Ruth is a solo project by Parisian artist Thierry Muller. Thierry started working as Ilitch in the 1970s. The music for this project was mainly instrumental and was characterized by an abstract musicality mixing electronic and tampered instruments. He then put this project in the background to work on Ruth in 1982. Ruth looks like a group, but it’s actually his solo project. He called on musician and author friends to carry out this project. In the 1990s, he resumed his activities with Ilitch and Ruth and participated in many projects under his own name. In 2018, the limited cassette box ‘Ruth – Actrices’ was released.


Ruthはパリのアーティスト、Thierry Mullerによるソロプロジェクト。Thierryは1970年代にIlitchとしての活動を始めた。このプロジェクトの音楽は主にインストゥルメンタルであり、電子楽器と楽器を組み合わせた抽象的な音楽性が特であった。 その後、このプロジェクトをバックグラウンドに、1982年にRuthとしての活動を開始。Ruthはグループのように見えるが、実際には彼のソロプロジェクトである。 ただ彼はこのプロジェクトを実施するにあたりミュージシャンと作家の友人にに声をかけている。1990年代、彼はIlitcheとRuthで活動を再開し、自身の名前で多くのプロジェクトに参加。2018年には限定ボックス’Ruth – Actrices’をリリースした。

From left to right :
Thierry Muller, Frédérique Lapierre and maybe … Ruth Ellyeri.
Frédérique Lapierre is the author of ‘Misty Mouse’ and ‘Tu m’ennuies’, she sings on ‘Misty Mouse’, ‘Tu m’ennuies’ and ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo (Cotton Wool Mix 84)’.

Thierry Muller、Frédérique Lapierre 、そしておそらくはRuth Ellyeri。
Frédérique Lapierreは’Misty Mouse’と’Tu m’ennuies’の著者であり、’Misty Mouse’、’Tu m’ennuies’、’Polaroïd/Roman/Photo(Cotton Wool Mix 84)’で歌っている。


Celine Men’s Spring/Summer 2019 Campaign
Apple Music

This is Thierry’s another project.
Official Site


Provided by Thierry Muller for SEILIBRARY

Thierry Müller & Frédérique Lapierre
‘Mon Pote / Mescalito’
‘Far From Paradise’


Written By Sei

In 2019, Ruth attracted a lot of attention when ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’ was used as the soundtrack for Celine Spring/Summer 2019 Campaign. The song was actually released in 1985. Yes, Ruth is not a recent band. It is an important part of the genealogy of underground / alternative rock scene in Paris. Its standing position is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground in New York.

Hedi Slimane left Saint Laurent Paris in 2016 due to the different direction of branding. Despite the few years of vacancy, it seems that he actually moved to Celine almost seamlessly, as considering the transition readiness. Perhaps due to the short interval, the clothes did not show the drastic change in silhouette different from moving from Dior Homme to Saint Laurent Paris.

However the concept of innovating a brand was completely different from the previous brand. His aim was to express Frenchness in a modern way on Celine. It also has something to do with his homage to Yves Saint-Laurent, Céline Vipiana.

Also in his other major theme, alternative rock, it was also symbolic that he first appointed Parisian musicians. He uses La Femme who lead the modern French rock scene in Spring/Summer 2019 Collection and Ruth who is a cult of French Cold Wave era in its campaign. This is similar to that he used the songs of legendary blues musician Junior Kimbrough at the previous brand’s first show and at the second show, Ty Segall was the centerpiece of the LA rock scene, Ty Segall at the second show.

He consciously picked up on conservative fashion and alternative rock in Paris. This conceptual set of approaches would be a metaphor of his explicit intent. In other words, this is a declaration that his brand is a legitimate successor to both major and underground cultures in Paris. And it happened in the late 2010s, when the streets and hip-hop movements were at their peak.

Ruth is a conceptual project by Thierry Muller, He released two albums under the name Ruth: ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’ in 1985, ‘Far From Paradise’ in 2012 with Italian underground artist Mushy and ‘Actrices’ a limited cassette Art Box in 2018.

‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’ has gone through a rather strange process and has reached its current cult evaluation. First, Thierry made esoteric music under the name Ilitch in the 70s. However, when he saw French pop such as France Gall in the 80’s, he wants to experiment an album more Pop and started Ruth’s project (Digression:Hair & make of French Pop was the reference of that of the Women’s Spring/Summer 2020 Campaign). Surprisingly, this work was made for commercial success. He was trying to make a piece for girls to dance casually. He wrote the music and ask friends to write lyrics for ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’. However, when He tried to sell this work to major labels, it was refused every where. By the help of a friend He found a little unknown label who released it. At the time of its release, he has sell only few copies.

Ruth was then unearthed by enthusiastic music fans in the 2000s when the Internet culture matured. Ruth’s brilliant music has captivated enthusiasts and the album was reissued in CD and vinyl The tracks ‘Polaroid/Roman/Photo’ and ‘Mots’ included in many compilations. The original album released in 1985 is now traded at very high prices. And most recently, in 2019, Hedi featured Ruth in a campaign, which in turn drew a great deal of attention from the fashion industry.

This project called Ruth is like a trick. Ruth looks like a band, but actually Thierry’s solo project. The female name on the dedication (credit) was a rearrangement of his name. The work was written and played by him, and other instruments were played by invited friends. At the time It wasn’t as successful as the French Pop movement. But there was a unique personality on this work. Although unworded at the time, this approach is clearly that of indie/alternative rock.

And,This work is packed with the free and lively atmosphere of Paris in the early 1980s. I don’t know if Hedi knew Ruth from that time. However, it may be certain that he was attached to this work like time box of his youth era. Not only that, he would have felt a resonance of this work and the rise of the present Paris rock scene.

‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’, which is the title song of the album and used in the campaign, is overwhelming, but it is also great through the album. Especially the last song ‘Tu M’Ennuies’ is so beautiful. Poetry Reading by Frédérique Lapierre (the author) is reminiscent of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘La Collectionneuse’ produced by Beck.


2019年、Ruthは’Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’が Celine Spring/Summmer 2019 Campaignのサウンドトラックとして起用され話題を集めた。この曲が実際にリリースされたのは1985年である。そう、Ruthは最近のバンドではないのだ。それは、パリのアンダーグラウンドなオルタナティヴロックの系譜における重要な存在なのである。その立ち位置はニューヨークにおけるThe Velvet Undergroundを彷彿とさせた。

Hedi Slimaneは、ブランディングの方向性の違いから2016年にSaint Laurent Parisから脱退した。数年間の空白はあったが、移行の準備期間を考慮すると、実際には彼はほぼシームレスにCelineに移籍したと考えられる。インターバルの短さもあってか、Dior HommeからSaint Laurent Parisへ移行した際ほどの、ドラスチックなシルエットの変化は見られなかった。

しかしながら、ブランドを革新するためのコンセプトは、以前のブランドとは全く異なるものだった。彼の狙いは、Celineにおいてフレンチネスをモダンな形で再生することであった。それは彼が、創業者であるCéline Vipianaはもちろん、彼の恩師でもあるYves Saint-Laurentへのオマージュを捧げることとも関係している。

そしてまた彼のもう一つの主要なテーマであるオルタナティヴロックにおいても、まずパリのミュージシャンを起用したことも象徴的であった。彼はSpring/Summer 2019のコレクションでは現代のフレンチロックシーンを牽引するLa Femme、キャンペーンではフレンチコールドウェーヴのカルト的な存在Ruthを起用している。このことは、前ブランドの最初のショーで伝説のブルースミュージシャンJunior Kimbroughを、二番目のショーでLAのロックシーンの中心的な存在Ty Segallを起用していたこととピタリと符号する。


