RÊVERIE by Goodbye Ivan

By Audio Pervert - 7/22/2019

Rêverie is the 6th solo album by Brussels-based French composer Goodbye Ivan. Multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer, Goodbye Ivan's music is about crossing boundaries, in terms of genres, forms, geographies and working with musicians and talent of various nations and backgrounds. As a personality, demure and polite, his music reflects the sombre, the cinematic - sounds and melodies, spaces and notes which demand time and patience. Worth the effort for those who actually listen! Recorded at La Savonnerie studio in Brussels, the compositions are manifested on piano. Captivating and thought-provoking, and without words, without overtly audible effects and needless additives. As the press release politely states "piano-based record imbued with melancholy". Ready to float? and traverse into the darker and uncharted spaces of your consciousness... Rêverie as an album has manifested  further, almost as a second album, with stunning remixes by a diverse bunch of composers. Titled Discomposed, sensibilities from Brussels,  Geneva, New Delhi, Vannes, London, Valencia, Estavayer-le-Lac and Kaulitz, makes the second side of Rêverie a heavy contrast. A cluster of electronic music deviations, ranging from glitch, to dark-core, to analog techno, the remixes are all re-interpreting the 'piano-sphere'.  We spoke to Arnaud (Goodbye Ivan) about the making of Rêverie and his background as a musician, producer and artist traversing various roles and genres till now. Listen to the album here!

Tell us a little bit about your background? Music? Growing up years?
I started music as a drummer, 30 years ago in Switzerland, playing in post-punk, and then grunge bands, so I come from the rock scene. Then, I started to play the guitar, and to experiment on a 4 tracks cassette recorder. At the end of the nineties, I started an experimental music project with a friend, and as a multi-instrumentalist, I started to experiment with all kind of instruments, the piano, the saxophone, the trumpet, reel to reel tape recorders, guitars, basses, glockenspiels, you name it, almost anything that could produce a sound, but always musical instruments, I mean organic ones, not even analog, no synth, no computer. At the same time I was listening to jazz, hip hop, soul, funk, classical, everything I could. In 2007 I started my own project, while at the same time, I continued, (and still today), to be involved in various projects, with different people, playing different instruments in different genres. Then I moved to Brooklyn, NY where I lived for 5 years. In addition to my projects, I was a session and live drummer for an industrial rock band as well as various Hip Hop projects. Today, I live between my studio in Brussels, Belgium, and Geneva, Switzerland.

The story behind Rêverie?  Sounds very different from your earlier albums and sound?
It is different from the previous album "Promenade" which was electric guitar based. So, it can be a concept album since it's based around the piano, but for instance, my first albums are a mix of a lot of things, so, I guess it just reflects the mood I'm in, when I start laying down ideas, and for this one, I wrote minimal piano pieces, and I wanted to hear the best piano sound, well detailed, with the ability to listen to the natural resonance of the piano strings, a real piano with personality, not a digital emulation. I've been lucky enough to work with Maxime Steiner, sound engineer at La Savonnerie Studio where the album was recorded, who captured the sound like no one else could...

In this age of loud, over-saturated, beat centric music, what inspires you towards the quiet, the melancholy of piano based music?
On "The Lost Tape", my third album, I added drum machines and digital synths to my music. After releasing it, I thought I should make a difference between Goodbye Ivan and machines. I'm writing music for films and audio-visual creations under this name, so I wanted to separate the melancholic, cinematographic and organic touch of Goodbye Ivan, and the colder, over-saturated and loud music that I love doing as well. Hence, I started a separate project under the name "Play/Pause" where I'm totally free to make as much noise as I want! I wrote a first album with this project, themed around people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and this being done, I was able to record this minimal satiesque piano album.

The album has so many remixes. How did that work out?
The idea came after the album was finished. Before even talking about the remixes, I thought about this "hype" movement behind what they now call "post-classical" or "neo-classical". So many artists now are like me, with no classical training trying to write classical music. With today's technologies, it's easy to add a few strings and a Moogesque bass line, and you feel like you're writing the score of the some Netflix or HBO series.... However, piano melodies can be played in many forms, different genres, folk, pop, electronica, dark, techno, experimental, whatever.. and I know people, very good musicians and composers, involved in different genres, so it came naturally to ask them to mix these piano lines with their own world. I sent them over stems from the studio, and told them "do whatever you want with it", that's how Discomposed was born.

Who is Ivan? You? or a fictional character?
Ivan is my middle name, so it can be me. Basically, I just like the way it sounds. A Goodbye is not a Farewell, it's sad but it's like "we will see each other again", so there is hope, that's how I see my music, melancholic, but with hope, with em.. a light at the end of the tunnel?

What is Goodbye Ivan up-to in the future?
I recently composed the soundtrack of a documentary called "The Scavengers". (https://www.pascalgreco.com/thescavengers) premiered at The Geneva's International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights. This film will be shown in more festivals and events and I think the whole world needs to see it! It's a film about eldery people in Hong Kong who, because of no help from the state, need to pick up cardboard in the street to earn some money.
Then, Play/Pause, (https://www.goodbyeivan.com/playpause) the "dark electronic project" is about to release a full length album. This one will be about phobias, it should be out sometime this year.
Another project I'm involved in is called ENOIA (https://huhuhu.bandcamp.com/album/enoia), it features POL on digital machines and Da Saz on modular synths, with me on guitar and piano. We went on a week residency last year, bit lost in the south of France and we are looking forward to release this music sometime this year ...

And then there's Aeroflot, the electro-pop project where I sing. We have a new album done, yet we are looking for a record label to release and to tour... Additionally I'm playing a medieval instrument called the bowed psaltery with ATMO, where Sonia P uses electronics and field recording, we have a couple records ready to download (https://atmo.bandcamp.com/) - we are performing live. Future plans you were asking? It's never ending... I can also talk about the sound art installation we've built up with a couple friends, where motion detectors in a room makes a piano sing (trigger) without being touched.. We will install it somewhere in Geneva, Switzerland in 2020...

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