Band of the month – HeklAa

HeklAa is the one-man melancholically-romantic project of Sébastien Touraton, a french composer. His music is a poetic, almost classical collection of sounds that make you feel like a bird, flying over the ocean.

Sébastien is strongly affected by the Icelandic nature and his album “Pieces of you” is dedicated to his wife. HeklAa is like melting snow in the spring, a brook running in the woods and fluffy snowflakes whirling in the cold December air.  Sébastien gladly shared with us his work experience and an inspiring story how it all began :)

What are your biggest musical inspirations?

I am definitely inspired by post-rock, jazz and movie music although I don’t like everything I

hear in those genres. Bands and artists like Godspeed –I have seen them for the first time live for

a copple of days, an amazing experience! – A Silver Mount Zion, Mogwai, Miles Davis, Keith

Jarrett, E.S.T., The Bad Plus, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Howard Shore belong to my biggest

musical inspirations. But the greatest band ever is for me Sigur Ros, pure musical genius! I am

also keen of hip-hop thanks to breathtaking bands like Outkast or De La Soul is Dead as well as

what we misname “classical music”. Richard Wagner and the ‘Russian school’ (Prokofiev,

Rachmaninov) mean actually a lot to me, too. There are plenty of other artists I like: Bon Iver,

Sufjan Stevens, …

Heklaa

It seem like the nature effected your sound quite a bit, tell us about it.

Nature played a very important role once in my music. As a matter of fact, it was the “impulse”

for my project heklAa. In April 2010, I was in Iceland on holiday with my wife and our daughter.

We intended to make an Iceland tour for the second time. But as we were on the road to

Jokulsarlon –the most beautiful place on earth-, the volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted and

destroyed a big part of the South of Iceland. We were stuck there for five more days with wind,

rain and even a snow storm. HeklAa was born, and three years later a first EP about that

unforgettable trip called “Songs in F” was released.

What is the most difficult for you as a musician?

The most difficult thing is also the most beautiful challenge: making every time new stuff with

well-known stuff. I mean, listeners should say “Obviously, this is the new heklAa’s release,

obviously, I never heard that before of him’!

How are your songs being created?

When I am going to play the piano, I don’t have any idea of what I am going to play. Actually, I

improvise a lot, as a self-taught musician I feel free to do whatever I want whenever I want. No

compromise, no limit or boundary. 70% of my songs come from the improvisation, 10% from

mistakes, 20% when I am sleeping or taking a shower, or just thinking about the new stuff I am

working on!

heklaa

As a one person band what are your rehearsals like? How do you control the process?

I play first the complete song several times on my grand piano and when I feel ready, I start

with the recording process. Sometimes it takes 6 months to compose and record a song,

sometimes a couple of hours.

Would you like to collaborate with someone? If yes, who and in what way?

I have collaborated with amazing musicians such as musicformessier / Black Hill (a Black Hill’s

cover), We Deserve This (an Ep called “The heklAa session”). I am still collaborating with those

guys as well as with Release The Long Ships and Thank You Satan – and I hope many more!- on

reworks of my new song “Vik” for an upcoming major split EP.

What are other young French bands you are proud of?

Silent Whale Becomes A Dream, Maven, Thank You Satan are very good French bands.

When and where can we see you live?

The next gig is on 19th July in Colmar, France. I am working with my label on other gigs for

quarter 3 of 2015. I am also thinking about a gig at home…

Tell us about the visual part, who made the video and the record design? Did you work on

the ideas together?

Grégory Fels from the label, 1978 Records, I am working with made an amazing job for the CD

cover as well as for the video. We worked together on it and Greg is incredibly talented, I am so

thankful!
HeklAa on bandcamp: https://heklaa.bandcamp.com/music

HeklAa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/S.Touraton