Rïcïnn is the lovechild of French artist Laure Le Prunenec, perhaps most famous for her work with genre bending artist Igorrr. Having worked with many artists known for exploring music and experimenting with sounds and voice, it's hard to know quite what to expect from her work in a similar way to bands like Ulver, Sigh or Peccatum. Nereïd, released last year, can only be described as Rïcïnn or where can we push voices next? We're thankful that she took the time to answer our questions by email, commenting on her work, her music and how such haunting and spiritual sounds can be made.
Noizze: How are you? Thank you for the time!
Laure Le Prunenec: "Good! Thanks a lot for your interest in my music!"
Noizze: How would you describe your music to anyone who has never heard any of it?
Laure: "I like to use quotes from my different good writer friends cause I am so instinctive that it’s really hard to describe or to put what I am doing in a style. “Rïcïnn is voices, drums and strings over fantastic landscapes.” Or “ Rïcïnn appears as the lonely survivor of that pre-post apocalyptic universe, a new world in which she bereaves the loss of her unknown culture.” Or “Funeral opera”.... "
Noizze: You have such a powerful voice, what is your background in singing? For example, were you classically trained?
Laure: "Awwww thank you! Of course, I practiced a lot to have the voice I have today but more like a searcher to find my own authenticity, and come with my own language and everything. It took almost 10 years for me to understand what I wanted to do and really find out that I am a composer. My mother put me in a classic music school very early to learn the piano and theory. There was a choir also and I had some classical dance lessons too. The first time I got inspired was in a church, this place where I got to hear a choir and it blew my mind, I understood that it was what I wanted to hear forever. Then in high school, I stopped the piano courses because I was not interested in becoming a virtuoso at all and I’ve always preferred to sing. Then, I had one more year with an opera singing teacher, and a jazz workshop where I started improvising."
Noizze: Your work covers various bands, all of which are unique, what are all the projects you work with and how does your approach differ from each band?
Laure: "I think all the projects are a completely different world. And even though I keep my language and my way of singing in each, I also have different facets that I can zoom in on. It’s very interesting to travel in those different parts of myself and to give birth to them in so many different and creative ways."
Noizze: What are some of your influences?
Laure: "I think I was mostly listening to Gregorian choirs, Medieval music, Bulgarian choirs, experimental music, I love to hear this at this time: The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Fight to What is Not by Fred Frith for example. My mood in music can change very fast and I am very difficult. I prefer the Silence sometimes or noises from the city or nature, I prefer this spontaneity. :)"
Noizze: What are some of your influences outside of music?
Laure: "I am more inspired by things outside music than the music itself. Dreams I make, life contemplation in general, movies, nature, drawings, any other art."
Noizze: I’ve read that your music is deeply rooted in language, new developments and new means of expression. Your voice feels like it's truly playing with what is humanly or inhumanly possible. How do you practice and push your voice?
Laure: "I think I am a very stubborn person and when I have an idea of how it should sound I just do everything to get to this point."
Noizze: What do lyrics mean to you?
Laure: "It expresses all that I am going through in life but in a poetic way, through figures of nature, linked with the invisible or something ancient, connected to the universe . I really need to put out all of these emotions to understand it, it’s like a therapy to go through this process. And it becomes a voice for other voices, for people that can’t express themselves like they would need to or just to have the sensation to be heard."
Noizze: And what does language mean and what is it’s potential?
Laure: "I've always had problems communicating well. It's getting better and better, fortunately, but for me it was an escape also to be able to dig into myself more and assume it completely as it is. I also was inspired a lot by Öxxö Xööx and Magma for it. I think it’s a good alternative for the expression, to let the words come to you and seeing your own body, your own voice, as an instrument."
Noizze: How do you come to write your music?
Laure: "Everything that I wrote comes from my mind and improvised recordings and then becomes polyphonies or atmospheres that I always create from my voice, then you have the “nectar” of the present. Once I have a good riff that I like I can hear the percussion and sounds that it should make and I write the words."
Noizze: What would you say is your philosophy for your music?
