Our New CD is now available!
For a very longtime people have been asking me: ""Do you have a CD, Sylvain? And now for all of you who have been asking, I am pleased to announce that your dream ( and mine) has come true!...
All translation in english is on the way !
At the crossroads of musical traditions and history, Cordaphone is exploring the old repertoire of the celtic zither. sometimes pieces from history and some creations inspired by this rich heritage. The members of the ensemble share this musical experiment and offer it to you by letting the instruments tell you the story of this wonderful tradition.
Description of the pieces on the Album:
The Branles (1,5,7)
A Branle was a traditional French style dance (between the 15th and 18th-century). It consists mainly of moving from side to side, and is performed by couples in either a line or a circle. There are many variations of the dance itself as well as the music. First written Branles as Le Branle des chevaux (track 1), and Branle de Bourgogne (track 7), they have been found in Thoinot Arbeau’s anthology published in 1588AD. Over the time many musicians performed them using the épinette des vosges and or hurdy gurdies.
1- Branles des chevaux: From this traditionnal music we added a little modern touch to enhance the happy feast atmosphere that occured in the old days. (track 1)
5- Branle de Mai: Is a creation inspired by this rich musical tradition. (track 5)
7- Branle de Bourgogne: Perfomed by Claude Nadeau (recorder), Sylvain Lacroix (épinette des vosges), this piece brings you the sound of the popular music of that era.(track 7)
Composed by Sylvain Lacroix this original piece of music is a Jazz fusion with traditionnal instruments which gives a particular sound to the interpretation that we very much enjoy to play together. For us it perfectly defines our musical identity in the band: combining the past, the present, the countryside and the city.
This legend (and music) refers to the period when a Gaelic political order existed in Ireland. For much of this period, the island was a patchwork of little kingdoms of various sizes and other semi-sovereign territories known as túatha, much like the situation in Québec during the period of Nouvelle France, and like in most periods without any effective national overlordship.
In 1297AD at the Lea Castle, the king of Laoish, confronted by the growing threat of invasion by the British soldiers, decided to charter ships in the attempt to save the people of his small kingdom. During the night he and his subjects abandoned the castle. After a long journey at sea, they arrived off the coast of Brittany France. He gathered all the ships and asked the bards and the musicians to go ahead first and play this piece of music to tell the paesants that his people were not there to conquer or invade their land but simply to ask for shelter and protection.
On a beautiful day, the end of September, the forest paths reveal all the magnificent autumn wildlife. With a sudden burst of warmth and energy from the sunshine, the forest disguises itself into an artist working on a masterpiece of colours and perfumes, living in our memory from that moment on, until the end of time.
This piece is a creation by my friend and fellow dulcimer player Cristian Huet from Brittany France. What better than his very own description found on his dulcimer album entitled: “Dulcimer Acoustique, 13 Avril Production” Set against a castle in the sleeping forest, on certain special nights in July, this charming home magically takes off in the mist. Mystical lights challenge our perception as we travel on this musical voyage into another time dimension.
8- Marquis de Pontkallec
France ruined by the long reign of Louis XIV, wants to legislate a new tax policy on its people. The minor nobility of Brittany revolt against this violation of the state of the union clause from 1532 AD. They plot to overturn the royal family’s rule with the intention of supporting the King of Spain, Philippe V as the new leader of Brittany (Cellamare conspiracy 1718).
Among the rebels is a young man, the Marquis of Pontkallec who knows that the poor could never pay these imposed taxes. He and three of his friends initiate this revolution. Unfortunately they were ill prepared and betrayed by one of their own. Their defeat leads to the arrest of the Marquis on December 28th 1718. The so called friend of the Marquis, Chemedy Sénéchal de Faucet was responsible for this betrayal. Three others who staved off from Couédic Mont Louis and Lemoyne de Talhouète gave themselves up. The accused were executed on May 4th 1720. Youngest of the three, only 22 years of age, the Marquis was known for his good nature and generosity. The crowd gathered on the road as he was taken to the gallows and cheered for him and his comrades.
9- January Sun. (Soleil de Janvier).
