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press release theaterlab march 25th & 26th 2011

Contact: Lanie Zipoy | 646.399.8650 |

Nicole Renaud's COULEURS extends at Theaterlab March 25 and 26, 2011

"La performance: an hour of dream"
-- Il Mattino

"She lives in a world of her invention"
-- Arte (French-German national TV)

New York, NY -- After a sold out run in early February, French singer/accordionist Nicole Renaud will return to Theaterlab (137 West 14th St.) with her multimedia concert "Couleurs" for two more nights, March 25 and 26, 2011.

These New York performances follow the show's international tour, which included stops in Paris (Theatre du Temps), Sweden (Gotland International Poetry Festival), Algeria (French cultural center) and Italy (137 Art Space, Naples).

Nicole Renaud’s “Couleurs” song cycle stands at the crossroads of French chanson and arias. It is a love story seen through colors, where each song represents a color. The lyrics are by Nicole Renaud, and the music is by Nicole Renaud and Uli Geissendoerfer (formerly Ute Lemper's pianist). Accordéon-Accordéonistes raves, "In this album, Nicole Renaud's sound is white as snow, pure, transparent, lyrical.”

Ms. Renaud’s multimedia concert involves live projection of the translated lyrics on her dress throughout the performance, thus creating visual poetry in the same vein of Apollinaire's Calligrammes. She accompanies herself on a new one-of-a-kind, luminous transparent accordion, the lincordian, designed by British artist-engineer Paul Etienne Lincoln.

The scenic design and costume are by Parisian art director Jacques Perdigues, who has worked in the field of theater (Victoria Chaplin, Aurélia Thiérrée) and fashion (John Galliano, Thierry Mugler).

For over a decade, Ms. Renaud has been a stalwart on the New York music circuit, winning raves from the New York Times, Time Out New York, and the New Yorker. She workshopped “Couleurs” last year at Galapagos Art Space and New York University’s Maison Française. In France, she has sung regularly on France Culture for Frédéric Mitterrand’s program "Ca me dit l'après midi" and on ARTE’s experimental television show "die nacht/la nuit". Her song "Le Gris" (from "Couleurs") is featured in Idiots and Angels, the feature film by independent animator Bill Plympton, and was on the short list for the Academy Award nomination this year. Her voice has been featured in commercials such as a Super Bowl Volkswagen commercial. She divides her time between New York, Paris and Capri.

“Couleurs” is presented by Theaterlab. The performance schedule is March 25 and 26, 2011, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm, at Theaterlab (137 West 14th Street, between 6th and 7th Ave., Subway: 1/2/3 or A/C/E or F/M to 14th Street or L to 6th Ave.). Tickets are $15 at (212) 352-3101 or


more about the lincordian

Short text

The lincordian is a transparent luminous accordion designed by British artist-engineer, Paul Etienne Lincoln. It is a work of fine art as well as a musical instrument. It is a rarity; only three other copies exist and are available as exclusive collector's items.

The lincordian was originally a part of a large installation entitled Hyperbaric-Hypobaric - the respiration of memory exhibited at the Alexander and Bonin gallery in New York City in March of 2008. An art film entitled, Undine's curse was also part of this exhibit in which Nicole Renaud played the role of the forlorn nymph, Undine.

Paul Etienne Lincoln is well known for instilling in his elegant works of art a poetic sensibility. His installations are historically-charged, engineering marvels. His works have been displayed in galleries and museums around the world, such as the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin. The Moma, the New York Library and the British Arts Council are among his faithful exhibitors and collectors.

Long text
The lincordian came into being through a serendipitous series of events. Mr. Lincoln and miss renaud have been friends for a long time, and are enthusiastic admirers of each other's work. Mr. Lincoln would attend Miss Renaud's shows, and Miss Renaud would perform at after parties for Mr. Lincoln's gallery openings.

They share a poetic vision, incorporating elements of neo-classicism such as drawing from Western history, myth, and fairy tales for inspiration, and reassembling traditional motifs into a surreal montage of sensory delight. Their artistic expression is melancholy, mysterious and elegant, and evokes an air of wistfulness. In regard to Miss Renaud's artistic style, she juxtaposes her elegant avant-garde look against the sound of traditional operatic music. These contrasting styles heighten her dramatic effect, and make the totality of her art captivating and surreal.

