Au Courant is a Fashion Mix The Face Show created for Child & Family, one of the largest and most comprehensive social service providers in the State of Rhode Island. Embraced by fashion professionals, enthusiasts, and the media alike, Au Courant has become one of the most anticipated events of the summer.
Tim was the musical director and resident DJ at StyleWeek Northeast for 2 years. Through the collaborative efforts of Child & Family and StyleWeek Northeast, Au Courant celebrates and promotes the extraordinary creative talents of the finest designers in the Northeast. It provides a sneak preview of designer fashions, which will officially debut later in the Summer and Fall. While guests experience the alluring energy of a major runway show they are also aware that their generosity is supporting one of the oldest & largest social service providers in the state of Rhode Island. The funds raised at Au Courant help make a difference in the lives of children and families throughout the state.
A Mix Inspired By A Vintage Mansion
This particular show was held at one of Newport, RI’s most pristine mansion, Ochre Court. It can be seen in the Hollywood blockbuster, True Lies. Normally as musical stylist, I work with designers individually helping them select music that will compliment their latest clothing line, I then tailor and mix specifically for their runway show.
Au Courant was different and exciting because I was solely responsible for selecting and mixing the music for the entire runway production as one continuous performance. This allowed me to focus more on the music and how it would compliment a fashion show in the 21st century in a 19th century, 125 year old Newport Mansion.
I viewed the process similar to curating songs for a soundtrack to a motion picture. After being asked to play for the show I made a trip to Ochre Court to get a feel for the venue. It’s a mansion that does not get as much attention as others in Newport and one of the few I had yet to play. Ochre Court was built in 1892 as a summer home for Ogden Goelet, a wealthy New York banker and developer. It was as modeled after a French Chateau and cost $4.5 million to build, in 19th century money! My objective for the overall vibe of the show was to musically capture that turn of the century feel that all Newport Mansions embody. This is the reasoning behind the piano and string selections throughout the mix, while also creating a musical flow with deep, progressive house music. This allowed the models to move smoothly down the runway. There is definitely an eerie and at times, haunting tone to the mix and it’s because of the feeling I get when playing in most of Newport’s mansions especially at night.
A Dramatic Introduction
I felt an Alfred Hitchcock excerpt was perfect for Au Courant’s dramatic introduction. Throughout the entire piece you will notice various subtle sound effects, widows shuttering, doors creaking, growls, whispers, the sound of children playing, wind and rain, etc. Sounds that compliment the various gargoyle and lion sculptures found on the grounds of Newport Mansions or sculptures of children found in the main ballroom of the Marble House, a venue I have had the privilege of playing several times.
The entrance to the runway consisted of floor to ceiling white drapery that flowed in the breeze adding to the dramatic entrance as the models began to walk down the runway.
The mix concludes with an excerpt from The Creative Act: Marcel Duchamp’s Classic which was read by the artist himself at the Convention of the American Federation of Arts in Houston, Texas in 1957. It’s a hypotheses on how creativity works and where good ideas come from. Duchamp says “Let us consider two important factors, the two poles of the creation of art: the artist on the one hand, and on the other the spectator who later becomes the posterity. To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing”. Another final excerpt is by Robin Williams (Sy Parrish) from the low-key thriller One Hour Photo, mixed with Hans Zimmer’s piece, Time from the motion picture Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio’s character has the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious.
This part of the mix is best experienced in the back yard of Ochre Court on the cliffs of Newport overlooking beautiful Easton Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Until now the mix was only available on a CD that attendees were given the night of the show. The mix is compiled of some of my favorite remixes and Mash-ups by a variety of artists across the world that I have acquired over the years. It is best heard from beginning to end. Good for a cocktail party, moderate workout, after party, long drive or to get you in the Halloween spirit.
For additional info on the Creative Act Click Here!
I would like to extend a special thank you to StyleWeek for allowing me the opportunity to play for such a great event and cause.