|Labels||Fat Cat Records|
Olivier Alary is a French musician who is also known under the title of his musical project Ensemble. A native of Toulouse, France, Olivier Alary is a Montreal-based musician and composer who has released his own recordings, as well as composing for film and exhibitions.
A former student of architecture, Alary created Ensemble in 1998 as a musical persona through which to explore the encounter between melodic noise and disjointed pop. He moved to London to study music and in 2000 he released his first album Sketch Proposals under the name Ensemble with Rephlex Records.
Sketch Proposals caught the attention of Björk, and Alary's remixes of three of her songs – "Sun in My Mouth", "Cocoon" and "Mouth's Cradle" – were released as B-sides. He went on to co-write the song "Desired Constellation" with Björk on her 2004 album Medúlla.
Alary's follow-up album, the self-titled Ensemble, blends symphonic wall-of-sound with intimate folk-pop vocals, and was released in 2006. It features vocal performances by Chan Marshall (of Cat Power fame), Lou Barlow and Mileece; drums by Adam Pierce; and orchestral arrangements by Johannes Malfatti, performed by Germany's Babelsberg Film Orchestra.
Ensemble's third album Excerpts was released in January 2011. A beautiful, sophisticated record of orchestrated pop songs on the theme of fictional and false memories, the album features collaborators Johannes Malfatti and vocalist Darcy Conroy.
Olivier has also composed music for several exhibitions at London's Victoria & Albert Museum; contributed to an installation by Doug Aitken at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; and has received an honorary mention at the Ars Electronica Festival for his project Chlorgeschlecht. He has also collaborated with photographer Nick Knight. Since 2007, he has also provided soundtrack for several feature-length films and documentaries, some of which have received prestigious awards and screenings in Europe, the US and China.
- Sketch Proposals, debut album [Rephlex records]
- Ensemble: ensemble, second album FatCat Records
- Excerpts, third album [FatCat Records]
- Disown, delete, EP [Fat Cat Records]
- Envies d'Avalanches, EP [Fat Cat Records]
- "Sun in My Mouth", recomposed by Ensemble, its first Björk remix (Vespertine)
- "Cocoon retangled by Ensemble, its second Björk remix (Vespertine)
- "Mouth's Cradle" recomposed by Ensemble, its third Björk remix (Medúlla)
- "Desired Constellation" on Björk’s album (Medúlla)
- "Chlorgeschlecht – Unyoga" (honorary mention at Ars Electronica)
- Soundtracks for
- 2001: Ephemere', for 'Radical Fashion', Victoria & Albert Museum, London
- 2003: Proposal 9, for 'New Skin' an installation by Doug Aitken, for 'Sonic-Process', MACBA, Barcelona; Centre Pompidou, Paris
- 2005: Bascule, David Wampach's dance piece for the 'Printemps de Septembre' Art festival, Toulouse
- 2007: Up the Yangtze, documentary directed by Yung Chang
- 2008: The Dreaming short fiction film directed by Anthony Green
- 2009: Last Train Home documentary directed by Lixin Fan
- 2011: Jo for Jonathan fiction film directed by Maxime Giroux
- 2012: China Heavyweight documentary directed by Yung Chang