Jean-Michel Blais – aubades (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:06 minutes | 698 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Mercury KX
aubades, the new album from post-classical piano icon Jean-Michel Blais, marks the Montreal-born musician’s transition from pianist to composer, as he writes for an ensemble for the first time in his career. Written during the pandemic and following a breakup, Blais has used his distinctive musical voice to create a defiantly uplifting record with glistening instrumental textures and warm major tonalities. The album’s title refers to the “aubade”, a Middle Ages morning love song about lovers separating at daybreak, a dawn serenade.
Despite the difficult global and personal backdrop, Blais described the time writing this album as a “fruitful moment of creativity for me. We started having hares in the park, beautiful butterflies flying everywhere. It was a time of lots of blossoming, and also a moment when I blossomed from being a pianist into a composer.” Musical ideas captured in over 500 recorded piano improvisations were transformed by Blais into 11 compositions performed by a 12-person ensemble. During the composition process, Blais collaborated with Alex Weston, former music assistant to Philip Glass. The musicians were recorded with close-up microphones, creating a richly intimate atmosphere that captures the human behind each instrument, from the mechanics of the woodwind keys to the snap of a double bass string.
1-1. Jean-Michel Blais – murmures (05:06)
1-2. Jean-Michel Blais – passepied (03:51)
1-3. Jean-Michel Blais – nina (03:14)
1-4. Jean-Michel Blais – flâneur (02:12)
1-5. Jean-Michel Blais – ouessant (03:55)
1-6. Jean-Michel Blais – if you build it, they will come (04:24)
1-7. Jean-Michel Blais – amour (04:37)
1-8. Jean-Michel Blais – yanni (04:40)
1-9. Jean-Michel Blais – absinthe (02:49)
1-10. Jean-Michel Blais – carrousel (02:26)
1-11. Jean-Michel Blais – doux (04:47)