Le Vent du Nord – La Part du Feu

These are the sounds of celebration, dance, heartbreak and unrequited love, lived out in a small village where the stuff of life is experienced and honored communally and daily by its residents. 

Some highlights:

Petit Reve V takes me to a quiet, lonely place by a wide deep lake covered with the mist of a new morning. 

Elise feels like a love story with agonized and unfulfilled promises.  Stunning.  

Le Coeur en Trois is a happy stomp and romp around a large kitchen with aprons flying and random footprints left in the flour dusted liberally on its floor. 


Le Coeur En Trois 

Octobre 1837

The North Wind – By Fire is the literal translation of the band’s name and the title.   It is described as:

Windswept Traditions, Québécois Revolution, and Historical Sojourns Made New: Le Vent du Nord Has One Foot in the Past While Winking at the Future

I truly can’t find anything unlikable in this music.  It is required listening for anyone with a “world music” itch or a deep love for Celtic musical tradition. 

Le Vent du Nord is a folk music group from Quebec, Canada. The band, formed in 2002, performs traditional Quebecois music (which is heavily influenced by Celtic music from both Ireland and Brittany) in French. The group’s membership consists of Réjean Brunet (vocals, diatonic button accordion, acoustic bass guitar), Simon Beaudry (vocals, guitar, Irish bouzouki), Olivier Demers (vocals, fiddle, foot-tapping), and Nicolas Boulerice (vocals, hurdy gurdy, piano accordion, piano). All three of their recordings have been nominated for multiple awards; the first two have received awards. From Wiki

The title of their latest album La Part du Feu (November 3, 2009; Borealis Records) hints at this dual objective, coming from an old French proverb which states that one must give to the fire its share, or forfeit something in order to build our collective future. Without sacrificing the integrity of their heritage, the group uses the kindling of the past to produce a hotbed of creativity. By welding a wealth of musical genres into a seamless artistic statement, the band successfully lights their way forward. The members of this ensemble have a keen sense of their local history, seeking to recover, restore, and reinvigorate Canada’s deep musical roots, so that they may blossom once again in a modern setting.

“Through traditional songs we discover pieces of our history,” says founding member, pianist, accordionist, and hurdy-gurdy player Nicolas Boulerice. “The songs provide direct contact with a moment from long ago, showing us what life was like at that time.” Accordionist Réjean Brunet adds, “On this record we wanted to put a spotlight on the texts of the songs to bring out their stories. We wanted to show that this music is not just for parties, but can also tell us about who we are as Québécois.”

Le Vent du Nord handles parallel traditions with an incredible facility. They take themes from estranged cousins of musical culture and reunite them in sanguine harmony. The group sails across the Atlantic, both on tour and in their music, tying French enclaves and songwriters over four centuries into a polyphonic common history. These songs crossed the ocean once, and Le Vent du Nord takes them back again, bringing us along for the discovery, for the fight, for the voices of people who once made poetry.

~ by castleqwayr on October 29, 2009.

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