BRAD PITT AND DAMIEN QUINTARD REVEAL THE REBIRTH OF FRANCE’S LEGENDARY MIRAVAL STUDIOS

BRAD PITT AND DAMIEN QUINTARD REVEAL THE REBIRTH OF FRANCE’S LEGENDARY MIRAVAL STUDIOS

think we need a bigger table,” says Brad Pitt with a proud grin. It’s a rare rainy day in Provence, France, and for the first time, the superstar is about to sit down to a family-style lunch at the newly rebuilt Miraval Studios. An elevated-rustic assortment of tarts, salads, fresh cheese and bread spread out before him. He just needs to find a chair.

Tucked away within Château Miraval’s 2,200 acres — grounds so vast and lush that getting lost driving through them would be easy, but not so bad — Miraval Studios is as private and exquisite a place as any music (or music history) buff could imagine. And yet, it has sat dormant for nearly two decades.

Today, Pitt relays how eager he has been to reopen the space since he started spending time at the property in 2008. (He and ex-wife Angelina Jolie later purchased it for a reported $60 million in 2012.) All it took was being introduced to renowned French producer-engineer Damien Quintard, whom Pitt calls a “wunderkind,” to finally make his dream of creating the ultimate artist escape a reality. Come this month, just over a year since the two first met, Miraval Studios will formally reopen.

Built atop Miraval’s winery — itself constructed in the 1850s by the estate’s original owner, Joseph-Louis Lambot, and today known for its rosé — the building contains three editing booths for video and sound, production offices, a room housing Quintard’s collection of 170-plus microphones, a recording studio and a live room known together as Studio One, a reverb room, a kitchen, an artist salon, two guest suites, a 115-foot saltwater pool and a rooftop that offers a 360-degree view of the estate. This summer, Pitt’s and Quintard’s artist friends began to pass through to visit or work. Director David Fincher edited a film here, while another longtime friend, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, came to unwind ahead of the band’s current worldwide tour. “That was a nice way to break it in for me,” says Pitt. “This artist hangout is what’s happening.”

That kind of open and revolving door policy is exactly what he and Quintard wanted for the space, where one of the priorities of the rebuilding project, announced last December, was to re-create the communal aspect that made Studio Miraval such a haven in its heyday.

 

Founded in 1977 by French pianist-composer Jacques Loussier, the estate’s then-owner, alongside sound engineer Patrice Quef, Studio Miraval was initially created for Loussier to record his own work, much of which was for films. Soon, artists from Pink Floyd to Sade flocked to the refreshingly remote and picturesque property situated about an eight-hour drive south of Paris. “As a French engineer, it was kind of a holy grail,” whispers Quintard in awe. (Today, Loussier’s granddaughter, Noémie Loussier, is the studio’s communication manager, working closely with Miraval GM Roland Venturini.)

At just 31, Quintard has already worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Parcels, L’Impératrice and Arca, and has notably carved a lane for himself in classical music. He won an Emmy Award for sound mixing for the 2015 Baku European Games Opening Ceremony, founded companies like Paris production firm The Mono Company and audio tech innovator SoundX and helped usher in the Dolby Atmos format, later making The Mono Company the first studio certified with it in France in 2020. Last year, he added co-founding Miraval Studios to that list.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*