Recording studio reopens in Brad Pitt’s French villa

A legendary recording studio has come back to life, thanks in part to Brad Pitt.

Studio Miraval was the site of dozens of classic recordings including pink floyd Wall Y WHAM’s “Careless Whisper.” It sits on the extensive grounds of Miraval Castlea French villa owned by Pitt, 58, and Angelina Jolie47, and the location of their wedding in 2014. It is now a cause of legal disputes in the midst of their ongoing divorce.

in a new Billboard cover storyPitt and French producer Damien Quintard reveal the studio, which has been used by music icons such as AC DC, The cure, Elton John Y StingIt has been fully renovated just a year after Pitt announced it would reopen, and it gives an inside look at the process of upgrading the state-of-the-art space now known as Miraval Studios.

The facility was built in 1977 by then-owner Jacques Loussier, a French jazz pianist, and was ahead of its time, housing the first solid-state mixing desk in France. Built to reproduce the sound Loussier heard in concert hall performances, the large isolated installation also contained a separate drum chamber.

It remained in frequent use until the early 2000s, but gradually slowed after Loussier sold the property in 1992. When Pitt and Jolie first discovered the villa in 2008, the studio, including its in-house instruments, synthesizers, and equipment, was still available.


It wasn’t until last year that Pitt finally decided it was time to tackle the study head-on. “There were always plans to renovate the studio,” he said. Billboard. “It’s got a lot of historical provenance, so we didn’t want to do it until we could do something special.”

Quintard, 31, was exactly that something special for the Bullet train star, who said Billboard it was a “gut instinct” to hire the producer for the job.

“As a French engineer, it was a holy grail,” Quintard said of the experience of redesigning the space. “Miraval is one of those legendary and iconic studios. But it wasn’t until I came to Miraval that I understood how deep the roots go.”

When undertaking the renovation project, Quintard made sure to keep much of what gave the legendary studio its rich history.

“It was important to us to preserve all the analog technology that was here, but also fully incorporate today’s best digital technology,” he said. “We’re not here just to build a new studio – we’re here to honor a legacy.”

The guidance Pitt gave the young producer was to keep the focus on what the musicians would come here to do: create. “Let’s make a sanctuary for artists to come in and do their thing.”

In 2008, Pitt and Jolie signed a long term lease on the 1,200-acre estate before officially purchasing it in 2012 for an estimated $60 million. It was a popular vacation spot for the couple and their six children, and they held their wedding on its grounds two years later.

Since the news of their separation in 2019, the French winery has become a hot topic, as it is not only about real estate, but also involves the wine brand that the couple launched in 2013. Miraval Wines.

MICHEL GANGNE/AFP via Getty Images

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In October 2021, Jolie sold her interests at Château Miraval to Tenute del Mondo, whose parent company is spirits maker Stoli Group. According to legal documents obtained by PEOPLE in February 2022, Pitt alleges that Jolie made the sale despite their prior agreement that neither would do so unless the other person approved.

In the lawsuit, the Fight Club The actor claims that Jolie’s business, Nouvel, owed her company, Mondo Bongo, the right of first refusal and that the sale infringed that right. Pitt’s lawyers have also affirmed their belief that Tenute del Mondo is “determined to take control of Miraval”.

The move was one that Pitt believed was intended to cause her harm on purpose, as legal documents obtained by PEOPLE proven.

The actor accused his ex-wife of not contributing “in anything to the success of Miraval”, while the wine company became his “passion” project that grew “until it became a multi-million dollar global business” thanks to his work.

A cross complaint that Jolie filed in October says that Pitt’s claim is “false” and that “such an agreement never existed”. The filing also claimed that Jolie offered to sell the part of her to Pitt, but allegedly “demanded” that she sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibited her from “speaking outside of court about Pitt’s physical and emotional abuse of her and her children.” “.

“Jolie refused to accept such provision and Pitt walked away from the deal,” the attorneys say in the documents.

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