Okay… yes, an explanation is in order. And, this is going to be a bit lengthy. Why am I going by the “stage name” Paul La Tourette for my music? And, why am I using French? Well, it’s actually a bit complex to explain. But, it all started with this very cute little stuffie…
Allow me to introduce Ze Noble Beast (said with a French accent). He’s a goofy voice character that I created, to bring this Squishmallow to life. He always speaks in a French accent. He’s very arrogant and fragile. However, he has a heart of gold. And, he loves, and adores my children.
As a unicorn, he loves to do all manner of magical things for them—like creating a beautiful sunset of cotton candy. He often pretends to be very offended if my children tease him, or say anything he might feel was insulting. Anyway, the reality? Yeah, just a cute little character I created to help my children smile. And, he was the first character I created, and therefore he’s kind of the main character over all the other Squishmallow characters that followed.
The next step? Well, I started exploring animation with my children. And I produced the following animated short. However, I needed to provide a title and studio name, and I ended up thinking about Ze Noble Beast, and decided to kind of continue the French theme. So, our “studio,” I named Petite Studio, and I used a French title for the short. From there, I created a few more animated shorts.
The final short, was Flottant Le Soir, which was dedicated to my Uncle Harvey in the last few frames of the short. He had passed away very near the time that I created the short. That short was very difficult for me to produce because I was so sad that he had passed away. So, that is where the connection between the French I was using linked to Harvey, and my mother’s lineage. It was honestly all kind of accidental. But, I am a descendent of the La Tourette family through my mother. And, therefore, I am part French from my maternal family line.
So, that is where the connection with French became much more personal and meaningful for me. So, my love of classical music, and in fact being a musician and composing music, I largely credit my mother for instilling in me. She played classical piano very beautifully. And, as a child, I used to play with my Legos, among other toys, while my mom played all kinds of beautiful classical music on Public Radio for us to listen to. In time, I took classical piano lessons for many years, as well as Cello lessons. Yo-Yo Ma was in fact one of my biggest “heroes” as it were. His performances of Bach are still some of my favorite music to listen to.
From there, my development in music actually was altered forever by my older brother Mark. He introduced me to “popular” music. Basically, contemporary pop, rock, etc. In time, he also introduced me to blues, progressive rock, classic rock, and many other genres of music I had never heard before.
At one point in my past, I learned to play the guitar, I was in a band (although we were pretty awful). And, in time I began exploring all kinds of different genres of guitar music, and composing acoustic pieces on guitar. When I was in the band was when I first started exploring music production. And, when our band recorded some songs, I was exposed to digital audio production software.
From there, I got into electronic music production with my Mac Pro, and produced several pieces many years ago. Unfortunately, I lost those audio files. But, all of this, is what lead to my current experiences with music.
So, Paul? Okay. That is my middle name, which was given to me in honor of my mother’s father, who had the same middle name. So, considering all of this, I decided to use my middle name, and my mother’s maiden name, to show my connection with her, my grandfather and the entire La Tourette family line.
So, do I speak French? No. But, I know a little bit, and I’m now learning French. And, this is a very odd connection. But, the voice character Ze Noble Beast, actually was inspired by a wonderful French pastry chef, Jacque Torres. I loved watching his show, and he always made me smile at the end of every episode of his show, because he would always end the show with the phrase, “Life iz zweeter with dezerts!” And, the truth is that for me and my children, “life iz zweeter with Ze Noble Beast in it.”
So, Paul La Tourrette? Yeah, some heavy connections, but also some lighthearted ones. And mom, though you are no longer with me, I use this name in honor of you.