Christine Herin, known professionally as Dolche, is an Italian-French singer, songwriter, composer and record producer already boasts a 20-year music career, more than 500 concerts in Europe with and key collaborations with Grammy Award winning professionals. She was born in Valle d’Aosta, a French-speaking autonomous region in the north of Italy. The first single off her forthcoming album Exotic Diorama – out Oct 2020 – is the cinematic Roma accompanied by a video shot during the Italian lockdown with webcam images of a deserted Rome projected onto the artists body.
Dolche acquired a certain fame on the Italian and French musical scenes, between 2002 and 2017, with the stage name Naif Herin. She was also part of several Italian and French independent bands and she worked as songwriter for many main national artists. Her work has been well received by critics for its distinctive musical style and blending of different genres.
The choice of this stage name – Dolche – is a tribute to the melancholic and nostalgic vision of old Europe depicted in the drama film and masterpiece by Federico Fellini “La Dolce Vita”. The Italian word “dolce”, meaning sweet, alludes to Christine Herin’s musical style, and the addition of the letter H transforms the artist’s name to “Dolche”, which also includes the initials of her real name “CH”. By contrast the word “Dolche”, in German, means “daggers”.
A multi-instrumentalist with remarkable voice skills, Dolche stands out for her evocative and eclectic musical style, which draws from a broad range of different genres (folk, chanson française, world music, classical music, funk, electronic music), and for her unusual stage outfit of flower crowns and cow horns. This is a reference to the figure of the “Reine”, the name given to the cows during a seasonal festival in the Valle d’Aosta called La Désarpa, when they come down from the mountain pastures at the end of summer to graze at the bottom of the valley, being adorned for the occasion with large crowns of flowers and feasted by cheering crowds along the way. The Reine also feature in another event called the “Bataille des Reines”, a non-violent contest between two cows, which confront each other in an arena until one of the two withdraws. Here too the winner is adorned with floral crowns.
After many years of constant moving to different cities and countries, Dolche chose Rome as her city. Hence Romawas composed as a love declaration to the melancholic, decadent and epic beauty of Rome. In the song it is possible to hear some sounds which were directly recorded in the city, from the Gianicolo hill (like the sound of birds and the background noise of the city itself). Roma is half in French and half in Italian because this is the deepest nature of Dolche herself. Born in a tiny secluded village in a bilingual region of Italy, Dolche thinks, dreams and writes instinctively in those two languages. She chose to use both of them in this song to open herself up completely in this ode to beauty.
The song also features many instruments and among them is the dreamy sound of an ancient Vibraphonette. Dolche plays herself all of the instruments in the track except for the cello and drums which were later recorded in Rome with the renowned Adam Ben Ezra from Tel Aviv (cello) and Gadi Seri Levi (drums). Tobias Fröberg (Ane Brun) from SE is the Co- producer. Mix by Grammy Award-winning engineer Noah Georgeson from LA and Master by Grammy Award-winning Emily Lazare at The Lodge Studio NYC.
March 2020 – Rome was the first European Capital city to declare full lockdown isolation during COVID-19pandemic: The video reflects this sense of surrealness and poignancy of what should be a bustling international city now bare, empty and eerily still. It features Time Lapse images of 7 famous sites in Rome during the COVID-19 lockdown: the Spanish Steps, The Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Navona and Piazza Venezia. The images are very significant because they reveal a city without visitors, tourists, markets, restaurants. Only the presence of police cars, soldiers and public transport breaks the otherwise total stillness of the city.
Dolche produced the whole video herself, editing the images, creating the sound and visual effects and light design, evoking the style of the Pietà by using bed sheets. Everything that was used in the video was found at home since it was – and still is – impossible to go out. The lonely emptiness of this beautiful city evokes a sense of awe and beauty and some sadness, as we all view it with wonder from our pockets of self-isolation.
Amazing. Poignant. A unique ‘Roma’, as we have never seen it before.