Louis XIII’s One Note Prelude combines heavy machinery and drinking for a novel effect.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

It might take two hands to clap, but to produce the dulcet sound of two Louis XIII cognac glasses clinking, you might need robotic arms instead. Specifically, robotic arms specially choreographed to bring two crystal glasses together at just the right angle and velocity to produce that iconic, clear, ringing G-sharp note.

It’s all part of the house of Remy Martin’s latest project, One Note Prelude. The brand commissioned renowned French-Israeli pianist Yaron Herman to compose a piece of music using only the G-sharp note. It’s not a one sustained note, avant garde type of situation though. By layering different instruments, octaves, and rhythms, Herman has created an entire symphony with enough sonic variation to sustain interest — much like how, if we dare say, a singular spirit like the Louis XIII can have different layers of flavours and complexity.

The symphony performance is accompanied by the robotic appendages, which clink two filled glasses at specific intervals of the composition, like a delicious, boozy triangle. In fact, you can experience the spectacle when the robotic arms come to Singapore’s Louis XIII boutique in April 2020.

One Note Prelude is the first musical project Louis XIII commissioned. The house previously worked with Pharrell Williams in 2017 on 100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care. Not heard since the recording is stored in a watervulnerable safe.
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