However, while perfecting her art over the years, miss renaud sensed that her visual aesthetic was not quite complete. Her impediment was the accordion itself. Firstly, she yearned to liberate the accordion's image from its popular folk heritage, and instead, associate it with a higher expression of art. Secondly, it was a heavy, earthy vehicle, both in weight and appearance, and it clashed with her otherworldly glamour. She longed for an ethereal-looking instrument to match the ethereal nature of her style and voice.

Miss Renaud regards her voice and its styling in the tradition of oratorio, and her accordion as an accompanying church organ. In the same way a church organ provides mood and mystery behind melody and chorus, so does the sound of Miss Renaud's accordion create the liturgical atmosphere behind the transcendent nature of her voice. Thus, it was not the sound of the instrument she wanted to change; it was the look of the instrument itself. She wondered how she could make it more sophisticated and elegant? How could she imbue it with a lightness of being which would echo her futuristic aesthetic? In essence, how could she give it an air of magic?

While musing over her quandary, she realized that which would give the accordion an air of lightness would be a transparent look. It would have to be an accordion made of plexiglas which would give the impression that it had been plucked from the ether. Excited over her inspiration, she knew just the man to proffer her idea.

Over the years, paul étienne lincoln has worked once a week in an accordion workshop in manhattan called, Main Squeeze. He works alongside his friend and owner of the shop, Walter Kuehr. Mr. Kuehr can be best described as a visionary accordion maker who is constantly inspired to release the instrument from its traditional moorings. His accordions are one-of-a-kind creations. upon approaching Paul with her idea, she realized with surprise that, simultaneous to her revelation, Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Kuehr had been collaborating on the idea of creating a transparent accordion through which its interior workings could be seen. Mr. Lincoln, being the madly inspired scientist-artist that he is, wanted to take the idea even further.

While working on his upcoming installation, Hyperbaric-Hypobaric, the respiration of memory, he decided to include the transparent accordion. It would serve as an integral allegory, both visually and instrumentally, relative to the theme of his exhibit. As part of this installation, he was putting together a short film which was inspired by miss renaud's artistry and voice. Would miss renaud be interested in playing the title role?
Three transparent accordions were constructed for the exhibition, and subsequently coined, the lincordians. One was used as part of the installation, and another was played by miss renaud as undine in Mr. Lincoln's short film. After the closing of the exhibition in april of 2008, Mr. Lincoln and Miss Renaud collaborated on the construction of her own personal lincordian.

Upon its completion in February of 2009, Mr. Lincoln delivered to Miss Renaud, the ethereal futuristic accordion of her dreams. Desiring it meet the standards of her avant-garde aesthetic, she enhanced its look one dramatic notch by recruiting Charles Kouzoujian to install additional lighting on the interior of the plexiglas. This final touch gave the lincordian its luminous, magical quality for which she had been seeking.

  press for "couleurs"                  
  il mattino
la performance: a sound and visual journey into colors
"... a soprano with an angelic voice ... a unique transparent luminous accordion ... an hour of dream ... a romantic visual and sound journey in the depth of the soul and love ... a very lively format ... a magical result ..." (october 24th 2010)
> read article
  accordéon-accordéonistes review "couleurs"
" ... in this album, nicole renaud's sound is white as snow. pure, transparent, lyrical, electroacoustic. intangible beauty, undefinable. unknown magical landscape bathed with enchanting visual music."