This creative collection evokes the return of the light, promising sign of Spring’s awakening. Our original composition, inspired by medieval era of music celebrates the light in the deep cold. A moment where winter pauses between its biting chill and return to the brightness as it bathes the forest little by little each day towards the preparation of life’s awakening.
10- The Blue Mountain Gavotte. (La Gavotte du Mont-Bleu)
Originated as a French folk dance, taking its name from the Gavotte people from the Gap region of Dauphiné where the dance was invented.
It is notated in 4/4 or 2/2 time and is of moderate tempo.
The ancient and the traditional come together. A custom from Brittany joins with an inspired creation of traditional Quebecois music which invites us to smile and dance. This combination of styles gives birth to La Gavotte du Mont Bleu (Blue Mountain Gavotte). Mont Bleu is the highest summit in our beautiful Témiscouata region. So let us take you to the peak where the joy of celebration and dance live on! Share this happiness with us!
11- Four reels dedicated to Normand (les quatre reels à Normand)
This is our homage to a dear, long time friend from a way down the road who recently left us. Normand Manseau, will always be present with us in this piece, a marriage of four traditional styles. Normand all that you gave us, your love for traditional music continues to live on in our spirit. This love that you sowed will continue to grow among us.
In the forests of Northern Minnesota, two different groups of wood cutters recreate and share their music and culture, an amazing encounter between Québecois and Scandinavian-Americans. From this musical rendez-vous comes a composition from descendants that lives on today thanks to Julane Lund. Gardbyloten is part of this heritage and a legacy from our past playing anew in the present. We share with you this melody from long ago.
13- Awakening of the cherry trees. (Printemps des Cerisiers)
When the cherry trees burst into full bloom in the Spring, life in the countryside reawakens once again. It is the sign we have been waiting for, announcing the summer and all its warmth. This musical creation was inspired by the cherry trees growing around
the house on the Beauséjour range; a house inhabited by a thousand and one zithers. At last our nose turns to the summer winds after a long winter.
14- The little street of sweet amusement. (Le petit Musc)
THE" EPINETTE DES VOSGES" is an instrument that is plucked, often called a zither.
We have had so much pleasure playing this melody coming from the repertory of Jean-François Duterte, one of the contributors to the rich tradition played on the Epinette des Vosges, He recorded this piece in the seventies. Here is his description. "The title refers to a street in the neighbourhood of La Bastille in Paris where I lived for a long time. La rue du Petit Musc, is a popular deformation of “La pute y muse” and could be translated as : the little street of sweet amusement."
Sylvain April and Simon Paradis from Mute City Productions, Cristian Huet from 13 avril productions France for Saint-Chartier, Jean-François Duterte, for Le petit Musc, Julane Lund, USA for Gardbylaten, the folks from the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium, for there support and encouragement, the Cartonfolies Festival of Ville Témiscouata sur le Lac, Guillaume Turcotte for the graphic conception, Carole Landry for text corrections, Robert Urban from Q-Nation and Urban Productions New York City, to Georges Huard for photos and for all of you who have shown support and encouragement over the years. Thank you to for your support in buying this album and letting us pursue our mission to make you smile while we perform.
Sylvain Lacroix : Dulcimer, Banjomer and Épinette des Vosges; Claude Nadeau, recorder, soprano flute, guitar: Michel Dufour: banjo, violin, mandoline, bass, percussions: Soami Reid Dufour guitar in Reels à Normand, Camille Pilon 2nd violin in Reels à Normand and Gardbyloten; Sylvain April : Percussions
We wish to dedicate this album to our late friends Normand Manseau, and William (Billy) Carthage.
Realization : Mute City Productions, Sylvain April and Simon Paradis.
Recorded by Sylvain April;
Mixed and Mastered by Simon Paradis;
Cover concept and design by Guillaume Turcotte; (www.brigade-barbue.com)
Art Direction : Sylvain Lacroix;
Production : Les productions de la Libellule;
Music arrangements : Michel Dufour and Sylvain April.
Fabriqué au Témiscouata
Made in Témiscouata