'Illuminations' is the first album in the series 'Living Room Recordings'.
Inspired by the visionary French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s unfinished poetry collection Illuminations (1874), this is an elegant, animated collaboration between two brilliant musicians.
The compositions are written and played by Danish saxophonist Benjamin Koppel, with the great Frenchman Jean-Michel Pilc on piano, and are rich with celebration of French culture and philosophy, its sophistication and history.
The French are special to Ben, and he to them. In 2011 Benjamin Koppel was awarded the prestigious L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand, for his work with French and International culture (the same year as Kylie Minogue and George Clooney received the same).
As part of the award, Koppel was invited to join prominent French musicians (Jean-Michel included) at a concert at the French Embassy in Copenhagen. This collaboration with Jean-Michel Pilc was the beginning of Illuminations the record.
Arthur Rimbaud’s unfinished collection, Illuminations, was a striving to achieve poetic transcendence and second sight through art. Likewise, through intuitive improvisations, Benjamin and Jean-Michel sought to achieve a kind of transcendence in their interactions and musical collaboration. Taking Rimbaud’s text as a starting point, there is in each composition a clear, basic idea that carries the music, unfolding and evolving over time.
Also included are a new interpretation of classic jazz standard Summertime, and a bonus track written by Benjamin’s 10 year old daughter, Astrid (“La Nuit d’Or”, The Golden Night) – marking her debut as a recorded composer.
When you download this album, you'll get all 16 tracks.