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Composer Loup Barrow Discusses His Top 10 Favourite Places in the World

With his new album ‘Immineo’ out now, composer Loup Barrow joins to discuss his Top 10 favourite places in the whole world.



Loup Barrow, photo by Roddy Cunningham
Loup Barrow, photo by Roddy Cunningham

To create cinematic, otherworldly instrumentals in the way Loup Barrow does, inspiration has to come from a special place. The composer sought it out when he needed it and has moulded it into his magnificent new album Immineo. Released earlier this month via Sonic Ritual, the album is a unique journey within music, a highly original work that could never be mimicked or duplicated. This is wholly Barrow’s construction, which he spent the better part of two years working on. In 2022, Barrow left his home in Paris to pursue a new way of life. He essentially went into exile, living alone by the sea in the middle of nature.

Barrow wound up in Finistère located at the very Western end of the region of Brittany. It was here where he discovered great sources of inspiration. Early in the mornings, he would walk along the coast, rarely encountering anyone. Immineo, a Latin word meaning “imminent, impeding, overlooking,” recounts the internal journey that revealed itself during these morning walks. While alone for much of this time, Barrow made good use of his Cristal Baschet. The instrument is a delicate glass organ, only one of a few worldwide. He’s one of only a handful who can play the Cristal Baschet. He made great use of it in recording this record, which is part of the reason for its immense uniqueness.

As a lover of nature, Barrow is also a great traveller of the world. He joins us today to discuss the Top 10 places in the world that have made him feel the most comfortable.

1. Japan was a poetic encounter for me. Ever since I was young, I’ve been drawn to Japanese culture, martial arts and the codes of Japanese society. I draw poetic inspiration from the powerful and distinctive traditional cultural aesthetic. I feel attracted to the underlying of life’s transitory and evanescent nature which is very present in Japanese culture.

2. Sandoya is a small Norwegian island near the Arctic Circle. The light is incredible, almost supernatural. They are conducive to creativity. One evening, as I was strolling along a beach, I witnessed a ballet of northern lights. I felt as if I were witnessing the advent of our world. Time in Sandoya seems to stop. It’s a wonderful feeling.

3. The Luxembourg Gardens in Central Paris represent my childhood. The smell of the ponies’ dung comes back to me like a Proust madeleine. That smell takes me back 35 years, running at full speed past my father, with whom I often went there.

4. As a child, I lived in East London with my mother, in the East End, to be precise. In the ’80s, this was a working-class neighbourhood. Many artists also lived there. I was brought up in a colourful neighbourhood, with music and arts all around me.

Loup Barrow “Passio” single artwork

Loup Barrow “Passio” single artwork

5. In 1993, I spent a few months in South Africa with my musician parents. My father-in-law had lived there, and we were going for a family trip, and a tour was organized. I was a drummer, and I accompanied them on their concerts. I was very aware of the historic turn this country was taking after the end of apartheid and I was very enthusiastic about playing in clubs in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. We met a lot of musicians. The trip was like a voyage of initiation. It was an eye-opener musically and socially.

6. When I left my parents’ house, I took off in a truck with a guitarist friend. We hadn’t decided on anything because we were ready for anything to happen. For a year, we moved around every day, sleeping in a new place every night. Letting the chance of wandering take over meant accepting the unknown and letting ourselves be surprised. It taught me a lot about the art of composition.

7. I’ve just returned from Morocco, where I played with internationally renowned artists as part of the 27th Festival of World Sacred Music in Fez. I’d gone to Morocco as a young adult with a folding drum kit under my arm and crutches, having sprained my ankle before leaving. I settled in Marrakech, where I studied the art of Moroccan percussion with Mr. Mustafa Tuita. I love Morocco and the energy that emanates from the people I’ve met there.

8. I wrote my album Immineo in Finistère. Finistère means the end of the earth in the extreme west of France. A land of legends. It was here that I drew my inspiration, walking long hours along the wind-whipped, jagged coastline. You have to love being pushed around by the elements to live in Finistère. For me, it’s a source of great strength.

9. Every time I’ve been to China, I’ve felt a change of scenery that pushed me beyond my comfort zone. It’s a place where you have to readjust at every moment, questioning your own way of doing things that you take for granted. It’s one of the countries where I’ve played on huge stages.

10. Finally, the last place I always feel comfortable is behind my instrument. I feel aligned in phase. By some kind of unconscious magic, I always find peace there, no matter where I am in the world. A peace that allows me to tune into myself and into the music I play or write.”

Loup Barrow ‘Immineo’ album artwork

Loup Barrow ‘Immineo’ album artwork

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