Published Jan 07, 2013Hendrik Weber, the man behind the alias of Pantha Du Prince, is all set to release his newest project since the German producer's acclaimed 2010 album Black Noise and 2011's Ursprung effort. As previously reported, the album is a collaborative record with the Bell Laboratory called Elements of Light, which will be released on January 15 through Rough Trade Records. The LP marks a carefully orchestrated piece for electronics, percussion and, most uniquely, carillon bells — something you can now hear for yourself via an album stream here on Exclaim.ca.
Speaking to Exclaim!, Weber explains why he decided to use such a unique instrument, stating, "The carillon is an instrument of rare use so far in music history, I have had a fascination with it for a long time and visited several versions of it all over the world."
Elements of Light was created with the intention of being listened to as a continuous whole without traditional song breaks, though it has been split into five sections named after various components of light.
"I started writing a classic Pantha track over a length of 44 minutes, we then transcribed the samples, synths, beats and sounds into a score for classically trained musicians," explains Weber.
He recruited Norwegian composer Lars Petter Hagan for the album, who served as the arranger and conductor for the piece, while the carillon was actually played by Vegar Sandholt.
With such an uncommon instrument being heavily incorporated into Elements of Light, the recording process was adapted to fit the carillon as well, as Weber details further.
"[Elements of Light] was, first of all, a classic electronic techno track, and afterwards we replaced the samples with real instruments in written score; the lead melodies were replaced, and field recordings as well, whereas the carillon was there from the beginning. I had the samples from the Oslo bell tower, each bell of the carillon on my keyboard to write melodies and to be able to understand how the frequencies of an instrument like this can resonate and interact."
After a year of rehearsals and a successful first performance in Oslo, Weber plans on showcasing the piece in a live setting at a number of shows and festivals in Europe, including Berlin, Leipzig, London and Lyon, among others.
For Weber, Elements of Light "translates the best live, it is an intense experience as a live show." Transporting an instrument as large as a bell carillon, however, poses some new challenges when compared with the traditionally smaller setups of electronic musicians. "We will have to check stage specifications before," adds Weber. "We will not be able to play it in small clubs of course."
For now, stream the new, carillon-heavy Pantha Du Prince & the Bell Laboratory album, Elements of Light, here in our Music/Video section.
Read our full interview here.