Since David Bowie praised Ozark Henry’s debut album as one of his favourites of 1996, the Belgian artist and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador has produced music ranging from avant-garde electronica to pop and, most recently, a symphonic album with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Henry’s universe is defined by a blending of craft with experiment, audio with visual and heritage with technology. TEDx and Google New York invited him to talk about his recent ground-breaking work in 3D sound.
You & Krug Champagne?
La Maison Krug works towards excellence in taste for every bottle they release. They honour their heritage and value their customer, so each Krug experience is an emotional one. This is exactly how I approach my music. Each song, each album has to translate a story into a sensory experience. I feel connected to the Krug team. I identify with the way they start with a blank page for each cuvée and dare to reinvent champagne, sometimes making radical decisions and always raising the bar of what champagne can be, what it can mean in a person’s life.
When is your ideal Krug moment?
Any moment that is worth sharing. I live close by the sea, so a lot of friends come over during summer. The best times are when when we get together at sunset, stay outside until late and just enjoy each other’s company. Nothing better to celebrate those moments than with a glass of Krug.
Any favorite Krug Champagne?
My favourite is Krug Rosé, the most daring, non-conformist of Krug Champagnes. It was a complete surprise to me that a Rosé could ever equal the richness and complexity of a red wine.
Can you explain the music pairing you have chosen for each Krug Champagne and why?
Krug Grande Cuvée,
Krug Grand Cuvée is La Maison's symphonic masterpiece. It offers the taste equivalent of a 120 piece orchestra. That’s why I chose to pair it with Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony in B Minor, which also uses the whole range of colours and nuances of the orchestra.
Musically the Krug Rosé makes me think of Bella Bartok’s 2d violin concerto, a very demanding, virtuoso piece. Full and opulent, just like Krug Rosé.
The Krug 2002 is an ode to nature. Generous but elegant, rich but delicate. When Maison Krug asked me to pair it with on of my own songs, I chose the symphonic version of “This Is All I Have”, the opening track of my album ‘Paramount’, which was recorded with the National Orchestra of Belgium. All 90 musicians have their moment in the piece, but it’s still very understated. The instruments sound like flowers in spring, just about to bloom.
Krug 2003 has the same vivacity, tension and freshness that I hear in Saint-Saëns’s amazing piece "Danse Macabre". A great composition of different colors and layers, finding a unique balance.
Krug Clos du Mesnil
For the Clos du Mesnil, I chose the Prelude of the Bach Suite: fresh and pure but loaded with history. A glass of this cuvée is perfect at noon, to add a spark to your day.
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay
This is the rarest of Krug champagnes. There’s an exciting sense of expectation in its pallet. It’s the same feeling I experienced when recording “Love Is Free To Interfere” with the National Orchestra. There’s a longing for the magic just about to happen.