さて、RuthはThierry Mullerによるコンセプチュアルなプロジェクトであり、1985年に’Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’を、2012年にはイタリアのアンダーグラウンドなアーティストMushyとともに’Far From Paradise’というアルバム、2018年には ‘Actrices’と呼ばれる限定カセットアートボックスをリリースしている。

‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’は、いささか奇妙な経緯を経て、現在のカルト的な評価に至っている。まずThierryは、70年代において Ilitch という名のグループで難解な音楽を作っていた。しかし、80年代になってFrance Gallなどフレンチポップが成功しているのを見て、彼はよりポップなアルバムを実験的に作りたいと考え、Ruthの活動を始めた(余談:このフレンチポップ時代のヘアメイクはそのままWomen’s Spring/Summer 2020 Campaignのそれのモチーフとなっている)。意外にも、この作品は商業的な成功のために作られたのだ。彼は若い女性が気軽に踊るための作品を狙った。楽曲は彼自身が作曲し、友達に歌詞を書いてもらい制作された。しかし、この作品をメジャーレーベルに売り込もうとしたところ、どこに頼んでも断られてしまったというのだ。そのため友人の助けを借りて、未知のレーベルを見つけ、ようやくリリースした。しかし発売当時には、数枚しか売れなかったようだ。


Ruthと呼ばれるこのプロジェクトは、だまし絵のようなものだ。 バンドのように見えるが、実際にはThierryのソロプロジェクト。 クレジットに記載された女性の名前は、彼の名前を並べ替えたものである。作品は彼が作曲演奏し、彼以外のの楽器は招待された友達が演奏した。当時はフレンチポップほど成功しなかった。しかし、作品には独特の個性があった。当時は言語化されていなかったが、このアプローチは明らかにインディー/オルタナティヴロックのアプローチでもある。


アルバムの表題曲であり、キャンペーンにも起用された、’Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’は圧倒的であるが、アルバムを通しても素晴らしい。特に最後の曲’Tu M’Ennuies’は美しい。著者であるFrédérique Lapierreのポエトリーリーディングは、BeckプロデュースによるCharlotte Gainsbourgの’La Collectionneuse’を想起させる。

Celine Men’s Spring/Summer 2019 Campaign
Source: Celine’s Instagram


About Thierry Müller
What are the themes you are exploring through making music?
All my albums are ‘concept albums’ mainly related to events in my life, and on imaginary ‘films’. I don’t really know how to make music for music, I must have something to say to write. I need to have a story, a screenplay like a film maker to work.
Why did you choose Ruth your band name?
There was no research, it came unconsciously, just like that, obvious … Maybe because it was that of one of my childhood loves, and that I like this first name.
Who inspires you in this era?
A multitude of things … what can I say … LIFE, LOVE, DEATH!
Everything that touched me that I could express through my music, my photos, my graphic research …

About ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’
What is the most important thing that you want to communicate to listeners through this?
I wanted to do something the opposite of Ilitch (The band he belonged to before Ruth), more accessible, lighter, more ‘dancing’ … And especially to make an album intended for girls … The concept was to tell stories with ‘their eyes’ … Put myself in their situation, that they recognize themselves in these stories and also tell stories from my love life but seen as if I were on the other side, the girl side!
It was really the first time I worked on a concept including people to help me get exactly what I wanted. I was very afraid that I couldn’t do it because it was new to me. A confidence was installed and it was done very naturally.
Now how do you feel this work and this era?
Many good memories, this era was very open, creative, crazy too … And this album was a fabulous experience. I rarely felt that afterwards although it was very difficult to find a label and the release of the album was almost invisible, but I was sure I did something good, ‘significant’… It took two decades for this to be recognized!
How did you feel Celine Spring/Summer 2019 Campaign?
I was pleasantly surprised and honored by the request. The production of the video in black and white is magnificent, sensitive with a beautiful interaction between sound and images, these ones being one. The show was superb as well as the party which followed all night long.


About Thierry Müller


About ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’
Celine Spring/Summer 2019 Campaignに楽曲を提供したことについてはどのように感じましたか?



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