Philippe and Gabriel is the artist’s name of the project of a Swiss Malta based singer and songwriter. He released its debut album “Les Rivières Folk” in 2021. Mixing rock and folk music from different culture from Americana to African folk music to Latin tango and flamenco his music reunites artists from many continents. The making of Philippe and Gabriel first album has been a long process. Playing a bit of guitar and a bit of piano, keyboards and organs Philippe and Gabriel worked a couple of years on improving his songwriting skills, sketching music and lyrics for a handful of songs. He was seen in caffes on weekend, looking at the sea, scribblings page of notes and lyrics ideas, writing songs mock up on his iPhone, then running home to record his parts when inspiration did strike. During those training years he had to learn to master all the technical aspects of building a small music home studio. Past the many challenges related, he equipped his home studio with microphones to record vocals at home. Philippe and Gabriel also learnt how to edit vocals recordings and took under his belt the whole music production and the mixing of all main and harmonic backing vocals which is a signature of his 70’s influenced music style to keep the sound as faithful as possible to his vision.
Once the songs skeletons were in place, he did learn how to write music arrangements for Drums and bass, guitars, pianos. His work brought him to learn to write classical music and arrange Strings, Horns and Flutes on various of songs such as “Les Yeux Fermés”, “Les Bras Tendus”, “African Prayer”. On his journey of learning songs arrangement Philippe and Gabriel surrounded himself with mentors such as Roberto Tola a multi award winner arranger, songwriter and recognized Jazz guitar player who contributed to album arrangements, played some guitars soli and composed drums and bass parts. Another key contributor is Javier Zacharias who supported the classical music arrangement and played a beautiful piano part on “Les Yeux Fermés”.
In order to give a different flavour to some compositions Philippe and Gabriel did reach out to artists based in Senegal for “La Mémoire”, “African Prayer” and had the chance to collaborate with a local studio to record in Senegal singers and percussions player. More information on Ombré Zion and Karismatik in the News section.
On the other side of the world Javier Zacharias did mentor Philippe and Gabriel in the arrangement of classical music. They spent many evenings doing online sessions and discussing how to improve current violins, horns and flues. Javier also kindly agreed to lead the work from his studio for the recording of Argentinian based singer Agus Vivo from the band “La Femme D’Argent” for her passionate contribution on “La Nuit”. Mixing this with an Ibiza based Flamenco singer (Azahar López) and a Sevilla based Flamenco guitar player (Arturo Ramon) gave this special flavour to the song. Final touch has been put with the work of Ali Sehir a Turkey based Viola and Clarinet player who kindly agreed to contribute to the song and recorded in his studio his beautiful parts.
Overall, more than 40 artists have been involved in the album from live jamming to sending ideas back and forth. Project management of the recordings was an intense part of the process. Roberto Tola was very involved as well in all the different administrative aspects of launching an album, copyrights, listing, marketing and has been a key support to finalize the album. Summer 2021 Philippe and Gabriel flew to Sardinia to meet Alberto Erre, sound engineer in Rockhaus Blu Studio for the mix of the album under the watchful eye of Roberto Tola. Alberto delivered a beautiful and emotional mix to the album, giving a very 70’s warm sound to songs like “Envolez Moi (Acoustic)”.
The complexity of the songs was a challenge in the studio as Philippe and Gabriel likes to work with intricate vocal harmonies and songs like “La Mémoire” are bringing together Folk French vocals with African choirs and harmonies on more than 30 separate tracks.
Everyone put a lot of heart in the making of this album, and we hope that you will like it.
Philippe & Gabriel