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Fragments: Lili Boulanger


What happens when some of the most creative talents of the electronic music scene are invited to reimagine classical works by a composer from the past? With this question in mind Deutsche Grammophon started Fragments in 2022 with tracks by Erik Satie. Two years later, Fragments now releases the second episode and lets thirteen innovative and versatile artists work with Lili Boulanger’s most intriguing tracks. Starting in February 2024 with the first eSingle and releasing the full album in September 2024.

Following the enormously positive response on the debut episode, Fragments now again focuses on a wide spread of musical directions and perspectives. With Lili Boulanger, the project chose a young female composer, that was heavily influenced by her youth in times of war and political instability, as well as living the typical life of a young person existing in an atmosphere of dreams, hope and lightness.

Growing up in Paris, Lili began learning organ, piano, cello, violin and harp in early childhood and decided to become a composer when she was only 17 years old. Her immense determination and boundless ability led her to win the Prix de Rome by the age of 24, being the first ever female composer to be awarded France’s most prestigious composition prize. Her immense talent enabled her to forge a place for herself with courage and authority in what was then very much a masculine sphere. Heavily influenced by the political situation of her time and her own health, Boulanger released over 50 pieces that draw the musical picture of a versatile compositional master-mind, growing up in a cosmos of tradition mixed with avangardesque tendencies. When Lili Boulanger died at the young age of 24, she had made herself a name within classical music, yet her most important works had not even been performed at that time, nor had Lili herself ever heard them.

Having her story and the difficulties of her time in mind, the series starts with a rework of “Nocturne” by electronic duo pølaroit on 16th February 2024. The duo immersed themselves in Lili Boulanger’s creative process: “We envisioned ‘Nocturne’ as stemming from the piano’s enduring octave motif, fascinated by how the entire piece unfurls from this core theme. Our creative journey mirrored her hypothetical approach and allowing our composition to organically evolve around it.” The result is a piece evolving around the main elements of Boulanger’s art and implementing these in a new electronic atmosphere.

Over the following months pølaroit’s approach on “Nocturne” and their modern perspective on the past will be expanded by artists like Niklas Paschburg, Fejká, Rodriguez Jr., Joplyn, Anja Schneider and many more.

With Fragments approach on Lili Boulanger, being a part of the 125 years jubilee of Deutsche Grammophon, the label shows the variety of possibilities electronic music has to translate the timeless emotions and stories of classical music. The result is a distinctive sound world characterized by the unique musically experienceable journey of each artist as an individual, as well as a collective, showing their admiration for Lili Boulanger and translating the past into their own present sound atmosphere.

More music from Fragments

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Fragments - Fejka - Boulanger: Cortège
BOULANGER Cortège (Fejká Rework) / Fejká
Apr 12, 2024

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 Fragments: Lili Boulanger
Fragments: Lili Boulanger
2 months ago
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