Songs to rediscover - Bouteille agréable
There are encounters that simply seem to have been dreams. Either by its beauty, its strangeness or its surrealist side. With this song, we rather had the feeling of having lived a privileged summer moment. A brief encounter, a precious moment that disappears so quickly that we doubt it ever happened. To add to the phenomenon, the Radio-Canada productions that had brought us together on this set – producing a web and radio series – were going to broadcast it over a short period of time. As if faced with a wise man who had momentarily parked himself in the middle of a seaside youth hostel, we made music by integrating this touch of spirituality that Harry Manx offers with every song he performs. That he had also offered to the four of us. We sang in English with him, for him and for the only time in our career. Well, for now. He also sang in French, embraced the words of our ancestors and improvised on their music, on our music. The impression of being friends, then disappearing. Thank you for these beautiful memories, Mr. Harry. The door will always be wide open to you, then tea, hot and fragrant.
Nicolas Boulerice — Le Vent du Nord
“It was in the summer of 2017, on a beautiful warm and sunny day, at the top of a road in Saint-Côme. The three members of De Temps Antan were together for yet another day in the studio. The good mood reigned since the beginning of this adventure, thanks in particular to our friend André Marchand who took care of us behind the console. We were at Studio de la Côte Jaune, on the road between Saint-Côme and Sainte-Émélie-de-L’Énergie, in northern Lanaudière, in the heart of evergreen forests, at the foot of a mountain, in the barn where Ti-Do Beaudry, Eric’s grandfather, used to play the violin. A precious place where many musicians came for a song, a fiddle tune or just a beer.
In fact, it was during a recording day of the piece “Anaë toujours” that several jokers, who came to greet us on the way, kindly stayed to taste some grilled meats, listen to our work and even push a few notes of contagious joy that were motivated by the friendship we have for each other and also by a few small glasses of courage.
Among them was Jean-Claude Mirandette. He was doing well despite his illness. The big smile, his speech so rich, his eyes sparkling. What a pleasure it was for all of us to spend the evening with him. Words are lacking.
«JC-JP» was composed by Éric as a tribute to his two great friends of long standing: Jean-Claude Mirandette and Jean-Paul Loyer. At their side, Éric took some of the first steps in his career as a professional musician, here and elsewhere, while continuing to rub shoulders with them, in life and on stage, until the end. Since I’ve known Éric, I can’t count all the stories he’s told me about them. Some more than once.
This composition, reminds me of the summery human warmth, the meetings between friends, the sun, the chats. In these difficult times when the crisis is hitting too many people and restricting us in our gatherings that are so dear to us, this melody accompanies me as I wait for new times.
«JC-JP» brings us back to indestructible friendships, great days, unforgettable memories.“
— David Boulanger, De Temps Antan
“I’ve always been surprised at the musical possibilities that three chords offer! For this tune, we are talking about E minor, C major and D major. The intro is quite simple: the double bass plays two notes of each chord in turn, and the fiddle responds to it. The mandolin comes later and plays the melody. The piece is actually a big crescendo from the beginning to the very end.
It is from 6/8 Bourassa (hence the title “Boubou”) and a composition by Brian Hébert that we composed, arranged and embellished the piece with different parts. The brilliant string arrangement is by Simon Marion. It is worth noting the indispensable contribution of the string section at the time, which included Nathalie Haas on cello and Stéphanie Lépine on fiddle and viola.”
Photo credit: Christine Prudhomme
— Simon Lepage, Les Grands Hurleurs
” I’d like to introduce you to the tune Souffle d’ange from the album Tromper le temps by Le Vent du Nord. It is a composition by my brother Réjean. We were in Lacolle, Quebec, a few years ago, in our basement with our instruments. That’s where we used to hang out a lot. At one point, Réjean made me listen to a piece. I find it very beautiful. I tune my fiddle « en vielle », and I played with him. It remains a beautiful moment for me. A few years later, he offers me the album. I listen to Souffle d’ange which reminds me of one of my recent composition (also in A): Quand soufflent les anges. There was a breath that had joined us in our music. Good listenning .”
— André Brunet, Le Vent du Nord
“In the series of songs that you wouldn’t have heard this spring in our show, I have chosen to present a memorable title for our group; Corsaire.
