MixTate Shcaa on Paul Klee

Paris-based producer and composer Shcaa reflects on the many shades of mystery in Paul Klee’s watercolour

Paul Klee
A Young Lady’s Adventure (1922)

I knew I wanted to work on a mix for a Paul Klee painting even before I had an idea of what I might find in the Tate collection. I have been captivated by his work for some time, and I think it is because I enjoy his balance, his delicacy in whispering to the subconscious. Klee elevated his art by intellectualising every facet of it – he knew what aspects needed to be considered and executed in a precise manner; at the same time, he also preserved other spaces for spontaneity where he could let the imperfections of organic life express themselves. This is something I reflect on a lot in my music. Nowadays, digital technologies provide us with a tremendous amount of control over sound. But how much can I control before losing the soul? Can life be reproduced in and through sound? Paul Klee surely believed that, through art, we can recreate a new nature – and this is a notion I cherish.

Klee’s images are also simply beautiful. It took me all of three seconds to fall in love with A Young Lady’s Adventure 1922, despite first seeing it through the filter of a pixelated computer screen. The mossy colours of the chiaroscuro were my primary inspiration and this is reflected in what might be called the ‘surface theme’ of the mix – the various ‘shades’ of the different musical pieces mingle and coalesce to produce a palette that, to my eyes and ears, feels similar to Klee’s.

Lingering over this watercolour gives me the sensation of a struggle: the encounter between the tame and the wild. A gracious, pure and naïve figure faces its greatest test which is not knowing. The wolf appears discreet at first, but his presence in the frame soon becomes unavoidable. Klee is unbelievably good at giving a mystical dimension to the unknown. Similarly, I tried to sustain a level of inscrutability throughout the mix. I enjoyed making some of the transitions between elements very apparent, without letting the story suffer. There is a kind of majesty in sharp contrasts.


1. Loren Mazzacane – An Air
2. Thomas Köner – Tiento De Las Nieves
3. Conjoint – Concessions
4. Heitor Villa-Lobos – Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 for flute and bassoon – I. Ária (Chôro)
5. Supersilent – 6.6
6. Ánde Somby – Wolf
7. Shima33 – Expression 2F: Weightless Upon Midnight
8. Alexander Scriabin – Feuillet D'album, Op. 58
9. Oren Ambarchi – Inamorata
10. James Green – Ribbon
11. Loren Mazzacane – Untitled
12. Shcaa – Suspicions of Weakness

Shcaa is a producer and composer based in Paris. His debut LP Golconde is released by Sharingtones.

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