We caught up with electro-symphonic artist AstroVoyager ahead of his upcoming EP “Architect” out on the 21st October via CosmXploreR. The EP will include remixes from artists such as Grammy Award-winner electronic music pioneer Deep Forest and Blackbird Blackbird! Philippe Fagnoni aka AstroVoyager told us about exciting moments of his career and his musical influences, find out below.
Hi Philippe, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hello, I am fine, thank you! Just finishing the mastering of my forthcoming EP, “Architect”.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Well, in short, let’s say Electro-Symphonic Music… But it’s so difficult to categorize music… In fact, I intend to merge my electronic universe with classical/acoustic instruments… From a soprano diva to a full orchestra…
What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Oxygene, Jean-Michel Jarre
Crimson Tide, Hans Zimmer
Leon, The Profesionnal, Eric Serra
Space Opera, Space/Didier Marouani
Boheme, Deep Forest
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Armin Van Buuren Intense, because of the perfect retro-futuristic alchemy between harmonies, melodies, and beats…
Joachim Garraud 24/96, because of that punchy sound…
I don’t also forget recent works from Vitalic for the same reason…
M83, because of this indescriptible electro french-touch (and also because of their Oblivion movie soundtrack)…
Murcof because of it’s forthcoming album with the pianist Vanessa Wagner…
And also the last Deep Forest Evo Devo album… It combines incredible poetry, and the timeless musical signature of Eric Mouquet… A delight!
Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
Hmm, let’s say I’ve been a Korg synths addict for many years. Because of their sound, and also the feeling that they’re still musical instruments and not computers (although their Kronos is a disguised computer). For creative moments, this spontaneous approach is much more helpful than loading a lot of virtual instruments plugins. Of course, I also use a computer and virtual instruments, but later in the creative process.
What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
I think the biggest challenge is to let the public know your music exist… Internet networks are very helpful for distilling our music all around the world. But on the other hand, there is so much music available on the internet, that maybe your music will never reach its audience.
Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
It’s always a very strange process, sometimes it could be a certain emotion, something I live in that special moment that gives me an idea. Ideas flow in my head from nowhere. Sometimes, other ideas come while playing in the studio.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
There isn’t a real systematic creative process. Most of my tracks have a different process because sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s an orchestral piece, sometimes it’s an electronica track, sometimes all that together. The only constant elements are:
1/ Finding a melody
2/ Adding some harmonies
3/ Finding a rhythm basis or a synthetic sound atmosphere
4/ Then sometimes adding lyrics and/or vocals.
One other important point in my creative process is also thinking to live & visual performance from the beginning.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
Maybe a special mention for my first show last October with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. It was the premiere for my forthcoming album. Playing live with a full orchestra on stage was a real dream. I can’t forget also my first outdoor pyro musical show which was very impressive.
And the worst?
All my gigs are precious to me. Playing my music on stage and share it with the audience…Really love that! So I always forget all negative elements that come across the show. But only after the show!
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Everything in relation to live music shows, probably live sound engineer or light designer.
Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Of course, I am thinking about all those amazing electronic European festivals… ADE, Sonar, Melt, Paris Electronic Week, … But for now, it’s only a dream… Nobody knows…
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
Probably performing alongside Deep Forest…Also with Eric Serra. They are fantastic musicians… Or a trance remix on stage with Armin Van Buuren… Eclectic dreams… But dreams again…
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Of course… I’ve just released a new version of my track called “Modulation IV”. And a few weeks later (October 21th), I will release my new EP called “Architect” taken from my forthcoming album on my CosmXploreR label. You will, of course find inside the original track but also 5 fantastic guest remixes including; Blackbird Blackbird, Badoos, Halina Rice, Desange, and Deep Forest!
And finally, I am really excited about what is coming up next year, something really really big… A new Big Bang…