Live sessions at Flow Studios

A few weeks ago, we received the artists Christof van der Ven, Malena Zavala and Tommy Heap for a week of residential recording at the studio. They arrived from London to arrange and record new material with talented musicians Tommy Heap and Chris Maas.

Malena Zavala is a multi-faceted artist: singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who produces between the UK and Spain. Originating from Spain, Malena, has remained very close to her Latin culture. Her music is inspired by many musical genres such as cumbia, reggaeton and Argentinean folk music, without forgetting dream-pop and indie. This fusion of influences, supported by powerful lyrics, creates a unique brand of music rich in feeling.

Christof van der Ven is a London-based songwriter and musician. In just a few years he has become a prominent figure on the British folk scene, notably with the band Bear’s Den with whom he tours. Concurrently, Christof is increasing his projects and collaborations, as in 2021 with his EP Great Parade produced with the artist Jolé. The honesty of his lyrics alongside his singular voice tinged with nostalgia, deliver particularly intimate and touching tracks.

The objective of the week-long residency was to record and film live sessions of the artists performing new material, created or developed during thier residency at Flow Studios. In order to make this project a reality, the team worked together in collaboration, alongside experienced session musicians Chris Maas and Tommy Heap.

Tommy Heap is a solo artist, multi-instrumentalist and arranger who performs both on tour and in the studio. For over 15 years he has been playing for artists such as Matthew & the Atlas, Billie Marten, Blanco White and Wildwood Kin. In parallel, he released his first singles in 2021 and continues to develop his own music.

Chris Maas has been a drummer and percussionist for over 20 years. He has played all over the world with Matt Corby, Example and The Pierces. In 2014 he was approached by multi-award winning folk band Mumford & Sons and became their full time touring drummer. It was while documenting his experience as a professional musician that he began film photography; a passion that became his second profession.

At Flow Studios, the artists worked on three different songs in just five days: A different Path (Malena Zavala), Blowing This Wide Open (Christof van der Ven) and Ash (Tommy Heap).

Our two residences located above the studio helped the artists to become completely immersed in the project during their stay. This was enhanced by the tasty delicious French food served throughout the week thanks to our selected caterers.

The artists really enjoyed the environment in which the studio is located. Between two sessions, they went to discover the surroundings, resting their ears during a beautiful walk in a forest which is located directly behind Flow Studios.

After finalising and recording these new tracks, the musicians were filmed by the Rennes-based collective Voyons VOIR, which specialises in capturing live sessions in unusual locations.

This unique experience inspired a fruitful collaboration between the four artists. The three tracks can now be seen on our YouTube channel.

A big thank you to Malena, Christof, Tommy and Chris for this great week!