english booklet

Hi there !

Isn’t evolution a grand thing? Research and development…

Each of the pieces on this album has been composed as a short movie. They picture various moods or sensations felt during comical or weird situations. For example, I composed Petite Milonga pour Coquettes et Machos, imagining the images of a hoodlum of questionable morals, and who’s nocturnal visits to my neighbour’s apartment were nothing short of an epic saga.

With a nod to experimental film, the suite Airs à Faire Frire was composed during research seeking to demystify the ‘wobbling’ sounds of Erik Satie’s compositions. One of my discoveries was the 3 movements suite titled Airs à Faire Fuir. As an homage to Satie, I composed my own 3 movements suite and gave it the tongue in cheek title, Airs à Faire Frire. In the first movement a dream-like atmosphere is evoked by a sonic improvisation: all the musicians are required to produce undetermined pitches: no  »notes » are allowed! The other two movements retain the  »bats in the belfry » aesthetic; moreover, their titles even suggest it (Satie l’Insatiable ne Danse pas du Ventre [Satie the Insatiable Doesn’t Belly Dance] and Rencontre de Funambules [A Tightrope Walkers’ Meeting]).

Let us now move away from from this decidedly warped space and enter a more contemplative mood. My passion for Chinese martial arts and their philosophies led me to investigate Mandarin. L’Automne du Cœur [Heart’s Autumn] was composed after having been inspired by the images brought forth by the Chinese chracter 愁 (chóu). Let me explain: The ideogram representing  »autumn, » 秌 (qiū), is formed by combining the words  »cereals » 禾 (hé) and  »fire » 火(huǒ). When we add  »heart, » 心 (xīn), underneath it we obtain 愁 (chóu) or  »heart’s autumn. » Is that not a delicious way to describe  »melancholy? »
Similarly, Annie et les Oiseaux [Annie and the Birds] was composed as a tribute to my Kung Fu teacher, Mr Yang.

After all this contemplation let’s now examine human behaviour. Vol de Nuit, Hyperformance and L’art de se Peinturer dans le Coin were all composed for solo performances I gave at the Gesù in Montréal, in 2011. Vol de Nuit [Fly by Night] is an homage to the writer, pilot and eternal child St-Exupéry. When I wrote Hyperformance I had in mind images of men and women who devote themselves tirelessly to a job they often don’t like (or even hate) while neglecting some or all other aspects of their non-working lives. (Their attitude reminds me of a mouse in its carousel…) L’art de se Peinturer dans le Coin pictures a person who paints an entire room without thinking ahead and, of course, finds himself/herself stuck in a corner later on.

Le Marchand de Rêves Phénicien [The Phoenician Dream Merchant] was born of an exercise. A rhythm in 6/8 and a Phrygian mode were imposed; the rest was a result of experimentation. I leave it for you to describe for me the images evoked.

The complete title of C’est comme ça is: C’est comme ça, on n’y peut rien. Les choses sont comme elles le sont, même si on voulait que ça soit autrement, c’est comme ça. Basically it means : it’s like that. Things are as they are. Whether we like it or not, it’s like that.

Voilà ! This album offers a musical diaporama that portrays several slices of life. To take up Claude Fradette’s (Richard Desjardins’ guitar player) expression: ‘music is like cinema for the blind.’

Come and greet me at our next show in your town!
Cheers,
Sylvain

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