Isabelle Olivier – Harpist, composer, educator, and artistic director at Metamorphose


SMILE - Enja, 2021


  • Isabelle Olivier - acoustic and electronic harp
  • Kristiana Roemer - voice
  • Tom Olivier-Beuf - piano and accordion
  • Raphael Olivier - guitar and electronic production
  • Ernie Adams - drums

Recording track list

  1. Hope (Emily Dickinson / Isabelle Olivier)
  2. Light (Isabelle Olivier)
  3. Aroma (Isabelle Olivier)
  4. Cuban Smile (Isabelle Olivier)
  5. Smile (Charlie Chaplin / arranged by Isabelle Olivier)
  6. Harmony (Isabelle Olivier)
  7. You're too precious (James Blake / arranged by Isabelle Olivier)
  8. Freedom (Isabelle Olivier)
  9. Hip Hop (Isabelle Olivier)
  10. One for Daddy Oh (Nat Adderley / arranged by Isabelle Olivier)
  11. Smile electro (Charlie Chaplin / arranged by Isabelle Olivier)

Release info

Enja, 2021

To celebrate her 30 years of performing, harpist Isabelle Olivier releases her eleventh album “SMILE” with a tribute to Charlie Chaplin. The title, SMILE, is the fresh start for this radiant project. Isabelle Olivier explores new textures with her harp combining acoustic and electronic sounds to create a sophisticated, captivating, and stunning universe. The album contains eight original compositions and rearranged pieces by Charlie Chaplin, James Blake, and Cannonball Adderley.

15 years after her first solo album “Island #41” nominated to the French Jazz Victory, Isabelle Olivier composed again for a harp solo. Based in Chicago since 2012, Isabelle Olivier imagined this new project with the support of PianoForte Chicago Foundation during a creative artistic residency in 2020 and in 2021. She composed music at the crossroad of jazz, pop, electro, hip-hop, cuban, and celtic. While the majority of titles are solo, she also invited very special guests to collaborate on a few pieces, bringing their own touch and sensibility. These guests include Kristiana Roemer, a wonderful and moving singer on “Hope” with Emily Dickinson’s text and “Freedom”, Tom Olivier-Beuf for his remarkable talent on “Light” with his accordion, then for his piano’s solo with a cuban tribute “Cuban Smile”, Raphael Olivier for his amazing presence on the guitar on “Aroma” and “Cuban Smile” and his electro production on “Harmony”, “Smile Electro” and “You’re Too Precious” by James Blake, and finally the drummer Ernie Adams with his fantastic groove on “One for Daddy Oh” and “Cuban Smile”.

We can share a nice joke about this project: in 1991, Jean-Louis Chautemps, French jazz saxophonist, met Isabelle Olivier for the first time during his concert with her band “Ocean”, and says with a smile “As a jazz musician, the first 30 years are really difficult. Then, you will see, it will be much better”. 30 years later, it is now the perfect occasion for Isabelle Olivier to smile with you for this new release. Wish that her smile will be contagious!