Bengal and Yann Falquet.

Hello, everyone!

I'm back from Canada, more precisely from Québec. I love Montreal! My friend Courtney and I were visiting Québec to meet with other friends and also to go to the festival Chants de Vielles - a fest on musique traditionnelle quebecoise that was held in Calixa-Lavallée, QC, from Sept. 7th till 9th. Since 2005, when I've met Benoit Bourque and the Quebecois band Le Vent du Nord, I'm in love with the infectious dance rhythm of this style of music! Exciting, danceable, exquisitely music composed about 200 years ago or more, that get a brand new interpretation in the hands of these talented modern musicians.

Everybody participating in the festival was a musician or someone that appreciates the Quebecois Traditional Music (QueTrad). The festival Chef Jocelyn Thouin (photo) is a poet that already published his works many times, and participated in many shows of poetry, improvisation and music. The accessibility of the artists is a common fact when it's about QueTrad, and the sense of collaboration and team-work helps create a family-friendly environment where friendship and the love for the music prevail.

I didn't attend all the shows and I didn't camp in the site of the festival, but I had a lot of fun during this trip. The talents that surprised and impressed me out there are Canadian artist Tobie Miller (voice and vielle à roue) and French artist Baptiste Romain (fiddle, bagpipes, vièle à archet). And I'm not a big fan of bagpipes, mind you. Tobie has a very well-trained voice and no mistakes were made in any of the shows. One of the songs she did that reminded me of my singing times back 10 years ago is Tumbalalaika that you can hear in her MySpace. I added the lyrics below in an earlier entry. This morning, I managed to get the parts of the song and work on the arrangement. I did the singing but am trying to play it in the violin. Singing and playing the violin at the same time don't seem to work quite well... :-D

Also, during the festival, I had the opportunity to meet with Yann Falquet from the Quebecois band Genticorum. Yann is one of the coolest guys I've met in this medium. We did an interview months ago for my other blog. It was nice to see him around although he wasn't performing. He introduced me to Marc Benoît that was a member of the former band Éritage, famous during the 70's to the point of having their own TV show. It was nice to meet him since I'm after some rare albums of that decade and he gave many interesting tips of where to get them, besides new references to other Quebecois artists.

Bernard Simard, former La Boutine Souriante and Le Vent du Nord, also performed this past weekend. In my opinion, Simard knows a lot about playing the guitar and I had the chance to listen to him playing some different tunes. His last work, Spectacle Solo, is a very interesting work - worth to check it.

In resume, I had a lot of fun during this fest and a nice rest away from all the stress of the work... I couldn't ask for anything else. Well, maybe a week more...



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