- A new form of collaboration between French musician and artistic director Woodkid and Vacheron Constantin with the creation of an exclusive, contemporary track – Euclidean Pulses 1.
- A creative interpretation – both musical and visual – of the Maison’s annual “Less’ential” theme, on a 12-beat tempo including, for the first time, a Vacheron Constantin watch sound.
- This is the result of an association that began a year ago via the “One of Not Many Mentorship Program” in collaboration with London’s Abbey Road Studios.
The ongoing collaboration between Woodkid and Vacheron Constantin is enriched this year by an exclusive original creation by the French artist, who interprets the Maison’s annual theme “Less’ential” in a contemporary manner. This rhythmic, minimalist, percussive composition has recorded the mechanical tempo of a Vacheron Constantin watch and explores the Euclidean mathematical forms governing all great musical rhythms – Euclidean Pulses 1. A contemporary track that also resonates with the connections between the world of music and High Watchmaking.
As part of its “One of not Many Mentorship Program” based on passing on experience and knowledge, Vacheron Constantin initiated a creative collaboration in 2018 with Abbey Road Studios by enabling youthful talents to benefit from the experience of internationally renowned mentors. French musician and artistic director Woodkid was the first mentor. In 2022, Woodkid chose a young singer-songwriter from the London area, Ewan J Phillips, to be the first to join Vacheron Constantin’s “One of Not Many Mentorship Program” dedicated to the world of music.
“To be able to pass on one’s knowledge and artistic sensitivity by working with young talent is a privilege for me as a musician”, said Woodkid at the time. “Above and beyond the mentor-apprentice relationship, the exchanges and discussions we have had with Ewan are enriching for both of us.”
Today, the collaboration between Woodkid and Vacheron Constantin goes even further with the exclusive creation of an original musical piece by the artist, which provides a contemporary interpretation – both musically and visually – of the Maison’s annual “Less’ential” theme by drawing parallels between the world of watchmaking and that of music. This minimalist, lively and extremely percussive rhythmic composition subtly explores the Euclidean mathematical forms governing all major musical rhythms. Euclidean rhythms are derived from the principle that Euclidean Algorithm – the Greatest Common Divisor of two numbers used to distribute pulses as evenly as possible in a bar – generates almost all the most important rhythms in world music. All the major rhythms in existence are governed by this extremely simple mathematical law, of which the combinations create infinitely variable musical forms, even though this process does not yet seem to have been widely used in the world of music.
The striking result bearing Woodkid’s signature is a track composed of samples played by contemporary music virtuosos (marimba, clarinet…) and produced on a tempo with 12 pulses (hourly tempo) inspired by a Vacheron Constantin watch – thereby echoing the common denominators between watchmaking and music. Divisions have also been recreated to include new rhythms evoking a melodic world tour of different cultures (tango, bembé, bossa nova…). A universal poetry of music rooted in extreme accuracy inherited from High Watchmaking and which establishes a universal philosophical principle according to which everything is governed by mathematical laws, watchmaking and music being no exception to the rule. This original track is also visually expressed through a motion design featuring an architectural object illustrating the musical piece in a very literal way in terms of its rhythmic construction. Symbolising the links between contemporary imagery and High Watchmaking, this musical creation by Woodkid pushes the boundaries of the principles of Euclidean rhythms and circular rotation. Woodkid had to revise all his software coding in order to penetrate the mathematical mysteries of these Euclidean rhythms, just as a Vacheron Constantin watchmaker must perfectly understand the functioning of a mechanical calibre before exploring its priceless beauty.
Legendary French singer, producer and video director, Woodkid recently wrapped up his S16tour (supporting his 2020 album of the same name), which spanned two years, covered 19 countries and counted over 200,000 total fans in attendance. S16 is the follow-up to Woodkid’s 2013 debut The Golden Age, which sold nearly one million copies worldwide and was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards. In his incredibly diverse career, Woodkid has sold almost one million albums, been nominated for 3 Grammy awards, and directed music videos for some of the biggest artists on the planet- Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream”), Taylor Swift (“Back To December”), Lana Del Rey (“Born ToDie”) and Harry Styles (“Sign of the Times”). He has also worked with Nicolas Ghesquière from Louis Vuitton, the New York City Ballet and Jonas Cuaron to write the original soundtrack of the Movie Desierto and the Handover Ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Each year, Vacheron Constantin‘s presence at the Watches and Wonders Geneva show is based on a specific theme embodying the spirit of the Manufacture. After “Classic with a Twist” in 2021 and “The Anatomy of Beauty” in 2022, “Less’ential” symbolises the 2023 new releases as well as the booth architecture. Guided by this principle, the Maison expresses an approach in which technical mastery and the originality of artistic crafts constitute the essence of horological activity, and in which beautifully balanced shapes and pure design are an aesthetic priority devoted to serving technical sophistication. Here, simplicity becomes refinement, understatement takes a virtuoso turn and smooth-flowing design hints at meticulous attention to detail. This stripped-to-essentials form of elegance characterising Vacheron Constantin watchmaking translates into timepieces where mechanical complexity is irrevocably dedicated to beauty, in tribute to the fundamentals of High Watchmaking.
The collaboration between Vacheron Constantin and French musician and artistic director Woodkid – which began a year ago via a two-part mentoring program with Abbey Road Studios – is now taking shape with the creation of an exclusive, contemporary track including the sound of a Vacheron Constantin watch. A singular musical work that explores the Euclidean mathematical forms governing all the great musical rhythms and echoes the principles of mechanical watchmaking.