> read article
  accordéon accordéonistes portrait
nicole renaud "sophisticated chanteuse" ... she has created her own unique style, with an emphasis on the visuals and the esthetics ... (february 2008)

> read article

other press

  fréquence protestante
ici new york - "nicole renaud trouve sa voix"
a 15 minute interview by alexis buisson
march 1st 2008
> listen
radio david byrne
"a friend who relocated to california from new york said she missed hearing all the odd variety of music that was played around the office here. "i missed hearing what you are listening to" she wrote. this radio is my response." david byrne. nicole renaud "tu crois au marc de cafe" on the launching 3 hours playlist, looping for several weeks.
(march 28th 2005)

delta airlines and bangkok airways on flight radio
the song "mon coeur est un bouquet" selected on delta airlines on flight radio playlist for all delta flights world wide through the month of april.
(april 2006)
sveriges radio
sommar, a popular sweedish radio show hosted by karl magnus stolt on sweedish national radio sveriges radio, features nicole renaud's song "les amants solitaires". (july 26th 2006)
capri deluxe
"angel's voice at villa lysis ... " (july 2009)
> read article
time out new york
“captivating parisian songbird... sexy ethereal voice... bizarre beautiful costumes ... with a couturier’s flair... her beautiful crystalline voice is cool, quirky and refreshingly different... hand made costumes that rival galliano’s couture...” (march 4-11 1999)
> read article
time out new york- annual guide 2001
“light fantastic: cosmos and cabaret tunes make torch a bright idea...”
> read article
time out new york
“soul soothing music... this quirky parisian applies her crystalline voice to ancient chants, songs from hip french movies, and hauntingly original numbers that enya only wishes she could sing...” (january 17-24 2002)
> read article
côté femme
" -to be borne on the wings of music, swept away by its create a musical and visual world of my own, joyful to the ear and pleasing to the eye, that is my true quest- says nicole renaud. as any artist worthy of the name would say." (march 2006)
> read article
me - the keren ann's issue
singer songwriter keren ann has asked 15 of her friends to answer a proust's questionnaire ... (summer 2006)
> read article
capri review
“an ethereal soprano voice. in the background, villa lysis columns, the palace where baron fersen lived, at the turn of the century... the cd evoke the melancholy of love...” (september 2003)
> read article
cronache di napoli
“renaud and zweifel magical sounds ... immersed in the sublime garden of... axel munthe ... they gave an extraofinary and sublime concert...”
(tuesday june 1st 2004)
> read article
corriere del mezzogiorno
"pure and relaxing music..."
(august 18th 2005)

> read article
corriere del mezzogiorno
“after her shows at the capri palace, the exclusive anacapri hotel, her musical performances on the blue island continue ... a sound that could be defined as neo classical with an electronic touch...”
(sunday september 7th 2003)
> read article
vip in capri
“a special applause from the audience went for her interpretation of songs by luigi tenco... also ...latest remarquable work: poems by fersen she has set to music ... the inspiration to focus on baron fersen comes from her fascination for capri’s turn of the century elegance, mystery and melancholy...”
(saturday september 2003)
> read article
l’eco di bergamo
“cristalline quality of her voice and sense of scenography ... ”
(tuesday december 3rd 2004)
> read article
la voce di bergamo
"nicole's voice has a rare quality and the music composed by the singer is extremely elegant...
(january 2005)
> read article
mood -
“the gracious musical presence of nicole renaud, accompanied the journey through the four elements conceived for the event by turin chef and artist, davide scabin”.
(number 57, 2003)
> read article
“the big bash on august 10 featured betsey’s spring 2003 fashion show, on the day that coincidentally, happened to be her birthday - number 60 ... the poolside runway show opened with an accordion playing opera singer.”
(September 2002)
> read article

harper’s bazaar
"after midnight” fashion story by photographer antonio gabriel.
(november 2002)
> read article

the santa barbara independent
“space-age cabaret and off-kilter costuming...”
(3-10 october 2002)
> read article
santa barbara news press life
“spare inventive uses of light and appealingly surreal costume ... an urbane mermaid ... what makes ms renaud’s work ... memorable and worth tracking is that her ideas about drama and what constitutes cabaret, are her own.”
(october 8th 2002)
> read article
santa barbara news press scene
“a case of euro-sci-fi couture meeting perfomance artist sensibilities ... nicole renaud’s sound on accordion is something surreal and hypnotic ... retro futuristic costumes and creative lighting design, in addition to the dulcet tones of her opera-trained voice.
(september 27th - octobert 3rd 2002)
> read article