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W Hotels x Cercle: Monolink

W Hotels x Cercle Host Monolink Show

W Hotels x Cercle Host Monolink Show

Our collaboration with Cercle, the Paris-based media platform known for creating epic one-of-a-kind music activations around the globe, kicked off with a show at W Maldives featuring the Berlin-based electronic musician Monolink.

We live-streamed the show from the hotel’s private Gaathafushi Island, and talked to Derek Barbolla, Cercle’s Founder and CEO, and Philippe Tuchmann, the company’s Artistic Director, about everything from the challenges of filming in remote getaways to the interconnectedness of scenery, staging… and all things sonic.

What did you take into account when it came to W Maldives specifically for putting on this show?

First of all, we very carefully select the locations we showcase. They must be outdoors, breathtaking and iconic, in order to always amaze our community. Secondly, our goal is to create a real story throughout our entire year, with multiple settings. For example, we’ll try not to do two shows in a row on a deserted island! —Derek


How have you staged the Monolink show at W Maldives?

Since we were in the middle of the Indian Ocean, on the very small and picturesque Gaathafushi Island, we didn’t want the stage to look too large. We went in a minimalist direction, so that the artist was really in harmony with nature. We chose two beautiful wooden tables, and that’s it. Monolink, his instruments, and the environment…

Even when we organize shows with an audience, the stage is often very minimally decorated, and sometimes, you can’t even determine where the artist is, because he’s enveloped by the audience or the location. That’s exactly what we are looking for: Immersion. —Derek


What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever produced a show?

I think it was in Turkey, aboard a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. This was the most unique place to organize a show, because, primarily, the stage was moving, and it’s impossible to know in advance where the balloon will go. You just have to ride the wind! —Derek


Tell us how music can help define or enhance a place. How would you sonically define W Maldives?

Music is a universal art that makes us feel emotions, and these emotions differ from person to person. When you combine music, architecture and design, the emotion is increased.

Our first idea is to book an artist who imparts the same sensation sonically as the emotion we feel when seeing a place for the first time. For example, when you are on top of a mountain, you tend to want to listen to music that is soaring, airy and melodic.

W Maldives rests in a little corner of paradise. The Maldivian atolls with their lush greenery, surrounded by the Indian Ocean with its 1,000 shades of blue, the tides, the wind, and the underwater life all complement one another in such a way that, musically, we felt the match should have tropical accents that invite you to relax, unwind, and sometimes dance with fine guitar notes. Monolink delivered just that. —Philippe


What’s the biggest logistical challenge you’ve faced when producing a show? What’s one of your wildest stories?

We had a show at the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia that was extremely difficult to produce. Since the artist was basically out in the middle of nowhere, everything became more complicated, including obtaining internet and electricity. We even crashed a drone while we were live! Because of the sun’s reflection on the salt flat’s water, the wireless video signal was interrupted, so our drone operator wasn’t seeing his camera feedback in real time. Luckily, we had a second drone, so we managed to keep it going. —Derek

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