ALPINE UNIVERSE ADDS AN ORGANIC TOUCH TO EDM
Where EDM events mostly revolve around Djs, ALPINE UNIVERSE brings a fresh breeze to the scene. Real name Andy Favre, he’s a 27 year-old musician from the heart of Europe, born in the mountains between France, Italy and Switzerland.
Fascinated by EDM in all its forms, he set a goal to perform the genre in a more organic and 100% live setting. As such, he takes the stage with an array of electronic instruments namely electronic drums, synthesizers, effects, and even electronic accordion. Ecstatic crowds are introduced to an energetic sound with the power of a full symphonic orchestra.
Where does your artist name come from?
I was born in a small ski town in the mountains between Italy, France and Switzerland. Alpine literally means “from the Alps”. Growing up practicing extreme mountain sports, it shaped the way I see life, and the way I make music. After producing and performing under my real name, I started experimenting with a brand new sound combining orchestral elements with heavy dance music. It sounded so different than my usual style yet so true to my roots that I created this alter ego named Alpine, like an upgraded version of me! The Alpine project soon became much bigger than the music itself, with the live show, the music videos and the visuals associated with it, the name changed to Alpine Universe. It is also a great way to dissociate myself online.
Tell us more about your latest release.
“Awakening” poses as the sequel to my first EP “Gaïa”, introducing the character of Alpine and representing his birth and early childhood. In a world where the dangerous and powerful elements of nature are clashing with our modern civilizations, Alpine will learn to tame these energies and use them for a greater good.
The song “I Am Alpine” features the voice of a 9 year-old opera singer named Nathalie Shtangrud; it then builds up and transitions into the fast and high-energy song “Awakening” showcasing a touch of tribal-electro. “Harvest the Fire” reveals even more about the kid, the challenges he has to face to contain and use the energy he has received as a gift. We can also hear Alpine’s own vocals. Finally “Serak” refers to a ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier, about to drop, standing as the perfect title to close the EP with a bang, it leaves us hanging and wanting more. Serak is available as a free download on my Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/alpineuniverse ) go get it!
Could you describe the lay-out of your live set-up?
Absolutely! Let’s get geeky, I’m going to walk you through my rig. Here’s a picture of it:
As you may know, I am not a DJ in the traditional sense of the term since I play instruments during my live set and most of my playlist consists of original tracks. The heart of my performance lies in a custom set-up that I built over the years.
The centerpiece is a macbook pro running Ableton Live controlled by an APC 40. I am using a custom script that allows me to have CDJ-style controls and visual feedback directly on the APC. I don’t want to ever have to look at my computer during a concert: I feel like it puts a distance, literally a screen, between the audience and me and kills the energy.
I use a Saffire Pro 24 sound interface to manage my inputs and outputs.
On my left side are the melodic instruments: A Roland SH1 synthesizer with an infrared D-Beam providing control on effects and wobbles with the motion of my hands. Very cool during a show!
Then I have my Roland electronic accordion: that one is the true attention grabber. It outputs both midi and audio. The midi signals drive synths in Ableton and the pressure I put on the bellow gives me expressive controls.
You can see a pressure sensitive pedal at my feet. I use it to loop instruments, trigger clips in ableton and add effects to my accordion like an electric guitar pedal.
On my right side is the drum section: here again, everything is electronic. I trigger VSTs and real drum samples inside Albeton. Some drums are pitched (like a xylophone) while others are purely percussive.
If you could go back 25 years in music history, or forward 50 years in music future, which one would you pick and why?
Without hesitation, I chose the future. Throughout history, technology and craftsmanship have always been the driving forces behind new music genres. When the Piano was invented, it inspired the romantic era with composers like Beethoven, skip to the next century, amplified sound and overdrived signals defined rock music; later, sampling and computers allowed producers to take prerecorded bits of sound from the past and recycle it into new genres such as hip-hop and house. Today, I have a full symphonic orchestra at my fingertips with a simple computer! How incredible is that?
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I cannot wait to see (and hear) what the future holds and where the music is going, but I know for sure that it will be linked in all ways possible with technological advances. To me the ultimate music machine will be a device capable of accurately translating thoughts and body motions into music. I’ve seen promising prototypes but we’re not quite there yet.
What defines success for you?
Success to me is longevity. If I can live off my music for the rest of my life while staying true to my identity then I can say I succeeded.
Do you play guitar or other (acoustic) instruments?
I do. I play guitar, piano, bass and drums and the accordion. I am also a film composer therefore I often use acoustic instruments in my tracks, and I make music in a wide variety of genres. Some of it gets released later under Alpine Universe, like my upcoming soundtrack for a ski movie shot in Greenland called Sedna. Other tracks get released under my real name, Andy Favre and the rest of them get released by other people, like ghost producer for ad agencies.
Is God a DJ?
Do you know the difference between a DJ and God? God doesn’t think he’s a DJ.
Ahah, but jokes apart, I think God and Music are the same thing. God is Music. Everyone who has ever felt the true power of Music would agree. Right?
What is your dream project?
I am currently working on it. It is halfway between classical and electronic, bluring the line between the past and the future. It may take years to achieve it but my goal is to put together a grandiose spectacle. On the music side, my songs will be performed live by a full choir, a philharmonic orchestra as well as electronic instruments. There will be a lot of people on stage!
On the visual side, I want to experiment with the latest technologies such as virtual reality, live 3D projection mapping, lasers and holograms. Like an epic sci-fi movie, the show will consist of 3 half-hour acts and will be set in an large outdoor area, ideally surrounded by mountains.
Is there a final thing you would like to say to our readers?
I’d like to thank all of you for checking out my music. If you enjoy the epic beats, I highly suggest to check out my other tracks (some of them are available for free) and I am looking forward to see you at an Alpine show or festival near you. Au revoir!
Where can people find you online?
The best way to stay in touch with me is by signing up on my website at www.alpineuniverse.com
Otherwise I’m on pretty much every social media.
Serak, is the only track available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from Alpine Universe’s
Soundcloud page: www.soundcloud.com/alpineuniverse
ALPINE UNIVERSE – AWAKENING EP IS OUT NOW ON