SILUJA is a personal music project that I created over the years, in between film scores. You can click to find out more about my film work.
While noodling around on the guitar, and once I found that heavy sound with stereo delay, the piece started to take shape. A few weeks later, out of nowhere and probably while doing nothing, the word "Siluja" appeared in my mind. It started to haunt me... It didn't take long that with that word the melody shaped itself quite naturally and Cora brought it to life with her beautiful voice and feel. It was a very mysterious experience and I prefer to just leave it to that than trying to understand it.... Years later I searched for the meaning of that name, which are the words on the home page of this site, and it is crazy how much it made sense with this project, with me....
I composed that piece a very very long time ago... Back then, I was composing songs while searching for the right voice to complete them. By pure coincidence, I met an Inuit girl who had just moved to Montreal from the Arctic and happened to have an amazing voice and soul. The first time she heard that music she said it had to be called "Taima", meaning: "Enough, it's over, let's move on" in Inuktitut. We became great friends and music partners for many years, and our band was eventually called Taima. We never recorded that piece but we played it live and it was a strong moment in our show. So, I revisited it and pushed it further, and it kind of became my hommage to the circumpolar people.
That piece started with one of my favorite synthesizer, a very rare vintage 1976 Korg 770. I made the sound, then got my Moog Sub37 to make an arpeggiation, and off it went. At some point, I thought it would be nice to shift things around with unexpected elements, so I asked my dear friend Jessica, who is an opera singer, to join in, and then I added the orchestral arrangements and just had fun with the whole thing.
I dreamed for a long time to live in the country. For 10 years I had a cottage and for a few years my studio was there. I remember in the beginning, on my way there, I was always amazed at the immensity of the sky and how big and wide was the horizon. Such a contrast with the city sights and feel. And when I was coming back to town, it felt quite brutal, noisy, dusty, and tense. At some point having a cottage wasn't enough, and since 2018 we live full-time in a very pretty village surrounded by sweet valleys and mountains. And for the record, I recorded those cows myself in Switzerland! 😉
Memory of a Moment
It was late..... very late at night.... Sitting at my piano, when it suddenly just presented itself in all its simplicity. I shaped it imagining an old woman, on her deathbed, kind of in a state of coma, reflecting on her life just before passing away. Like a series of random memories celebrating the life she had. To reach the sacred level, I ask my very dear friend Audrey to put her angel voice and feel on it... Her mom had passed away the year before, and they were extremely close to one another. Her performance really shines... 🙏
Elephants are among my favorite animals. They are very sensitive and extremely intelligent. Their tribe is led by the eldest female, they move slowly, they're huge and strong but delicate and kind at the same time. They communicate with other tribes and group members that can be up to 2.5 kilometers away, by infrasound! While reading Romain Gary's "The Roots to Heaven" (Les racines du ciel), he mentions that Ubaba Giva means: The elephants' ancestor. And there was my title...
When I moved to this village, I quickly became friends with my neighbors. One of them was Shirley! 90 years old, top shape, with a very bright and joyful soul. She was born the house in front of mine, and when she got married she moved to the house next to it. She was a musician and played the organ at the church her all life. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago after a bad fall and a broken hip. Because this is the first piece I composed when I arrived here, I named it after her.
I composed that music mainly in the woods. Just a very simple song, light and sweet, a feel-good kind of vibe, reminiscent of how it feels when we're between friends.