Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip To The Moon) is a classic black & white and color (hand-painted) silent film by revered French director Georges Méliès. Released in 1902, this legendary 16-minute film is widely considered one of the most important works in film history, and the very first to use science fiction as its theme, incorporating special effects that were very state-of-the-art at the turn of the 19th century. The color version, considered as lost during several decades, is then found in 1993 in Spain, however in desperate condition. In 2010, a complete restoration could be launched, in order to enable the audience to rediscover this major cinema work.

Eager to put a contemporary spin on this classic silent film and enable access to new audience, the two foundations acting in cinema preservation, Fondation Groupama Gan and Fondation Technicolor, decided to approach AIR’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, to compose an original modern soundtrack, an enormous honour for French musicians, considering the film’s place in the canon of French cinema. With the aim of premiering at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, AIR set themselves a tight deadline, locking their studio doors and working around the clock to serve these classic images with brave new sounds. Complete with a new soundtrack by AIR, the film debuted at Cannes on May 11, 2011, to immediate and unanimous acclaim.

Spurred on by their work on this short movie, AIR decided to develop the project into a full album inspired by the film. Expanding the original musical themes beyond cinematic instrumentals, the album also features the vocal talents and lyrics of Au Revoir Simone and Victoria Legrand (Beach House). The band’s lunar fascinations have been evident since the beginning of their career with the release of the seminal 1998 classic Moon Safari. Now in 2012 Nicolas and JB have returned to explore the further regions of their very unique musical ‘space’. Nicolas explains: “A Trip to the Moon is undoubtedly more organic than most of our past projects. We wanted it to sound ‘handmade,’ knocked together’, a bit like Méliès’ special effects. Everything is played live … like Méliès’ film, our soundtrack is nourished by living art.”

The 3 producers of the restored version have agreed to let Virgin release a special Limited Edition version of AIR album Le voyage dans la lune. This will consist of the album + a bonus DVD or Digital Download of the restored colorized film with AIR’s original film score, strictly limited to 70,000 global copies.

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06-04 New York, NY – Governors Ball
06-05 Boston, MA – Royale
06-06 Washington, DC – Strathmore
06-20 Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre
06-23 San Francisco, CA – The Masonic
06-24 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
06-25 Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre

Air Performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The classic French duo Air, who recently performed several West Coast festivals in August, are back in the US, where they performed “Kelly Watch the Stars” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The group is supporting their new release, ‘Twentyears‘.

Air Reaches Number 5 on Billboard Charts

Big news for the French duo, Air! As Billboard Magazine points out, their newest album, Twenty Years is their sixth to hit the top 10 albums chart. They hit number one on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums in 2007 with Pocket SymphonyThe new release is a collection of fresh material and rarities that precedes several rare dates from the duo in California this August. It placed 5th on the Dance charts for the week ending July 2nd.

Air Releasing New Anthology, Performing in US

Twenty years after their international debut, Air will release their first anthology, ‘twentyears’, on June 10. On July 22 a beautiful, limited and numbered 3CD/2LP Super Deluxe Edition of twentyears will also be released, containing a collector poster, the Best Of on CD and random coloured vinyl plus a third CD featuring Air remixes for other acts including David Bowie and Depeche Mode.

Air will play in August in California:

August 6 @ Outside Lands Fest – San Francisco, CA
August 27 @ FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA

15th Anniversary Edition of ‘Virgin Suicides’ Soundtrack by Air

virgin suicides soudtrackReleased in 2000, The Virgin Suicides was director Sofia Coppola’s first feature film, Kirsten Dunst’s first major screen role, and Air’s first foray into film scoring. Fifteen years after its initial release, Warner/Parlophone will release THE VIRGIN SUICIDES – 15TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION on June 16, featuring a remastered version of the original soundtrack, a pair of studio outtakes plus an unreleased live performance recorded at the Los Angeles American Legion Hall on January 22, 2000, and several tracks from KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show with Nic Harcourt, also recorded in January 2000.

On the same day, Warner/Parlophone will also release Air’s five album discography on 180-gram vinyl with original artwork, including their first EPPremiers Symptômes (1997), Moon Safari (1998), 10,000 Hz Legend (2001),Talkie Walkie (2004), and Pocket Symphony (2007).

The Versailles duo Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin started to record new music by watching VHS tapes of the film during the autumn of 1998. Eerie, synthetic and tempestuous, The Virgin Suicides soundtrack’s first single “Playground Love” featured Gordon Tracks (an alias of Thomas Mars, the lead singer for the band Phoenix). The recording process was finished when drummer and soundtrack supervisor Brian Retzell called the duo from Los Angeles. “The microphones and the amps were packed and we needed a song for the ending credits! It happened on a Saturday afternoon. We called Thomas Mars from Phoenix. He wrote the lyrics, played some drums and sang on ‘Playground Love,’” remembers Dunckel.

Air in the Press:

Air: Scoring A Cinematic Marvel, 100 Years Later (NPR)
Trip out on the moon (New York Post)
Air’s ‘Parade’ Set To ‘Excursion To The Moon’ (Huffington Post)
Video Premiere: Air – “Clair de Terre” (Paste)
GQ&A: Air (GQ)
Music Monday: 15 Albums to Look Forward to in Early 2012 (TIME)