Laure: "I think it has to stay simple: as it is. I've said enough I guess….I let people have their own interpretation, and have the space to understand what they want. I want people to be curious, sensitive to my music and I don’t want to impose anything."
Noizze: With Nereïd how did you approach this album, is there anything you did differently?
Laure: "For this album I felt more mature and ready. It took some time to release (4 years) with the crazy life I had years ago, I was touring a lot with Igorrr, all around the world. I worked on different projects and my personal life was very hard to manage. I already had many songs on the side just after the release of Lïan so it was clear to me what I had to do. We already talked a lot about the visuals with Svarta Photography that always make the artwork of the covers, and this time I had the chance to make people participate, those I wanted in the first place. Let’s say that l was very lucky because everything was perfectly aligned."
Noizze: Is there anything you’ve learnt from the making of this album?
Laure: "Yes, I always learn a lot. 'Cause in those times I can’t think about anything else, my mind is constantly connected to this work, until I decide that it’s done. So it takes a lot of energy every day, but it’s such a beautiful challenge with myself; managing somehow to finally hear your own songs, your children that you created at the end."
Noizze: What are your favourite songs and why?
Laure: "I don’t have a favourite, I love all my kids :)
...Let’s say that I had a lot of emotions and fun to make 'Ele', 'Psamatäe' and 'Artae'. Three songs that we built together with Sylvain Bouvier, Raphaël Verguin and Antony Miranda."
Noizze: Do you remember any of the methods and/or stories behind the making of the songs on this album?
Laure: "Yes, of course, all those songs are a part of my life and very intimate to me. I can remember for the song 'Ele', for example, it was during the lockdown, I was in a cottage of a friend’s house with nature all around and a 3 years old little girl I was playing with, painting with sometimes, and she inspired me so much. I was starting the process of mixing the album and the song 'Ele' needed a final part and some voices needed to be recorded again. This song became her. :)"
Noizze: Are you excited to play these songs live and how will you approach them? For example, is there something you’d like to do theatrically or with improvisation, or involving the audience?
Laure: "I already had the pleasure to do some of them live. It was a live streaming event. And it was the first time we played with the drummer Sylvain Bouvier (from Igorrr and Trepalium) it was such a pleasure. For me, a concert has to be something particular. But it has to be the music that makes it particular and not the opposite. I hate just to fill, just to fill, it has to have a story, something that people can embrace, with their own approach. I am trying to find new ways to make concerts. With this crazy situation, who knows if we will be able to play like we want, like the “ancient world” before covid…"
Noizze: How has the current society/situation affected your music?
Laure: "I think the day I won’t be free to express my music in the way that I want, it will be a problem. I think we touched it very close with covid, but I was finally free to finish my album and mix it with the talented and so sensitive Déhà - it was easy!!! We can always find a way when we want to, to accomplish something, there’s always a way! (I said that I was stubborn right?) I feel free to decide what I want and what I don’t want. I hate to complain, it’s not my nature."
Noizze: Is there anything you’re wanting to do in the future?
Laure: "I always wanted to be a cinema director so… So I imagine I will be doing movies in my fifties? Who knows?? For sure I will have a lot to say, about this crazy world..."
Noizze: How have you approached collaborating with other artists?
Laure: "I always do this, It’s like a method to work . Doors are always open, and I am very lucky, you know, 'cause I am surrounded by wonderful creative people, like in Lïan and mostly in Nereïd, and I want to continue finding beautiful collaborations for future songs."
Noizze: Finally, are there any artists or newcomers that you’ve encountered that you’d like to give a shout out to?
Laure: "I would like to do it for so many people!!! I don’t want to lose my friends!!!
So let's say to all the people that I work with for years like Gautier Serre, Laurent Lunoir (Öxxö Xööx), All the team Igorrr, all the team Corpo Mente, and all my team Rïcïnn!!! They believe in me so it’s like I never want to disappoint them ;)"
Nereïd is out now through Blood Music. Sincere thanks to Laure Le Prunenec for answering our questions.