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One Note Prelude inspired by Louis XIII cognac

November 2019


One Note Prelude composition is an innovative project inspired by the G-Sharp sound created when toasting with LOUIS XIII cognac glasses. The melody with just one note offers many dimensions and complexity just like one single drop of LOUIS XIII cognac.

LOUIS XIII cognac has been present at many celebratory moments throughout time – from royal coronations and presidential inaugurations to being served on board the maiden voyages of the Orient Express in 1929 and the SS Normandie in 1935, and by individuals toasting momentous achievements or milestone anniversaries the world over. In recognition of this moment of toasting, LOUIS XIII embarked on a journey that brings music and technology together. The G-Sharp composition is complex and long-lasting as an echo to the tasting of a drop of LOUIS XIII Cognac. 

A distinctive sound

In order to showcase the complex flavours and aromas of LOUIS XIII cognac, in 2008 we produced a bespoke crystal glass, in collaboration with renowned French designer Christophe Pillet. ‘Tasting LOUIS XIII cognac is all about the aromas, the depth of flavours, the texture and, of course, the sound,’says LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director Ludovic du Plessis. ‘When you toast two glasses together you get this long, drawn-out note, which is part of the overall experience.’

ONE NOTE PRELUDE composition has been written by the Paris-based Israeli pianist Yaron Herman, with the challenge of creating a piece of music using only the G-sharp note. “The symphony has a complex simplicity. It’s just one note, but with many dimensions. The idea that one note, like one drop of LOUIS XIII, can evolve over time and reveal itself was something that I found fascinating” says Yaron Herman.

Exploring one note, expressing one note

The composition begins with the distinctive G-sharp chime, which then develops with Yaron playing the note on the piano, then joined by a string quartet also playing the G-sharp note, but at different octaves and using contrasting timbres and rhythms. Each individual instrument brings texture, structure and harmony to this sensitive composition, just as each aged eau-de-vie from the blend brings something different to LOUIS XIII cognac.

Looking to the future

Always thinking a century ahead, we wanted to incorporate state-of-the art technology into this project, which is why we turned to robotics. The robots are going to give you precisely the right angle and the right speed to make the toast, and to get that sound. Alongside the piano and string quartet, the imposing arms, move gracefully in time while holding two delicate LOUIS XIII glasses. The glasses are then brought together, at exactly the right moment, to produce a clear G-sharp chime that starts the performance in spectacular fashion.

As of April 2020, the unique robots’ arms will be displayed in the LOUIS XIII Boutiques and then will travel the world.