Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch isn’t just your average award-winning, multi-talented, Post-Classical pianist and composer – she’s the epitome of her genre. Following the release of her impressive short film and mesmerising first album, Like Water Through the Sand, we have a tête-à-tête with Levienaise-Farrouch.
“Absolutely!” Levienaise-Farrouch shrieks with enthusiasm as we ask if she fancies trying her hand at composing a piece as colossal as Havergal Brian’s Symphony No.1, The Gothic, which requires over 800 musicians to perform. And that excitement is the essence of this Parisian-born, London-based talent. Her energy and drive have resulted in gargantuan projects being executed with a special kind of forte, only found in true prodigies.
We dare you to not fall in love with Like Water Through the Sand, Levienaise-Farrouch’s debut album. Released in November 2015 through Fat Cat’s sister label, 13070 it’s a mini masterpiece, named after a sentence from Marguerite Duras’ cult novel, L’Amant. Levienaise-Farrouch explains, “She (Marguerite Duras) and her writings had a strong influence on the music and how I shaped the album as a whole”. Indeed, much like its muse, the album is intricate and intimate, a romantic journey through the unknown.
Levienaise-Farrouch’s compositions are stirring and wildly imaginative. Her daring decision to take post-classical to transformative new heights, certainly gives this debut an edge – a moody, mystical and enchanting one, at that.
While Levienaise-Farrouch admits of the album, “I struggle to use words to describe the music”, she certainly has nothing to worry about in terms of letting her talent do all the articulation. “I played a tiny bit of electric violin, just snippets,” she says. “Also synths, piano of course, and I did the production/programming”. Whilst her perspicacity on the piano is no secret (she’s been composing since her teenage years), her wide-reaching flair only catapults the album further into our adoring hearts. “At the moment, I really want to write for the Viola de Gamba”.
Quite rightly, Levienaise-Farrouch received a great deal of attention for the emotive short film made for her track Scale of Volatility. While the track sits perfectly within Like Water Through the Sand, as a stand-alone piece its wildly effective, with the film adding a whole new stratum of sensitivity and soul. Levienaise-Farrouch recalls the creative process: “Ewan Stewart is a really talented director and I’m so happy he offered to create a music video.” She continues, “The shoot was a great experience, it was really touching to see a whole team of people coming together to make it happen”.
But what can we expect next from this young genius? She grins: “I wouldn’t mind making disco.” Amongst many other projects, including arranging and practicing for piano and a second album, she’s also got a string of live dates planned and is soon to release a remix for Iskra String Quartet.
Levienaise-Farrouch exemplifies pure talent – inspiring and motivational, with compositions that beat stronger on every listen. She jokes, “I’m not as flamboyant as Mozart, but I’ve definitely had some hangover influenced composing sessions”. Whatever the secret is to her aptitude, long may it reign. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch is not to be ignored.