THE INK IS WHAT BLURS THE MIND WHEN IT COMES TO CREATIVE DECISION MAKING. IT IS THE CATALYST THAT DIVIDES MEANING AND CHAOS, AND THE BEGINNING OF ALL ORIGINALITY… IT IS THE CONSTRUCT THAT DEFINES THE WORK OF FRANCOIS RIVARD’S CONCEPTUAL, ELECTRONIC PROJECT, INK ELEMENT. BUILT ON A GROUNDED UNDERSTANDING OF SYNTHESIS AND CLASSIC LIVE-ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTATION, RIVARD’S MUSIC IS A POETIC MIX OF STORYTELLING AND INTELLIGENT SOUND DESIGN. Based out in Hong Kong, the French producer collates his lifelong experiences through his instrumental music, one that is heavily reliant on analogue synthesizers. Taking heed of classic-era house and electronic greats, Rivard builds upon his decades of experience as a producer and accomplished author, to create the deeply layered, digital stories that reflect his life as a European living in the East. Alongside his day-to-day projects, Rivard combines his work as a musician with that of a teacher, as he leads and programs production masterclasses, representing tech giant Arturia in the process, thanks to his synth competency. Rivard’s musical story begins all the way back in the 90s, playing in local bands throughout France. Around the turn of the century, the producer branched out into the digital sphere, collaborating with artists across the internet. Recording under the alias Kharoozle, two of his songs were licensed for the soundtrack of French production Dans la solitude des champs de coton, an adaption of the classic theatre piece written by Bernard-Marie Koltes. By integrating Ableton into his production setup in 2016, Rivard acquired a new and fresh outlook to his writing style. It was at this point the ideas for Ink Element started to take hold. This new music reflected Rivard’s life as an immigrant and finding his footing in a new environment, touching upon themes of expressiveness, communications and feelings. “It’s about what prevents a human being become him or herself,” he says about the idea’s that underlie the songs. In 2021, Rivard released his first music as Ink Element, True Love Never Dies; melodic, and buoyant instrumental essays, built around techno and house layers; songs that further showcased his aptitude as a producer, taking influence from the likes of Kraftwerk, Cocteau Twins, Aphex Twin, amongst others. For live performances, Ink Element turns into a collective of international musicians from Hong Kong and Korea, extending the songs with analog sounds. Along with DJing under the alias Fat Buryat, and his work as an as author — having released nine books to date, one of which Ukraine 20 Years was released back in 2011 — Rivard’s capacity for sophisticated and deep storytelling is what sets him aside as an artist and person in our large and complex society.