In 2002, I came across the compilation Chants et Complaintes Maritimes des Terres françaises d’Amérique and thus discovered this beautiful Cajun ballad Le Corsaire Le Grand Hurleur sung by Marce Lacouture.
I’ve listened to it over and over again dozens of times, thinking that one day I might be able to make a version of it worthy of the album… A few years later, in 2009, when we formed our group, I brought out this song again, telling myself it was time.
Since we didn’t have a band name at that time, and the more we worked on this song, the more we saw that it was going to become a strong title of our first record, we decided at that time that the name of this boat was also going to become the name of our band; Les Grands Hurleurs (The Great Howlers).
The ballad being long, we first worked out arrangements in a big crescendo, at the time with Simon Marion. We also used an electro side to stand out from the original version. And then we played it. We played it live on stage dozens of times. Audiences from all over the world have sung Zimbalazim boom boom. It was a special souvenir of a big festival in Germany, 20,000 of them sang with us. Thrills every time.
Then time went by, then our repertoire grew, two more albums came out as well. We put our ballad aside. To let it rest for a while.
Until 2018, when we started working on our album Chouïa. This record, also a nod to our 10 years of existence, gave us the idea of rearranging one outstanding song from each of our albums. The choice was obvious: we were going to cover Corsaire from our first album.
We wanted a more bare, more organic, more mysterious and more discreet version, but just as intense. That’s why we called in our friends from the Esca quartet and François Vallières, who play string arrangements.
The arrangement of the strings, which leads to a whirlwind, a maritime storm, comes alongside the text and gives a symphonic and grandiose character to the turn of events.
Here is the result.
And to hear the original version by Marce Lacouture, you can click on the following YouTube link.
Photo credit: Christine Prudhomme
— Nicolas Pellerin, Les Grands Hurleurs
“I’d like to introduce you to the song Le gros Richard, which was very well performed by Bernard Simard, taken from the first album of Le Vent du Nord in 2003.
This song shows that, since its beginnings, the band has wanted to revisit the songs with a very personal approach, from a new angle.
We clearly feel the desire to unite the more «classical» sounds with traditional songs, a desire that will lead us to the show Les Voix du Vent (which will be released shortly), through symphonic concerts and performances with the Quatuor Trad.
On this piece, we have arranged a «folk quartet», with hurdy-gurdy, accordion, violin and cello (Jeanne de Chantal Marcil from the Quatuor Claudel-Canimex), which coated the song about extreme poverty that Bernard interprets with his guitar in «finger style». The melodic lines, which accumulate throughout the piece, evoke the melodic counterpoints of the baroque period and mark a little the timelessness of the text.
Finally, the dichotomy between the text and the arrangement reinforces the point. The character living without any money, with no material goods, confesses his happiness in a frank and unadorned way. A form of inner richness that the «baroque» arrangement proposes to accentuate.
I’ve been listening to Maudite moisson! since the death of my friend Bernard. I want to thank him again by presenting this song to you.
P.S. These arrangement concepts can be found in other songs from Le Vent du Nord such as Dans les cachots (Tromper le temps), Louisbourg (Territoires) and even, in a way, on La mine (La part du feu).
— Olivier Demers, Le Vent du Nord
“That was 20 years ago. My maternal grandmother, Marie-Ange, is very sick. I sit at her bedside and ask her questions to find out where she comes from, who she is. She tells me the story of the three Roy brothers who came from Brittany and settled in Mont-Joli. They build three windmills and water mills. My grandmother was born in one of these mills. This story is really very beautiful and inspiring. Soon after, I find myself alone in Lyon. While walking, I discovered by chance a Roman amphitheatre. I spent the whole week in that particular place to write the song Les trois frères Roy, which ended up on the album Maudite Moisson! “
— Nicolas Boulerice, Le Vent du Nord
“Today, I am presenting the first song I proposed to Le Vent du Nord during our first rehearsals at my home in St-Ambroise de Kildare in the spring of 2004. Big change in my life! At the dawn of my 27th birthday, with great excitement and pride in succeeding Bernard Simard, I began a new chapter in my young career and the recording of my first album Les amants du St-Laurent. You will find in 7th position “Le Bon Buveur“! Good listening!”
— Simon Beaudry, Le Vent du Nord