Emotional ups and downs often make great art, and that’s exactly what Montrealer Ouri merged into her debut album. Moved to Montreal from France at the age of 16 before starting her career as a producer in 2015, Ouri (nÃ©e Ourielle AuvÃ©) grew up on classical music, playing the harp, cello and piano from a young age. age. She then spent several years cutting her teeth on the city’s electronic scene, performing alongside another Montreal producer, CRi, and ultimately released two EPs: the one from 2017. Superficial and 2019 We share our blood. She has also toured with Jacques Greene and Yves Tumor, and teamed up with Helena Deland for their Hildegard project. After creating material over two months before finishing her debut album for about a year, Ouri is finally ready to release her debut LP, Frame of a fauna, released today on Born Twice and Lighter Than Air.
Traveling frequently during the album’s creation, Ouri would jump from London to Berlin and then to Brazil, becoming aunt and losing her mother in the process. The result is a rich, forward-looking and deliciously produced juxtaposition of an orchestral sound atmosphere with a flurry of edgy and industrial rhythms. Here is our Q&A with the producer, singer, songwriter and alumnus Cult MTL cover star.
Dave MacIntyre: How did the pandemic treat you?
Ouri: It was pretty cool. I had a lot of time to finish a bunch of projects, really slow down, visualize the things that I wanted musically more, and take more time to work and think about the music.
DM: You are about to release your first album, Frame of a fauna. How do you feel now that there are only a few days left to get out of the world?
Ouri: A little nervous. But I can’t wait to see how people receive the album, and what will resonate with them the most. It’s super exciting. I launched my own imprint with this album release. I can’t wait to see this album, but also the next one that’s going to come – to build a sound, a direction and a label, and later invite people to join it.
DM: What is the origin of the title?
Ouri: I was traveling a lot in 2019 and 2020. I really observed how emotions physically leave a mark on people, and how they express themselves against their will. I didn’t take notes, but I saw him often. I passively observed a lot of things during these years. I just became obsessed with it, within my own family and with strangers. Sonically, that was really the engine of this album – not necessarily thematically, but more with the songs.
DM: This is your first LP proper. What made you wait until now to release it?
Ouri: I’m just working on electronic music a bit more. I’ve done a lot of classical music in the past, so I had time to collaborate and get to know myself musically, and then do a bunch of projects so that I can now do something with less stress. Just do all the steps naturally: visual, creating a sound world. I have done this a few times and then I was like, “Okay, I’m ready to be full of intentions while doing this project.”
DM: This album sees you combine elements of avant-garde industrial and electronic music with an orchestral feel. What is it about the contrast between each of them that makes it stand out so much in your art?
Ouri: I wanted to create a new fusion between different styles. I wanted to bring the orchestral part as something a little more sensitive and epic. I listen to (Claude) Debussy and (Maurice) Ravel a lot, and I wanted to bring that into electronic music. I saw that some people were doing it too. It’s not just about having big aggressive brass (sounds). âOrchestralâ can also mean the thinnest layers, and sometimes it’s a little more intimate. I really wanted to try this, while also bringing the energy and playfulness of electronic music.
DM: You did this album in different parts of the world – London, Berlin and Brazil. What did each of these places bring to the album to influence its sound?
Ouri: Being far from my hometown of Montreal, and having nothing to do socially, I really isolated myself. It was unbelievable. In London, I would go to a lot of record stores and listen to (albums). It was the only activity I allowed myself. I cooked, made music and sometimes went out to listen to records that I would never find in Montreal. London is amazing for that. In Berlin, I went to certain events – to see dance performances, to music performances and to discover clubs. Record a lot, but then see performances in front like that when creating the album.
DM: What approach have you adopted with your production compared to the previous projects that you have carried out?
Ouri: First of all, I allowed myself to use samples. I wanted to make a bunch of samples myself, but I also wanted to use someone else’s sample. I (sampled) this Russian band from (the label’s) travel recordings. I also used a sample of Aphex Twin (“minipops 67 [120.2]”on” Channels “). I asked some of my friends to send me stuff, and then, of course, I created it myself. Also, make lists (imitates during the creation process): “For this song, I want to hear the voice, the cello and the harp, and I can’t add anything else”, or, “For this song, I really want to create it around the bass, have a loop of drums, and just playing with some limits – set some rules for myself. “
DM: Speaking of “Chains”, your music video for this track involves you sitting in front of a computer screen, watching and controlling a virtual person who becomes sensitive and begins to dance. To me, that sounds a bit like a metaphor for pandemic boredom. What does it mean in concrete terms to you?
Ouri: It represents my real self. (laughs) I feel like I’m sitting in front of a computer most of the time trying to shape something that feels real, and sometimes I’m a little scared when it gets too real, or I’m angry when it crashes. I guess we’re all fascinated by AI. We are intelligent, but can we create some form of intelligence that can sense things and control itself and its own existence?
DM: What’s the biggest way you think you do Frame of a fauna helped you grow as an artist and as a designer?
Ouri: Defining those sound limits really helped me dive deeper into sound and become more confident. Also, try new things. When you discover new experimental techniques, you sometimes try to replicate them. But it’s really about finding new ways to go straight to musical ideas. Also, to launch my own label, and to decide to take the power of my own existence. No one could do it for me, because I made this album during the pandemic. â
To learn more about Ouri, please visit their Bandcamp page.
For more musical coverage in Montreal, please visit the Music section.