Moving back to his old stomping grounds from Paris to his grandparents’ house in Brussels – a nostalgic “madeleine de Proust bubble” where he made music as a teenager – jazz and house producer Tour-Maubourg powered up his old gear and set out creating his latest album, Spaces of Silence. Environmental and process-based changes and reconnecting with old sights, smells and feelings, he tells MusicTech about how he was drawn to making “more personal emotions and melodies.”
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Maubourg’s battle with tinnitus became one of the key themes of the record. That explains the album’s title, which alludes to being unable to hear silence, as such. He says music has become one of the few ways to block out uncontrollable tinnitus, with the loud music that once caused the condition now becoming its brief bittersweet saviour.
Asides from the album’s themes, Maubourg dives deep into his favourite gear, both in Brussels and in Paris, which includes deliciously vintage synthesizers, a beloved Eventide H3000SE harmonizer and all manner of drool-worthy hardware.
Spaces of Silence by Tour-Maubourg
Hi Tour-Maubourg. Tell us about how tinnitus tied into this record.
A few years back I developed tinnitus after listening to loud music and I still carry this hiss with me on a constant basis.
In the beginning, it felt like torture and truly made me reconsider a career in music – my main worry being, ‘what if it gets worse as I keep playing in clubs and producing music?’. My first reaction was to stop any type of loud sound from reaching my ears, so I stopped all my musical activities. As a result, the tinnitus started to take more and more space in my thoughts and I quickly realised that the precautions I was taking were only making things worse. I had to keep making music to forget its existence. Unfortunately, the tinnitus never left and I still hear it every day – except when I make music, as it gets blurred into the sounds surrounding me. In some way, music became a space of silence for me, which gave me the idea for the album’s name.
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