Pianist and composer Lorraine Desmarais is known in Canada, the USA, Europe, Mexico, China, Indonesia, and Africa for her solo, trio and big band performances. She has also appeared with many symphony [...]
They spoke about it
1. Couleurs de lune
Beyond the sea and mountains shines the moon… Throughout my writing of the pieces on the itinerary of this musical voyage, the moon was ever my confidante. At times a romantic moon, she evoked Latin influences; at other times a full moon, her luminous energy flooded me with jazzy moonbeams ; and in the calm and quiet of her moon dust sprinkling down, some rather unheard of harmonies were born under my fingers. I can’t promise you the moon, but I hope that as you listen to the jazz and Latin moods of this recording, she will inspire you and fulfill your wildest musical dreams…
2. Forever young
Youth is shaped by voyages. Discovering new landscapes has an improbable effect on our musical sensitivity, taking us into a world without time. Young, old, young again… Like the very first day, the trio is reborn through a spontaneous and vibrant music in which complicity and passion burn brightly. Every day, we are given a new chance to create unique moments of music… Eternal youth…
A memory of a February evening when the first notes of this piece sounded, a composition dedicated to an inspiring place : Rose. Rising proudly above the neighbourhood of Ste-Rose de Laval, the church of Ste-Rose-de-Lima is a historic place — at some point, there’s always one like it in every city we live in. It was an intimate concert… I was playing “at home.” A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and I felt sweet serenity, yet I always lack the words to express it…
4. How can youmiss a fruit salad ?
An amalgam of notes, a mishmash of rhythms, a variegation of solos, a confetti of sounds—this is a fruit of an impetuous dialogue between piano, bass and drums. Or is it instead a secret recipe book for mixing textures and colours and playing them with the spontaneity of the moment ? A bouquet of flavours, a feast of nuances, delectable fun, and above all, a delicious imbroglio for three !
A pleasant “resto-club” where music breaks out all night long… Passionate people who know how to get Quebecers in tune with jazz that can be outspoken, intimate, romantic and some¬times daring. Each improvisation is a special moment that rouses the spirits of the loyal and sympathetic patrons. The trio makes use of the expressive colours of each instrument in this slow movement, “largo” being the Italian word for “broadly.” Piano, bass and drums engage in a conversation that reveals a certain taste for risk-taking.
6. Week-end à Toulouse
There are some magnificent places in this world, and in France’s “pink city” the Jacobins Cloister is one of those legendary spots where the piano resonates joyfully in all its splendor. Everything inspired me : my precious few hours in this heart-shaped city, my appreciative steps toward the Canal du Midi, a delicious cup of coffee on the Place du Capitole, a more than welcoming audience, and a magical memory of a superb song by Claude Nougaro… Qu’il est loin, mon pays… Toulouse !
This song asks of the milonga that which it can’t fully accomplish. The jazz dialogue is too strong and relentless, with impos¬sible flourishes of tango. More than ever, the
improvisations try to impress each other with their elegance and delicacy. In the shadow of some mischievous bass banter and a capering piano recitative, the drums politely offer a distinguished tempo, bolstered by the most genial of gallantries.
Mysterious breath of a melody on a gracious rhythm inspired by the memory of a Mexican bolero. Like a choreography, a ballet, a dance, this Latin-tinged piece led me to improvise an expressive dialogue like a pas de deux. We three were beside the companionable blue sea of the city of Zacatecas, we drifted apart on the waves for a time, before coming back together on stage very late at night… ¡Buenas noches!
Distant and mysterious China… Shanghai… a day filled with four-thousand-year-old treasures, illuminated at night with the scents of a futuristic city… Gulangyu… a fascinating island of a thousand dreamy, exotic pianos… Quindao… Jazz, a poetic experience, delight¬ful food. Beijing… memories of a concert at the Theatre of the Forbidden City. Through conquests, emperors and dancers’ masks, everything oscillates between yin and yang, if only in the discovery of the imaginary in the Land of the Rising Sun. Tsai-Tsien ! we said to ourselves… Goodbye !
10. Danny Boy (Londonderry Air)
The ultimate voyage, perhaps ? With this la¬ment of a parent for their son going off to war, there’s no need to describe the huge challenge of creating a personal interpretation of a piece that has moved so many people with both its beautiful melody and its deeply touching words. This is how our own voyage comes to an end. Oh Danny Boy… Come ye back when summer’s in the meadow/ Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow.
© Lorraine Desmarais
Translation : Peter Christensen