o
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
  i  
 
i
 
 
i
 
 
i
 
 
i
 







i
   


23/08/12 - PHASE 8: PHARES


The only thing I knew about Phase 8 was that it had to be an acoustic song. I hesitated a long time before I even started working on the single. I had a few unanswered questions such as: should I compose something with acoustic instruments and record them "live" or should I just go with my very-Montag-way-to-compose and assemble samples of acoustic instruments? The first way to create the song would have taken me forever. I just know so. I'm not a good "instrumentalist", I'm just better at assembling sounds together. So I have to admit that went for the "easy way" or at least the "easier way" with Phase 8. It was also a question of time... So many projects of mine were in their final stages in July so I picked the quickest way to compose and with a bit of perspective, I don't regret it.


A video for Phares, by Maxime Loisel.



Somehow, using acoustic instruments such as the autoharp (I used samples that I had recorded years and years ago!) inspired me French lyrics. It might be the stereotypical romantic dimension of the language that did that... it's very possible. And the lyrics, although they were written quickly, are probably my favorite that I did in French. Maybe because they were personal. The words are addressed to a friend who was going through a hard time a few weeks ago... Here's a rough translation. I warn you, it's not going to sound sexy in English, believe me. It's weird how languages allow you to say things so differently... it works in one and sounds awful in the other. Now I liked how the title PHARES was close to PHASES. It worked. "Un phare" in French, is a lighthouse. An image and a word I've always liked.

"LIGHTHOUSES"

It's not the first time that I see you in that state
Carrying your life at arm's length (an expression in French that means "to struggle"
Harldy breathing
Always in the dark

It's a light that you see at the end of the path
That you had forgotten somewhere
Between two nightmares
Always in the dark

All that is left to is for you to look at the truth, the beauty, the sublime
And everything you have left
Your life, that is
Even if it won't last

All that is left to is for you to walk towards the lighthouse
To finally see what you have left

All that is left to is for you to walk towards the lighthouse
To finally see what you have left

All that is left to is hold the luminaire (couldn't find the translation for that one!)
Yes, it's that light that is burning inside of you

All that is left to is for you to walk towards the lighthouse
So you can finally see what you have left

The music - I am very conscious of it - is a little bit pastoral... but the melody got stuck in my head and I couldn't go back once I found it... For me it was the kind of melody that could be repeated over and over again. So that's how I built the song, repetitve, with a simply leitmotiv. Call me lazy but I thought it worked that way! I used tons of samples I had recorded way back when I first started Montag. But I also recorded other music instruments in my studio, like a quite beautiful sounding wooden flute from South America. That's what I used to make the chords you can hear distinctively at the end of the track... So yes, I cheated a bit. The instruments used are acoustic but they were all assembled in a very digital software. As for the beat - towards the end - it was done with my old drumkit that mostly sounds shitty unless I pass it through different effects, which I did... To the point that it doesn't sound very acoustic anymore... So "acoustic" is never really "acoustic" with Montag I guess!

There's something I didn't cheat with though: the vocals. I got into the habit of using Melodyne on some of my vocals (it's a software that works a little but like "Autotune" and you can totally hear it in some of the songs on Phases) but with Phase 8 I didn't want to correct anything, it's not 100% in tune but it's not as "unaturally perfect" and that's what I was aiming for.

THERE IS A VOICE (acoustic)

There is a Voice is a song I wrote for Phase 6 in tribute to Trish Keenan, a member of the British band Broadcast. I wanted to go back to that song. Becaused it marked me. And making an acoustic version of it seemed natural. It sounds a little esotheric and strange but I guess that's what I wanted.... A friend of mine told me it was haunting. Somehow I feel like the acoustic version is even more so. I don't feel Trish in it as much as I did in the original. But it's just as felt, I hope at least.



   
    graphic design and Phases artwork by Curiousflux