literary, dramatic, or filmic work whose story precedes that of a previous work,
by focusing on events that occur before the original narrative.
Like a prelude to creation, like an unfinished electro-symphony, like an anthem heard and remembered in dreams, Prequell is first and foremost a musician’s achievement.
The genesis of this musical UFO – a harmonious compound of classically written music and mad electronics was the passion of Thomas Roussel, a very fascinating though secretive man, talented and charming, who cannot be anything but appreciated by every music lover craving the thrill of strong, intimate sensations. After collaborating with prestigious musicians, Thomas Roussel has decided to don the suit of lights of Prequell as if re-writing an overture to his life as an artist.
Approached by Loris Gréaud who asked for his collaboration in his contemporary art project, « Cellar Door », Thomas wrote the music of the namesake opera and recorded it with The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France ; Thomas Roussel also composed a number of original soundtracks for the cinema.
But more than anything else, his creations « live » for the fashion world have put him in the limelight. Experimenting with the orchestra and a novel way to use it he defied tradition for the benefit of Chanel and more recently of Dior for whom he imagined a state-of-the-art stage design in Paris, deconstructing the orchestra and sitting the musicians in a line. Just as creatively eccentric was the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra playing in a circle , on a revolving platform. Inspired by the musical universe of John Barry, John Williams, Craig Armstrong, and Massive Attack, Prequell is a variegated though non-elitist work.
It’s really the sum total of these past experiences which can account for Prequell’s conception of the EP with its remarkable organic subtlety and electronic vigor. One look at the EP sleeve and its pencil sketch by the illustration and drawing studio « Violaine et Jeremy » and you will get an idea of the emotional intensity of the project. The analog synthesizers used for the recording (Moog Voyager, Prophet 08, Korg 700) get intertwined, powerfully, sensually, with an entire world of string instuments : sixty of them to be more precise.
Prequell weaves musical and cognitive dissonances into redeeming chaos. « Part V » (first piece of the EP) opens the dance and there, we’re obviously listening to a masterpiece. Downtempo beats, addictive ostinati, and hypnotic loops are all harmonic weapons setting the tone. The overture’s first six seconds are the organic matter that will grow and develop to the beat of a warrior’s heart. This very seductive title, already sounding like a prospective classic will soon be playing in people’s heads all around the world since it has been chosen to be the sound track of a worldwide advertising campaign by L’Oreal (starring Karlie Kloss and directed by Mathieu Cesar )
In « Part III », Prequell reinvents the concept of Ostinato, for 7 minutes and 11 seconds. It stretches the process of repetition, lengthens it, distorts it in all directions, as if to show that the be-all and end-all is not only interpretation but also rhythm and emotion. The formula keeps repeating itself, but the ambiance evolves thanks to orchestration. The cold machine, the cold techno are warmed up by the orchestra surrounding the 700 Korg synthesizer of 1973.
With « Part II », the ambiance gets colder, the atmosphere is darker, more threatening. For that matter the chords are close to dissonance. Prequell avails himself of polytonality « à la Stravinski » to shock the ear and call for the listener’s attention. Thomas tells us that he had to put a great deal of effort into the composition of this piece, which obviously testifies to his brilliant control of harmonic duality.
Last but not least, « Part 1 » wraps up this sound experience, both sensory and emotional, with flashing energy. Like a birth, this sweet, serene piece symbolizes spring delighting in the renewal of life.
So, this project is both a sensory and musical experience. It’s an impressionist painting as well as a star Odyssey. Forget every landmark and let yourself be guided by sounds and emotions. You won’t be disappointed . Next stage ? A « live » performance, of course, but that’s another story !