Name: Glass Museum
Members: Antoine Flipo, Martin Grégoire, Brieuc Angenot
Interviewees: Antoine Flipo, Martin Grégoire
Occupations: Producer, pianist (Antoine Flipo), producer, drummer (Martin Grégoire), musician, producer (Brieuc Angenot)
Current release: Glass Museum's Reflet is out via Sdban.
If you enjoyed this interview with Glass Museum and would like to know more about the duo, visit their official website. They're also on Instagram, twitter, Soundcloud, and Facebook.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
We both started playing at the age of 7 & 9. Antoine (pianist) was into classical music from the start when Martin started to get interested in instrumental rock music.
When we started the band in 2016, we realised that we had a common passion for instrumental / modern jazz and bands like Gogo Penguin, Portico Quartet.
Today, we are also very influenced by electronic music and artists like Four Tet, and Max Cooper.
[Read our Portico Quartet interview]
[Read our Max Cooper interview]
Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?
We don’t want to give any direction about the personal feelings that people might have when listening to our music. We think it can bring a wide panel of emotions: joy, happiness, darkness …
From our side, there are different elements that will have an impact on us when listening to music: the tempo, the energy, the structure of the track …
Most important for us is to experience the music live, to feel the human energy behind it!
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
Back in 2016, when starting the project, we had this idea of a minimalistic setting based on two organic instruments: the acoustic piano and drums. That setting led us to compose our first album DEUX with this restriction.
When working on our second album REYKJAVIK, we changed our composition process by starting the creation from the studio, adding electronica elements to our music.
For REFLET, we are working with a third member (Brieuc Angenot) which now allows us to come to the source of the project: organic live music with electronic elements on it.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
In 2020, we released REYKJAVIK: an album which was influenced by Island landscapes and all the travels we had done when touring in Europe. Travelling and natural elements were at the source of inspiration for that album.
Because of Covid, we took some time off in the Ardennes the same year to start composing the tracks of REFLET: instead of travelling, but imagined this album by searching on a more personal experience: dream and imagination.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
We can’t pretend to play completely original and innovative music as music is always part of a range of influences from other artists.
We would say that tradition is very important for all that it has brought but we like to try to innovate the production / arrangements / search for new sonorities.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
Antoine (pianist) started using Ableton in 2019 when composing our second album. That tool really helped us to go further in terms of production. It helps with creating a wide range of sonorities that we’ll have on our organic compositions.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
Before being members of a band, we are friends first. We both live in the commune of Forest in Brussels (1 km from each other) and regularly go to the event places / events / gigs in Brussels.
Antoine is 100% percent musician and works with other artists such as Guilt, Roza and his own new project “Antoine Flipo”.
Martin partly works in a music management / booking agency called Odesssa.
We have a rehearsal room in a wonderful place called “VOLTA” in Anderlecht where all the contemporary scenes of Brussels meet!
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
Floating Points: Elaenia
We love how Floating Points mixes all the electronic influences, the organic / noise part played by the band and the orchestral arrangements. Masterpiece!
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
We often work in two parts to compose a track:
Part 1 is when Antoine focuses on a piano part, intimistic and mostly made solitary in the late night.
Part 2: when meeting in the rehearsal room, he will share his creation with Martin and both will jam on the original idea and change elements such as the vibe, the tempo, the energy. This part will be the collaborative one.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
We have always seen instrumental music as a way to escape from reality. We want our music to give a break to people, away from society problems and everyday life.
There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Science and math have an interesting place on our last album REFLET.
It has an electronic / organic band, electronic sounds and productions bring emotions created by algorithms (modular, ableton). We live the meeting of those two worlds: emotions generated by algorithms but led by humans.
For the visuals, we collaborated with OHME: an Art/Science collective working on visual art. They made the cover of our album by photographing crystals through a microscope. Those visuals were also used as projections in our video clip for the track “Reflet”.