Six months after the release of his first album It’s a Long Way to Happiness, Alban Claudin is back in the studio to record a series of new tracks. The first one is a cheerful arrangement of Debussy’s Clair de lune and will be released on October 15, followed by a video on October 29.
The idea of revisiting this piece, which is perhaps the most popular of Claude Debussy’s works, was self evident: I learned it as a child and it has always followed me ever since. I still remember how my tears suddenly flowed when “Le clair de lune” comes in during the final scene of the French movie “La Rafle”.
I didn’t want to settle for yet another cover version, especially since “Le clair de lune” has been recorded countless times and very often perfectly. I wanted to bring something new, innovative, but respectful of the score. In the end, it has been a challenging search for a contemporary soundscape in resonance with the original atmosphere of the composition and, I hope, in adequacy with the emotions that Debussy wanted to transmit.
At 30, Alban Claudin carries a vintage look with a wise touch, an Oasis-style haircut that half-hides an expression which speaks volumes about the boy’s roguishness. He smiles in self-amusement at the ease at which he springs from recording sessions to promo to concerts. But when the show is over he returns to the green paradise of Sens where he has set up a small studio to compose peacefully while enjoying the Burgundy countryside.
Signed by Taktic Music in 2014, Alban started writing for short films and documentaries (including “Yoga, a breath of freedom” awarded in several international festivals) while collaborating with many prestigious brands (Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel …) before focusing on composing piano pieces for his first solo album that was recorded during the summer of 2019 in Paris after a patient work of studio experiments: “I wanted the production to singularize my music. Even if it is only 300 years old, the piano has been exploited in all possible forms and it is very difficult to reinvent this instrument, to make something that has not been done” explains Alban, a great admirer of Ravel and Bartók, graduate of the Conservatory of music and a fine connoisseur of electronic keyboards.
Released in March 2021, It’s a Long Way to Happiness has been unanimously praised by the media (“radiant”, “sumptuous“,” luminous“, “soft and airy”, “timeless”…), exceeded 6 million streams in just six months and established the profile of an artist with a personality as unique as it is singular, confirmed by the video clips of director Maxime Charden that accompany each single from the album.
As per live performances, Alban played his first solo shows in 2021 in Paris, Brussels (Le Botanique) and London (The London Jazz Festival) as well has opening for Chassol and Woodkid while more dates are set up by his touring company (Junzi Arts) for 2022 in France, England, Switzerland, Spain.
His rare studio collaborations are the result of human and artistic encounters: keyboards sessions for French singers songwriters Voyou and Adrian Gallo, remix for Yelle’s “Je t’aime encore” or production for Clara Luciani’s cover of “Sous le soleil exactement” (written by Serge Gainsbourg for Ana Karina).
He recently composed a piece for the first album of the French violinist Esther Abrami that they recorded as a duet for Sony Classical (single on December 3, 2021, album in February 2022).
While going back on the road with Clara Luciani – and for a few exceptional concerts, with Mika – Alban is composing the original soundtrack for French director Guillaume Gouix’s first feature film “Amore Mio” (with Elodie Bouchez and Alyson Paradis) which will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival and in theaters in the fall of 2022.
With the releases of several new singles, tours and solo concerts the coming months promise to be particularly busy for Alban. Not to mention that the man may have some more surprises in store for us…