“Son of Mystery”, the new single from Orouni, promenades with light, floating strides through an indie pop storybook. Layers of sound gently unfold like delicate pages slowly turning, each element drifting like words jumping off of the page to tell a tale. Inspired by a character from Jack Kerouac‘s On The Road, “Son of Mystery” blends layers of instrumentation as acoustic guitar, flute, piano and trumpet all synthesize into a flourishing cocktail of musical novella. The single is out now on December Square. It will be available as a bonus track on the upcoming album, Partitions(due out April 19).
“Son of Mystery” tells the story of Slim Gaillard, a character in the famous Kerouac novel, and a musician who played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie. The band name Orouni was taken from the term “orooni”, which Gaillard used often in a particular passage in On The Road. “Vout,” another slang term the character Slim Gaillard coined, sounded a bit like Studios Davout where Orouni recorded the song, creating a serendipitous situation to pay homage to the musician. This gave Orouni instant inspiration to further pay tribute to the musician, so the song was written quickly and recorded in one day, something Orouni had never done before. The lyrics are literal transcriptions of periods of Slim Gaillard’s life and each instrument elevates the lyrical imagery to a pinnacle of fascination. Bouncing trumpet, flute, and piano create wavelets of motion in a warm bath of acoustic guitar and mellow vocals. The overall breezy composition animates the setting in which Gaillard’s quirky personality is brought to life.
The animated video for “Son of Mystery” was created by French director and visual artist, Julien Ribot, with Annabelle Jouot, and drawn in their Paris flat. Like obsessive archivists, songwriter Rémi Antoni and the team meticulously listened to everything they could find by and about the character, Slim Gaillard, represented in the single. Ribot explains the creative process, “When I work on a project related to a personality, there’s a method I often use. I try to look like him/her. It’s what I call the zeligian method. So, to work on this project, I was wearing Slim Gaillard’s clothes every day, that is to say a blue beret, a shirt with a large red collar and a cream-colored suit. It helps me focus. Ideas come naturally.” The video layers vivid colors, textures and both organic and inorganic shapes like a moving collage. Its psychedelic motif exudes the complex essence of the character in which “Son Of Mystery” pays tribute.
Recorded at Tropicalia Studio in Paris, the thirteen songs that make up Orouni’s album, Partitions, are accompanied by visual representations of color. Because of a phenomenon called synaesthesia, Rémi Antoni, Orouni’s songwriter and composer, perceives colors when he plays chords. Each chord is associated with a single hue, which remains identical throughout the entire record. The record is based on the idea of dissociation represented in various forms: inversion, shifts, confrontation, duality, alter-egos, escape, and recomposition. In musical terms, this game of separating melody, harmony, structure, musician, and instrument isn’t self- evident to all, but neither was the record specifically geared towards the ears of musical analysts. The main goal of Partitionsis to offer pop songs to its listeners. For this phenomenon to be experienced by anyone who listens to the album, Antoni created chromatic diagrams for each song. The root “chroma” designates a color for each song’s chord.