In November, Swiss haute horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet presented the first episode of its inspiring music series 180. Composed of five episodes, each captured by a different film director, this miniseries retraces the unconventional challenge Audemars Piguet set to selected rising music artists. Their mission: go beyond their comfort zone and create an original collaborative soundtrack blending different creative universes.
These encounters, diffused between November 2020 and March 2021 on the brand’s social networks and website, align with Audemars Piguet’s quest “to push creative talents further to create the extraordinary and touch people’s heart.” A song or a performance not only convey emotions; they reflect the creative process, passion and talent of the numerous individuals who worked together. By encouraging rising artists to explore different territories and stretch the boundaries of music, this miniseries contemplates the personal and collective challenges of creating together, while bringing audiences one step closer to the roots of creativity.
This music activation is launched as part of Audemars Piguet’s music programme that debuted in 2019, through which the brand creates bespoke and unique music experiences for music lovers.
180’s first episode entitled “Le langage des âmes” brings together the worlds of fashion and music in an unusual collaboration captured by French film director Anissa Bonnefont. Her latest documentary Wonder Boy (2019), which offered a dramatic cinematic view on fashion designer Olivier Rousteing’s intimate search for his biological mother, won the Best Documentary Feature Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival (2020) and was nominated for the 2020 César Awards.
Bonnefont brings her fashion sensitivity to the world of music in this episode by capturing the exceptional encounter between model activist and L’Oréal ambassador Cindy Bruna and electronic composer and producer Tchakø.
Influenced by varied music artists such as Martin Garrix, Avicii and Calvin Harris, Tchakø made his debut on the international scene in 2019 with the release of his first single “Alive,” which offered the first dip into his own blend of chill music, electronic dance music, urban vibes and piano tones.
In episode one, Tchakø’s hybrid genre meets Cindy’s voice in this creative challenge—a first for a music project. Taking her under his wing, Tchakø helps Cindy navigate his unfamiliar music territory, both pushing their talents one step further. Giving voice to Khalil Gibran’s poems “Le prophète” and “La musique,” which inspired the episode’s title, Cindy goes with the flow of Tchakø’s unusual mix of piano tones and electronic sounds.
This trio of French creators provide an exclusive lens onto the making of this collaborative performance blurring the lines between artistic worlds and styles.
“I thought it was very nice to be able, thanks to Audemars Piguet, to work with a musician who had the desire and the incredible creativity to get a young woman like Cindy to sing and to meet together in the studio to create something by the magic of the moment, by the magic of their encounter. I found the project very creative and daring. It was amusing for me to be able to witness this while bringing in my own universe,” says Anissa Bonnefont, film director.
Over the years, Audemars Piguet has fostered creative synergies between Haute Horlogerie and the world of music through collaborations with experts in the field. In 2006, the Manufacture embarked on an 8-year research programme with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and a host of experts, including musicians, to recover the acoustic tonality of 19th-century watches.
Audemars Piguet became Global Partner of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2019, after participating in the Montreux Jazz Digital Project. This massive project, started in 2010 and orchestrated by the Claude Nobs Foundation in collaboration with the EPFL, enabled the digitisation, restoration and preservation of the Festival’s entire sound archives, acknowledged by UNESCO as part of its “Memory of the World.” The Manufacture has also nurtured long-standing relationships with music artists, including Jay-Z (2005) and Quincy Jones (2009).
With the 180 project, Audemars Piguet takes these collaborative partnerships a step further by putting rising music artists to the test, while offering unique music experiences to varied audiences.
“Music creates unique emotions and brings people together. It touches our souls. Music has always been part of AP’s history, and this series is a new chapter for us. We want to keep fostering a wide range of talents in order to create extraordinary experiences,” says François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO, Audemars Piguet.