Brad Pitt to Reopen Legendary Recording Studio Miraval in France – Billboard

In the late 1970s and 1980s, rock superstars like Pink Floyd, AC/DC and The Cure traveled to a 900-acre property near the French Riviera, where they created landmark records, including the album from 1979 by Pink Floyd. The wall (which was partly recorded there) — in the middle of a bucolic paradise.

After two decades of neglect, this studio will soon be reborn. And Brad Pitt is the cause.

Nestled in his wine estate, Studio Miraval consists of three houses, where the artists lived while recording, taking breaks to recharge in a swimming pool. A home chef would prepare all of their meals. The studio itself was approximately 3,000 square feet, with a 650 square foot control room.

This historic destination – famous in the music world for evoking all sorts of creative alchemy – was purchased in 2012 by Pitt and his then-partner Angelina Jolie.

The couple bought the entire estate for $60 million, having rented it out for the previous four years. In 2014, they married in Miraval’s 13th-century chapel – originally a barn for the Knights Templar – hosting guests in its 30-room mansion, built in 1841.

The recording facility dates back to 1977, when then-owner Jacques Loussier, a French jazz pianist, decided to build his dream studio. It was used until 20 years ago when its analog equipment fell behind, its buildings in disrepair.

But Pitt – who divorced Jolie in 2016 and is the owner of the estate, splitting the wine business in two with the Perrin family – is now overseeing a dramatic renovation of Studio Miraval, which will open in the summer of 2022.

To help execute the project, Pitt enlisted Damien Quintard, a 30-year-old music engineer based in Paris who worked with Brian Eno and Gaspard Augé of French techno duo Justice and helped develop the Dolby Atmos system. .

Pitt discovered Quintard through his work in fine art circles, including a collaborative installation – titled Echo, it combined motorized sculptures, light, video animation and hyperspatial speakers – for the reopening of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. York after a renovation in 2019.

In 2020, Pitt proposed a meeting. “We clicked”, says Quintard The Hollywood Reporter via a Zoom conversation from its Paris offices. “He came to my studio in Paris. It was a fantastic encounter. We talked for hours and hours. He told me about his plans for Miraval. I was obviously super excited, because as a Frenchman and a music lover, one of the holy grails is Miraval. I went there, I did my design for the space. We clicked on this side and we moved forward.

Quintard – who got his start as a tonmeister, or sound engineer, for symphony orchestras – agreed with Pitt when it came to the clean minimalism of their visions.

“What I’ve noticed is that he has a strong sense of emotion and simplicity,” he says of Pitt. “The most beautiful records are also produced with absolute simplicity. My whole philosophy is tied to that – the simple beauty of 1950s and 1960s mono recordings, using a single microphone.

This philosophy extends to their architectural plans. In its earlier state, Quintard says, “it was very 70s – vintage and, in its own way, gorgeous.” Yet the cramped quarters and low ceilings bore little relation to the outdoors, where southern French sunlight poured into every nook and cranny.

“With Brad, we redesigned everything to be so simple, so pure. Light is everywhere,” Quintard continues. “The future is light.”

When the facility opens in 2022, Studio Miraval will be available to all major record labels: imagine Billie Eilish doing tricks and sipping Studio by Miraval rosé (which the French newspaper Le Figaro dubbed “the rosé superstar”) before returning to the studio to record some tunes, waving to Pitt as he entered.

But Quintard says the new Studio Miraval will be more than just a high-end recording facility. “We want to do different kinds of productions there – film, theatre, fine art,” he says. “It’s a new Florence over there.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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