Updated: Apr 6

April 2021

Animamundo is a member of the Music Partner composers' team.

Dominique Gastrein has chosen Animamundo as an artist name to underline the inspiration of his compositions.

The literal meaning is: "The Soul of the World". In his own words, Animamundo describes the spirit behind the name as: "the universal vibrations from music that makes our hearts beat and unites our souls to form the soul of the world": it is through the interbreeding of cultures and the fusion of world music that lies the expression and creation of Animamundo, the expression of life.

Animamundo is working in the south of Paris with two studios, his own and "Le Studio du Regard" managed by Christophe Sarlin.

His interest in music began at age 9 after receiving a legacy piano. Classical studies ensued at the conservatory of music, then the study of percussion and drums.

His professional career started in the early 1980s, being selected as a stage keyboard player behind popular French singers such as Louis Chedid, Michel Delpech, Marie-Paule Belle and many others. Noteworthy, his participation to the musicals like "Starmania 1988" created by Luc Plamondon and Michel Berger as well as "La legende de Jimmy" or with Richard Cocciante, composer for the musical "Notre Dame de Paris". Musicals have been an important part of his career however, Animamundo credits his most important career move to the collaboration with Senegalese band "Toure Kunda" met in 1988, "Geoffrey Oryema" in 1994 and "Chico and the Gypsies".

All musical projects are based on a human connection level, the emotions, the strong desire to work together which will translate into musical ideas. the process is not theoretical but organic and human.

When working with a Director on a soundtrack, Animamundo is paying attention to personalities, philosophical conversations about everything, even remotely connected to the project. These conversations will help Animamundo in the creative process. He does not need to see the rough cuts to accept a project, again, for him, the human connection is essential regardless of the story or the format.

The challenge when composing for media is the filtering of ideas, selection of sounds to enhance emotions. Working with breathing patterns in silences, finding the proper musical identity. Strong emotional value does not mean complex or overwhelming music structures. The balance is everything and this is the challenge he enjoys taking.

All artist musicians have sources of influence fueling their creative process. For Animamundo, "Armando's Rhumba" from Chick Corea is a landmark. Corea who passed away two months ago had a Latin heritage which was reflected in many of his compositions. "My Spanish Heart" released in 1976 is a tribute Corea wrote to his Latin roots. It is no surprise Animamundo who works in many spheres of the World Music would connect with Corea's compositions.

Regarding original soundtracks, Animamundo has a weakness for the composition from Gabriel Yared and Stephane Moucha for the film "The Lives of Others" written and directed by Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck in 2006. The music perfectly reflects the tension and the emotions throughout the film.

Whether composing for media or for the pleasure of listening to great music, a sense of pride should always come out when the recording is completed. One of his proudest composition is "Liberty Walk" from his album "Heartbeat Music".!explorer?b=7693886

This composition for Animamundo, reflects the essential quest of all human beings to be free.

We mentioned Chick Corea as an influence, in the jazz world, Lyle Mays and his multidimensional approach to music has marked Animamundo but the palette of influences is quite large, Cuban, and Brazilian jazz with Roberto Fonseca and Sergio Mendes, Flamenco and World Music with Paco DeLucia and Youssou N'Dour and many regional African bands but also pop references with Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder or Peter Gabriel who has, in his own career, merged music styles. For Animamundo, music is more than just an art form. He specifically admires the Cuban music which message translates the joys and pains and welcomes the mix of cultures.

Animamundo has chosen to work with Music Partner because of its sharing concept, making music available to most, but also because of its international presence.

His setup is composed of 2 MAC, connected to RME sound card and Yamaha MR816CSX.

Multiple instruments which Animamundo plays and records such as accordion,

harmonica, melodica, and percussion. A dozen keyboards from which an 88 keys midi controller piano from Nord. A battery of microphones and mixing gears. The only wish to complete his setup is a Yamaha C3 studio piano.

Animamundo works with Cubase X which is sponsored by Jean-Marc Thiebaud from "Steinberg" since 1988, Logic X, Ableton live X and Akai MPC live.

He mixes his own music and sometimes with Christophe Sarlin when working on protools at the "Studio du Regard". His music is usually delivered in Stereo mix.

The main technical challenge is the unavoidable compression. For the music to be available on MP3 and other compressed formats, some frequencies are lost, reducing the overall quality of the recording. Finding the right balance during compression is part of the challenge.

Computers and technology in general have facilitated the creative process, multiplying possibilities. The key is to master technology to serve the composer's ideas and not the opposite.

One of the fond memories in Animamundo's career is a concert in Woodstock with Geoffrey Oryema in 1994 before a crowd of 40,000 drenched by the rain walking in the mud just like the 1969 historic musical event.

You may listen to samples of Animamundo's music at the following link.!artist?id=514801