With Sonoramas pour le moment présent, Lexis is creating 3 different soundscapes to embellish our daily walks at a time where walking has become an essential individual ritual. These three soundscapres will explore three different emotions, mind-states we are feeling both individually and as a community: Contemplation, Sorrow and Gratitude.

He intends to use the 8 weeks of the program alternating between releasing each soundscape and documenting his inspirations and thoughts, sometimes accompanying them with visual references.

pour le moment

Three sound walks exploring three emotions, mind-states and rhythms that unite us all.

These days large cities are sounding more like quiet villages. The noises and rhythms that accompany the daily grind of the metropolis, the sounds of our everyday rituals have been muted. The soundtrack of the “new normal” features birds, wind chimes, rain, church bells, hushed conversations and the deep sighs of collective introspection.

For the next 60 days, I want to capture the sounds of these challenging moments and draw musical inspiration from the crisis affecting everyone around the globe in different ways. Now is the time for a local and global demonstration of solidarity and empathy.

My music projects take on many forms but usually revolve around curation: carefully selecting music from all genres, regions and era’s and then presenting it in a manner that adds context, depth and hopefully a bit of magic for the listener. I am also deeply passionate about the art of the mixtape. I consider it a way of creating a deeply personal narrative: an imagined soundtrack from hand-picked selections of music.

DJ mixes, playlists, compilations have become ubiquitous, but can the medium be pushed further into a storytelling artform? Something a music algorithm can’t replicate.

For this project I will be creating three different music collages exploring three emotions we all face during this crisis:

Contemplation - Anxiety/Sorrow - Gratitude. 

I have always been fascinated by the practise of music therapy even though it wasn’t my field of study. This will be a personal exploration on music healing.

The three music mixes exploring three emotions will consist of: original music of different sources, field recordings from the streets of Montreal and spoken word  from artists invited to share their thoughts.

Finally, for the presentation of these pieces I think there is no better way to experience this music than by inviting the audience of one(s) to listen to while taking a walk somewhere of their choosing. The idea which was greatly inspired by the concept of “soundwalks” seems very relevant as taking a walk is now one of the only socially responsible ways to exercise or fend off cabin fever.

Walking for the longest time has been my favorite means of gathering musical inspirations, skimming through research ideas and creating soundscapes matching with my current landscape and mood. Through the years, the machines accompanying my walks have changed (walkmans, discman, mp3 player, phone) but the music itself and the walk itself is what really makes things unique. I can easily walk 20 miles in a foreign city, as long as I have a fully charged music device and 20-30 albums I have never heard.

For the upcoming weeks, I will be documenting the process in creating these 3 sound walks. I plan to release the 1st volume on week 4 of the residency, the 2nd on week 6 and the third on the final week.

Throughout, I will be keeping mood boards, sketches and thoughts around the important questions I will be asking myself in the explorations of the 3 emotions.

Sounds, Bits, Pieces,
Loops, Puzzle Pieces

Week 2 finds me in the middle of a phase I would call the “frantic accumulation of ideas, bits, pieces and influences”.

I’m digging through thousands of records, CD’s and cassettes in my basement which always feels more like a chaotic record store in which nothing ever gets sold, it only accumulates over time.

Scanning music in 8 different hard drives. Gigs, teragigs, turbobytes (whatever those are called). More music than I’ll ever be able to listen to in my lifetime.

I think this is why I love the art of the mixtape: making unlikely junctions between music genres, eras, moods, tempos to create a unique and personal storyline. Cramming all the ideas you can fit in.

Peace With
Every Step

Diving deep into the creation of my first soundwalk exploring the emotional state of Contemplation. This deep self-reflection has almost been forced on all of us, and we probably needed it.

Musically speaking the first thing that comes to my mind is the New Age and Experimental trend of the late 70’s and 80’s. Guided meditation, yoga classes and sometimes healing soundscapes for your plants at home. In the choice of instruments and tonalities the approach to this music was very functional: to guide the mind to a calm place.

But beyond that, music that guides the mind towards deep introspection and contemplation can be found in tons of genres, depending what you can get down to! I’ve set aside about 100 records and tapes which all have something I love deeply for the exploration of this emotion. I’ll be using samples (open instrument parts, short loops), a few full tracks, a few tracks used as layers or soundscapes.

Expect: Deep & Spiritual Jazz. Folklore & Historical Recordings from various cultures. New Age, Ambient, IDM Music from the 1980’s to the present. Dub and Electronic elements.

As always, I try to make junctions between styles, tempos, eras, combining organic elements with electronic ones. I will also see how the integration of various field recordings and spoken word can fit with the music and complement the theme. So we’ll see how the pieces of the puzzle fall together next week!

It will definitely be a busier, more involved experience than your average relaxation, meditation new age 80’s cassette. I want this to be quite an engaging, active listening session on your part that will still make for an inspiring soundwalk.

Artist biography
Lexis (Alexis Charpentier) is a DJ, record collector, radio show host, curator, and founder of passion projects. Obsessed with the art of the mixtape, making musical collages to explore narratives, emotions, and imaginary soundtracks, Lexis is the founder of the Music Is My Sanctuary collective and the 24 Hours of Vinyl worldwide event series. For over 15 years he has been a pillar of theMontreal music scene as a DJ and event organizer. He also works as a music supervisor for brands and advertising clients.

Instagram | musicismysanctuary.com