TØKIO M¥ERS Unveils a Timeless Composition for Jaeger-LeCoultre

The British musician premiered his latest work live in Los Angeles and sat down to discuss the Swiss valley that inspired it

Photography by JASON SEAN WEISS/BFA.com




Jaeger-LeCoultre brought its ephemeral 1931 Cinema to Westfield Century City to celebrate the American premiere of The Golden Ratio Musical Show set to an original symphony composed by Tøkio M¥ers on Thursday, June 22. Riley Keough, Miles Fisher, Levi Dylan, and Ximena Lamadrid joined the Swiss watch house’s Catherine Rénier and Anne-Laure Ritter at the drive-in-style open-air theater for a gala dinner and M¥ers’ live performance of his Timeless symphony paired with Los Angeles’ L.E.Orchband. The music accompanied an immersive digital show projected onto a giant screen of falling water commissioned by Jaeger-LeCoultre as part of its Made of Makers program of artistic collaborations. The hybrid project highlighted the elemental links between beauty found in nature and in objects created by artisans like the Reverso watch’s Art Deco design — all following the golden ratio that defines artistic harmony. “I love L.A. and the U.S. so much. It’s got such a vibrant feel and the energy is electric,” says M¥ers. Here, the British musician shares his inspiration for creating the new work and his personal interpretation of Art Deco.




C Magazine: How do you begin contemplating your compositions before you start to write?

Tøkio M¥ers: My inspiration came from my visit to the Vallée de Joux. I had the most amazing experience meeting the Jaeger-LeCoultre craftspeople, hearing the sounds from the machines being used, and seeing firsthand how the team works. I went back to London feeling inspired.

C: Your visit to the watchmakers in the Swiss Jura mountains inspired the new work?

TM: The Vallée de Joux is such a serene and wonderful place to be — so calm, incredibly peaceful, the perfect environment for creating. Having a clear canvas to work from and allowing the still and quiet surroundings to act as the foundation of my creative process allows me to be more focused. It births the space to allow creativity to flow through.

C: Do you normally create new work in a more frenetic environment?

TM: I live quite remotely now in nature, away from all of the big city hustle and bustle, and I much prefer it. I need to have super calm and peaceful surroundings. I want to create something that is going to fill the quiet open space. I love that there are similarities between how I work and how the watchmakers at the Vallée de Joux work.


“I created the piano’s opening theme sitting with a display of Art Deco prints in front of me in my studio. I zoned into these patterns, allowing my fingers to flow over the piano keys mimicking their shapes.”




C: How did the golden ratio shape your initial ideas for this music?

TM: I decided to use a tempo of 161.8 BPM as the tempo for the entire short symphony, incorporating the number Phi, 1.618, as the driving heartbeat for the Timeless symphony. I also wrote this piece in the key of G minor. I have synesthesia and I see G minor as the color yellow-gold, which felt like the perfect key to write the golden ratio–inspired composition in.

C: And the Reverso watch, created in 1931, also played a role in the structure of your work?

TM: Studying the shapes and lines used for the Reverso watch was a lot of fun for me. The watch has four sides, and we decided to have four musical chapter themes (Nature, Science, Art, and Design) that would represent each side. I began using sounds that would reflect the machine sounds I heard at the manufacturer. You can hear machine-like sounds in the percussion parts playing in the Science chapter.

C: The Reverso emerged at the height of the Art Deco era. What does that time period bring to mind for you musically?

TM: The iconic shapes and patterns are what make this era so recognizable. The set from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ballet Scheherazade is a great example of how music and art can create a compelling sensory experience. The Timeless composition uses spiral-sounding synthesizers, and the live strings play motifs that I feel reflect the shapes and patterns from that era. I created the piano’s opening theme sitting with a display of Art Deco prints in front of me in my studio. I zoned into these patterns, allowing my fingers to flow over the piano keys mimicking their shapes. I actually ended up using my first piano takes from my recording session!



TØKIO M¥ERS, Matthieu Levoyer.


Riley Keough.


Catherine Rénier, Ryan Goldston, Adam Goldston, Anne-Laure Ritter.


Levi Dylan.


Juan Pablo GarcÍa, Ximena Lamadrid, Anne-Laure Ritter.


Feature image: Photography by Jason Sean Weiss/BFA.com.


June 30, 2023.

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