Following the singles “La nuée” and “Bloom”, “L’archange” reflects the important role of dialogue between the piano and the string quartet. This is the only track on the album where Leoza and the musicians performed together in the same room during recording. Originally composed on piano during a residency at the Banff Center for Arts & Creativity in 2018, “L’archange” depicts the ups and downs of fusional encounters. The piano (the archangel), alone at the beginning, is slowly joined by the strings (the angels) and the piece slowly evolves with the melodious arrangement of the four voices of the string ensemble. Both luminous and nostalgic, “L’archange” is a hopeful track and undoubtedly the most personal on the album.
Albatross is Simon Leoza‘s first full-length album, bringing together unique pieces that the composer has accumulated and shaped over the past six years. Like the path of the seabird that flies great distances, the composition and production of Albatross spanned several years of musical exploration and overseas journeys.
After two creative residencies at the Banff Center for Arts & Creativity, Simon Leoza flies to Iceland where he begins pre-production of the album with fellow artist Snorri Hallgrímsson. Inspired by the awe-inspiring Scandinavian nature, he then spent some time in the Faroe Islands, a subarctic archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean. Back in Quebec, he teamed up with Blaise Borboën-Léonard (Queen KA, Lydia Képinski) who co-produced the album with him.
Albatross was recorded at Montreal’s Studio Makina and at Studio Le Nid in St-Adrien. Leoza took advantage of his countryside trip to use the acoustics of the village church and record with the string quartet.
The album’s 10 original pieces go from the grandiose to the intimate, characteristic of the composer’s universe. More delicate pieces intermingle with the lively emotions of more energetic pieces. Rich in instrumentation and electronic textures, Albatross is a daring emotional journey, subtly mixed by Tonio Morin-Vargas (Flore Laurentienne, Bon Enfant). If the artist’s previous EP Constellations (ou comment arrêter le temps) explored time and astronomy, Albatross portrays a personal and authentic travel account of wonder and curiosity, somewhere between the vertigo of the mystic and the comfort of reality…
Simon Leoza‘s cinematic, ambient and moving music evokes Nils Frahm and Max Richter as much as Ólafur Arnalds and Philip Glass. Endowed with a natural versatility and without any musical training, he has instinctively developed his own musical language over the years, which he communicates to his collaborators and musicians for the production of his works. With over 3.5 million streams online, his first three EPs captured the attention of national and international critics, who described his works as melancholic and grandiose, blending mellow acoustics and dreamlike landscapes steeped in nostalgia.
The “La nuée” music video, which is approaching 110,000 views on YT and Vimeo is part of the FIFA Official Selection – International Festival of Films on Art (programming – VIDEOCLIPS).