Sylvain Chauveau


Although until now his profile has been low-key elsewhere (this is the first time his music has been released on a label outside of France), Chauveau is increasingly popular and highly regarded in his native country. After several years singing and playing guitar in neurasthenic rock bands in France, Chauveau decided to quit in 1998 and to start a solo project with three main ideas: to stay as close as possible to the abstract beauty of ‘silence’; to make sure that each sound committed is absolutely necessary; and to find his own roots within his cultural and personal history.

The latter has lead him to the quest for a truly modern French music – a music whose trajectory stretches from early 20th century chamber music composers (Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, Gabriel Fauré, etc.), through the discoveries of mid-century “musique concrète” and the electro-acoustic school (Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, etc.), and emerging through post-punk philosophy and a pop culture embracing short, simple and melodic works.

Before the release on 130701 of ‘Un Autre Decembre’, Chauveau had previously released two albums under his own name (‘Le Livre Noir du Capitalisme’ – 2000, and ‘Nocturne Impalpable’ – 2001), mostly recorded by his sound engineer and friend Joan Cambon. He composed and recorded the original music of Belgian cinematographer Thomas de Thier’s “Des plumes dans la tête” (‘Feathers in the head’), which was released in early 2004.

Sylvain is also a member of the ambient-rock duo Micro:mega (with Frédéric Luneau) and the cinematic avant-rock band Arca (with Joan Cambon).


Songbook / music sheets “Un autre décembre”:

Songbook “Un autre décembre”
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Label: Brocoli
Release date: August 25, 2017

Post-Everything is the third and final part of a trilogy where Chauveau deconstructs the pop song format. Three album titles like the three verses of a haiku: Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated), Kogetsudai, Post-Everyting. This last album is the most accessible and romantic, and shows two distinct climates: electronic & vocals, acoustic guitar & vocals. Post-Everything has been two years in the making and includes 10 tracks, including two Lykke Li covers: I Follow Rivers and No Rest For The Wicked.

Sylvain Chauveau - Post-Everything

How To Live In Small Spaces

Label: Brocoli
Distribution in France: Metamkine
Release date: October 02, 2015

New solo instrumental album. The album title is taken from two long pieces in the work; new versions of compositions for Christian Rizzo choreography. Reminiscent of Morton Feldman, time is suspended to the unresolved piano chords. Each one if followed by a minimal electronic piece. They were also composed for a dance performance by Cécile Loyer, recalling Sylvain’s works on S. (Type 2007) and his collaboration with Stephan Mathieu, Palimpsest (Schwebung, 2012).

Sylvain Chauveau - How To Live In Small Spaces


Label: Brocoli
Release date: October 01, 2013

Kogetsudai is Sylvain Chauveau’s 10th album, the second in a trilogy initiated by Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) (2010), where the song structure is dismantled and reconstructed on the fringe of silence. Whereas Singular Forms found inspiration from Abstract Painting, Kogetsudai is influenced by Zen rock gardens found in Japan — also the location where the album was conceived (for the most part) — and from which the album borrows its title. Layers of minimal electronic sounds and filtered field recordings meet Sylvain’s rich baritone voice, with ghosts of piano.

Sylvain Chauveau - Kogetsudai

Simple (Rare & unreleased pieces)

Label: FatCat
Distribution in France: La Baleine
Release date: November 05, 2012

“Simple” is a selection of Brussels-based Frenchman Sylvain Chauveau works for cinema, composed between 1998-2010. A diverse, yet fully cohesive collection of out-of-print, rare, and unreleased tracks, the album spans stark / minimal electronic drones, processed guitar explorations, variously-sized Chamber pieces, spare solo piano, and two 40-piece string orchestra recordings.

Sylvain Chauveau - Simple (Rare & unreleased pieces)

Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)

Label: Type Recordings
Release date: April 01, 2010

Five years have passed since Sylvain Chauveau’s last new album. Of course there have been re-issues since ‘Down To The Bone’, as well as more than a few collaborations and soundtrack appearances, but Sylvain has purposefully waited to allow his ideas to come to fruition. The Depeche Mode songs he had explored on ‘Down To The Bone’ had given him ideas he felt he needed to explore, and ‘Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)’ is his attempt at an album of ‘songs’. In many ways, ‘Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated’) is constructed the way albums used to be – it is compact and filled with vocal hooks and melodies, yet Sylvain has deconstructed the musical forms he grew up listening to and reduced them to their base level. Vocal snippets fall through the stereo field and his signature piano motifs splutter and cough through processed digital hiccups. As Carsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto deconstructed classical music, Sylvain attempts here to study and dissolve the roots of popular music. Each piece feels like it could have started as a three-minute pop sing-along before the accompaniments were stripped away and the component parts reduced to merely a backbone, leaving an album that is stark and incredibly beautiful. It is an album rooted in a love of art and music, both minimal and mainstream.

Sylvain Chauveau - Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)

Roman anglais

Label: O Rosa Records
Release date: January 01, 2008

Accompanied by Sylvain Chauveau’s beautiful instrumental backdrop, Felicia Atkinson intones captivating, mesmeric spoken passages in both French and English. Interlocking, sustaining guitars meet and overlap while soft electronic activity hums in the background, retaining a blissful harmonic cogency throughout. It’s all very poetic, and the kind of album you could happily immerse yourself in for hours at a time.

Sylvain Chauveau - Roman anglais


Label: Type
Release date: September 01, 2007

Sylvain Chauveau - S

Second souffle

Label: Brocoli
Release date: May 01, 2007

The story behind ‘Second Souffle’ starts in July 2003 when drummer/percussion player Steven Hess recorded a session with guitarist and piano player Sylvain Chauveau. The recordings were mixed by Helge Sten of Deathprod, and released as ‘Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night’ by Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L’acier. Story closed? No, the same recordings are subject of ‘Second Souffle’, but are now entirely taken apart by Pierre-Yves Mace, whom we know from his release on Sub Rosa. Its a pity that I didn’t hear the first release by On, because know I have to go by the Mace mix and there is nothing to compare. Not really a big deal, since what we find here is some excellent rock glitch – if that term doesn’t exist, someone should invent it. There are influences of Pluramon, certainly when the drums bang a little bit more than usual, and there are many layers of crackling electronics, sine wave like guitar sounds, introspective xylophone sounds and there is a digital post rock cum microsound atmosphere around this album. Its excellent, well-crafted, well-thought out. It’s of course a bit hard for me to tell what amount of post production was done by Mace, but he produced a really excellent album. Both highly musical as well with the right amount of experimentalism in it. Perhaps the highlight of this week.
VITAL WEEKLY number 566 week 10

Sylvain Chauveau - Second souffle


Label: Type
Release date: January 01, 2007

Sylvain Chauveau - Nuage

Des plumes dans la tête

Label: Dsa
Release date: November 01, 2004

Sylvain Chauveau - Des plumes dans la tête

Un autre décembre

Label: Fat Cat
Release date: January 01, 2003

Sylvain Chauveau - Un autre décembre

The Black Book Of Capitalism

Label: Noise Museum
Release date: October 01, 2000

Sylvain Chauveau - The Black Book Of Capitalism