I’ve been tempted to try and learn the violin, but my friends begged me to stop.


Ocoeur: Interview + Full Album Stream

French born composer, modern pianist, and sound designer Franck Zaragoza, aka Ocoeur [‘Au coeur’ = ‘to the heart’], has released two full-length albums on Mike Cadoo’s emotive electronic music label n5MD and staying loyal to both the label and the craft, he prepares to release his next LP – Reversed – consisting of modern solo piano compositions merged masterfully with Ocoeur’s organic sound design. The very intimate 10 tracks of the album can be streamed in full right here right now.

Are you trained classically? What other instruments do you play besides piano? 

I learnt how to play piano at 8 years old. It eventually became the main instrument to express my most pure and sincere feelings. I’ve managed to work in more harmonies and intimate melodies since then. Even though I’ve been tempted to try and learn the violin, but my friends begged me to stop.

Do you incorporate your own field recordings into your compositions? On “Chance” for example, it sounds like a recorded thunder and a lot of other sound design elements.

It’s quite funny, it is the third time someone has asked me if these are true or fake noises. I rarely insert field recordings into my music to be honest. Though, I usually give an illusion of it, like by editing the modular synthesizer or reshaping natural sounds to define a wide background. I like to leave some mysteries floating about as well, but the most important is to justify why I have used the material, and not give an explanation of it, because the end result is the most important. The technical points of my music I feel are less important to discuss. 

Why such a choice of the title for the album? What does Reversed allude to?

The title Reversed has been chosen to show that life can be nonsensical. By this title my intention was to incorporate a type of absurdity. Like how life would be if you would decide to reverse the beginning and the ending of everything: life and death, before and after, something and its opposite.

You’ve been loyal to n5MD since your second full length. How did you hook up with the label and what has it been like working with them?

I decided to produce my first album Light as a Feather knowing most of the n5MD’s discography. It was quite clear in my mind that I would showcase the demo of that album toward Mike Cadoo. I felt him to be a very attentive person, and I have never doubted that. I’m very grateful to him for having provided the opportunities he has.

Since your music is so personal and emotive, what does it take you to get into the zone to begin writing? Any special rituals you have or environment you absolutely have to have?

Tough to say, as I have plenty reasons to begin a track, as well as an idea can cross my mind out of nowhere. Mostly, it’s either a specific sound which comes up to me or just a melody, or a rhythm. As I often say it, movies and video games are my main way to get inspired. The combination of music and pictures are very important too.


Speaking of pictures, who created the beautiful artwork for the album?

Thank you very much for your words, I’ve made it on my own! The reason was I had a very precise idea of how to draw this feeling as how to externalize it from my point of view. I wanted something minimalist, cold, expressing a void and a timelessness as Reversed means to me.

Your sound design feels very organic and nature-inspired. Do you spend a lot of time in nature? What are your favorite landscapes and settings?

I really feel good in any type of nature basically. My favorite might be being surrounded by hills and trees, laying down next to a small waterfall and hearing it beating stones. This kind of peaceful picture. I adore spending time walking in the forest or even parks. I really pay attention to every detail when I’m outside.

Ocoeur’s Reversed is out on March 25th via n5MD.