Chilly Gonzales admits he doesn’t really like collaborating, but an invitation from Daft Punk was too good an opportunity to skip. “You make exceptions for people who are in possession of some true key to the zeitgeist,” the pianist and producer says in the latest entry of Vice and Intel’s Creators Project series on Random Access Memories collaborators.
“Generally, I’m looking to fulfill my specific musical function, which has to do mostly with harmony,” Gonzales said, describing harmony as an “underused musical weapon” in today’s pop music. “It has the most strong emotional reaction despite the fact that there’s so much science and math involved in it. And yet it’s largely the thing that will often make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up involuntarily.” Gonzales surmised that mathematical knowledge was a key reason why the French duo sought him out.
Gonzales also previewed some of Daft Punk’s favorite harmonies on the piano and explained how the group wanted him to write a bridge between songs in different musical keys. “The fact that they were asking for this musical bridge to happen just shows that they have absorbed a lot of what classical composers were obsessed with,” Gonzalez said, “which is that musical key dictates so much of what someone feels.”
Random Access Memories will be out May 21st.