Sade makes new music at Brad Pitt and Damien Quintard’s revived Miraval Studios

Sade recorded new music at the recently reopened Miraval studios in Correns, France.

“You could feel the love she and the band had for this place,” French producer and composer Damien Quintardco-owner and operator of Miraval, said of Sade and his band, the first artists to record at the iconic studio since it reopened after being closed for more than 20 years.

The new music is Sade’s first since his 2010 albumsoldier of love, and the 2018 single, “Flower of the Universe”, which appeared on the soundtrack of the adaptation of A shortcut in time as well as “The Big Unknown” for the soundtrack of the film directed by Steve McQueen widows.

In 2021, Quintard, along with co-owner and operator, actor Brad Pitt, renovated and redesigned the studio where Pink Floyd recorded The wall and The Cure once pulled out for two weeks to record their 1987 double album Kiss me, kiss me, kiss mewriting and recording the hit “Just Like Heaven” there.

First opened in 1977 by French pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, then owner of the estate, as Studio Miraval, the newly reconstructed space is on the property of Château Miraval in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. ‘Azur in France, which also includes a sprawling vineyard and estate owned by Pitt and his ex-wife Angelina Jolie.

Also renamed by Quintard and Pitt, Miraval Studios has been renovated to honor the studio’s past while providing a more modern recording experience. For decades since it opened, Queen, Elton John, Sting, Shirley Bassey, The Cranberries, Muse, AC/DC and many more called Miraval Studios “home” before closing in the early 2000s.

Brad Pitt (l) and Damien Quintard at Studios Miraval (Photo: Hélène Hadjiyanni)

Equipped with the largest fully integrated Dolby Atmos Music system and built around The Spaceship, a Quintard and Pitt-designed console with hybrid analog and digital capabilities, the studio also features many original features, including the SSL 4000 G+ console system used on a number of classic albums. The concert hall also houses Loussier’s restored 1860s Broadwood & Sons piano, as well as other synths and pianos, including an 1980s Bosendorfer, as well as Moogs, Junos, and Solinas. Other recording booths mix vintage and modern microphones with other rare equipment, workstations for sound and video editing,

The 25-foot ceilings in Studio One’s smallest control room and concert hall retain the “sound heritage” of the space, according to Quintard, while the new design pushes the acoustics further. “It really is a space where you can produce anything from pop and rock to hip-hop and classic records,” Quintard said.

Miraval also has a mezzanine overlooking the entire studio, a saltwater pool, and a tower connected to the studio to accommodate bands and musicians visiting the property.

“It was important to us to preserve all the analog technology that was here, but also to fully integrate the best digital technology of today,” Pitt says in a recent interview. “Making a desk that incorporates both analog and digital really allows the artist to use the best of both worlds in new and fresh ways. We wanted to create a space of freedom and it is in this mind that we approached it. Let’s make a sanctuary.

Pitt added, “I’m really excited to see what music comes out of here.”

Photo: Sony Music

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