Mi and L'au | InterviewMinimalist music is duo's special skill
Grand Rapids (Michigan) Music News
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
GRAND RAPIDS -- Two words sum up the music and philosophy of Mi and L'au: quiet passion. The folky duo has been credited with constructing an album so delicate and ethereal, the songs sound as if they could float away. The musicians' focus and quiet passion keep the songs grounded and give weight to the sparse recordings. There is a palpable longing and serenity in the songs, delivered with minimal instrumentation and restrained vocals. Mi and L'au perform in a hushed and understated manner seldom heard in mainstream music.
The pair's romantic back story only contributes to the music's allure. The two met several years ago, when the Finnish-born Mi -- Mira Romantschuk -- was working as a model in Paris. There, she met the French-born L'au -- Laurent Leclere -- who was working in the music industry. They "instantly" fell in love and began making music together, moving to a remote cabin in Finland. Much of the self-titled debut -- available on "freak folk" label Young God Records -- was created and recorded in this isolated locale.
The couple said they are enjoying their first American tour and meeting new fans. During a recent phone interview from a tour stop in Memphis, Tenn., Mi talked about her recent enthusiasm. "I am enjoying it very much," she said, adding this is her first time in the United States. "To see the landscapes and the hospitality, it has been overwhelming."
The pair spent the first week of their tour opening for labelmates and occasional collaborators Akron/Family, and Mi said she found the experience particularly enjoyable. "The shows have been sold out and packed. It's been very nice," Mi said. "For me, everything is new. L'au has been here before. It's a great adventure for us to do this together." The duo's live shows are a quiet, mellow affair of only guitar and vocals. Mi said audiences have been receptive and respectful. "Mostly people have been quiet and not throwing bottles," Mi said with a laugh.
Though time is a tight commodity on tour, the two are finding plenty of inspiration for new material. Mi and L'au are traveling with a video camera and recording their exploits with the hopes of eventually turning it into a tour diary. After the U.S. concerts wrap up in March, the two will embark on a European tour, then return to their cabin in Finland to continue work on a new album.