the world of metal and hard rock. A few days later, we started a band, playing the worst-ever Metallica and Iron Maiden covers. Years later, we got into multiple local metal bands, with better experience and stronger skills. As I matured, I opened my mind to other musical genres. One day, I discovered the artist Bonobo, and his music introduced me to the world of electronic and orchestral music.
Can you still remember the very first song that you composed yourself? How or what was it? Yes it was named « New song » it has a fast double kick pedal and big distorted and repetitive guitar riffs ! I recorded it on a 4tracks Korg PXR4 .
The piano is always a protagonist in your works. What makes this instrument so special for you? I learnt the piano very lately, I like its sound, the way you can play with felts and dynamics, it can have this really close and intimate sound which is perfect for ambient music and it also have a sound that everyone knows, this way, it can tell stories that everyone can understand.
Every musician and every individual should be more mindful of nature
The new album Fauna was released on May 19, 2023.
Let's come to the new album "Fauna", thematically you deal with Canadian nature. Why is this so special for you? Canada is known for his landscapes and vast forests. I have the chance to live in Montreal, a big city where you still can access to nature fairly quickly. I’m originally from France and when I immigrated to the province of Québec, I had the chance to discover a new country, embrace a new culture and discover a new Nature. I finally realized that I was passionated by this culture and nature.
The album has been released a few days now. What are the first reactions to it? One of the first reactions was your review in the magazine and I’m really happy about it, thank you again! Some other blogs and magazines did some great reviews too and most of the songs of the album landed on editorial playlists on streaming services so yes, after a few days I’m happy of the reactions.
The work combines modern aspects of acoustics and classical content. How do you create a song? I usually start by sitting at the piano. It's a bit cliché, but that's my way of doing things! Ideas often come to me when I'm improvising on the piano or when I'm tired of practicing scales and exercises. When I find something that's good enough, I work on that idea in my digital audio workstation (DAW) and gradually add synths and textures. If there's room for it, I also work on string arrangements.
Which track on the album challenged you the most until you were completely satisfied? "Tenderness" and "Underhill Wildflowers" were challenging due to the quantity of different tracks and instruments, but the one that challenged me the most was "Flight of the Sandpipers." This track was intended to be an intro for "Tenderness." I spent months working on it and composed almost 10 completely different versions before being completely satisfied. To this day, it's one of the strangest songs on the album, but I think it's my favorite... although some days I hate it.
The album contains a total of 8 tracks full of fragile beauty and melancholy. Are there one or two special pieces that are very close to your heart? As I said before, Flight of the Sandpipers is special to me as I spent a lot of time and energy on it, but I love Tenderness and North because they define the identity of FAUNA, going from very subtle and low sounds to big crescendos and explosive endings.
You also integrate string arrangements in some pieces. Can you tell me what working with the musicians looks like? It was a fantastic experience! While I had worked with other musicians before, it was my first time collaborating with classical musicians. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Gabriel Vincent, an extraordinary cellist and musician. He provided invaluable assistance in downsizing and making my arrangements more "playable." Moreover, during our time in the studio, when we were racing against the clock, he took charge and conducted the musicians in a way that I wouldn't have been capable of. He truly saved the day.
Our nature is unique, probably in the entire galaxy, and it is under threat. In your opinion, do more musicians have to warn about this, or what can the music industry do about it? Of course, every musician and every individual should be more mindful of nature. This responsibility extends beyond recognizing the need to take action against human activities that contribute to climate change. It's also a matter of behavior. Taking a step back and observing nature can prompt us to reflect on our own existence and potentially inspire changes in our behaviors. The music industry wields significant influence over its consumers, and it is crucial for prominent artists to speak out more about these issues.
The name Wings for Louise is taken from the song “Wings for Marie”
Fauna is the second album under the Wings of Louise project.
What does Charly Martin do when he's not at the piano or in the studio? I love going outside in the woods, but I also enjoy cycling in my beloved city, Montreal, with my girlfriend Lucie. Additionally, I engage in boulder climbing and spend a significant amount of time pursuing this activity.
Do you follow the releases of your music? Which album or composer made a big impression on you recently?
Of course ! I really loved the collaboration of Brian Eno and Fred Again. Also, it’s not so recent but I really loved the album Satori by Daigo Hanada.
What exactly can the press, editors or journalists do to make classical music or your music more popular? Honestly, I don't know. Perhaps it would be beneficial to place more emphasis on these genres and divert attention away from genres that are already saturating the market, such as hip-hop and artists with names like "Lil something. »
If you could choose a series or movie, which one would Charly Martin write the music for? I have a very limited knowledge of popular series and movies. However, the original music of the documentary "La Panthère des neiges" recently impressed me. It was composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. I would love to rescore the movie myself…. as that would alleviate any feelings of anxiety or impostor syndrome. (Sarcasm)
The beaver is Canada's national animal, but which animal did You particularly like? I like all of them, except Montreal’s squirrels.
One last question that must be allowed - tell us what ‘Louise’ is all about. Who is the lady? Haha, Louise is just a beautiful French firstname. The name Wings for Louise is taken from the song “Wings for Marie” by metal band Tool, and the name Louise is a francophone first name but it’s also a reference to the French band “Louise Attaque” who literally blew my mind when I was a kid listening to a male singer performing with a typically female name. …Yes, this was very original in 1997.
Thank you very much Charly, the last words are for you: Thank you André for offering us this nice exposure.