Archive for April 30th, 2012
We are houseguests on this earth and we’ve been very messy. Now it’s time to clean up, not only for the animals, not only for ourselves, but for the future generations whose quality of life depends on our actions today. It’s the only planet we’ve got.
The quote is from 12-year old Olivia Bouler’s blog at Huffington Post. WC won’t presume to add more.
A belated Happy Earth Day, everyone.
Fairbanks Concert Association‘s penultimate concert of the 2011-12 season was Le Vent du Nord, which WC is assured is French – or at least Quebecois – for “The Wind from the North.” And they perform Quebecois folk music. Think traditional Celtic music, but sung in French, well, in Quebecois, with a heavier reliance on a “call and response” style.
Ordinarily, two hours of music in a language WC doesn’t understand might be tedious, but LVN is anything but tedious. Brilliant, multi-talented musicians all, they bring amazing skill and lovely harmonies to their work.
Fiddler Olivier Demers is a terrific violineux, but he is also the entire percussion section of the band, using metal taps on his feet. While seated, he dances the percussion line of the songs. And sings harmonies on most vocal numbers.
Nicolas Boulerice plays something called an “electro-acoustic hurdy-gurdy,” sang lead and harmonized, and played the piano. His singing, and in particular his duets with Simon Beaudry, brought to mind the sweet, tenor harmonies of The Everly Brothers. The two were really that good.
Simon Beaudry played six-string guitar and bouzouki, sang lead less often than WC might have wished, and sang harmony on many songs. Some his runs on the bouzouki were astonishing.
And the multi-talented, hyperactive Raejean Brunet, the newest (2007) member of LVN, played button accordion, french accordion, piano, jawharp and acoustic bass, sang lead on a couple of numbers and sang harmony on others.
Not only are the four excellent musicians; they have a chemistry that is immediately evident. They have fun playing together, enjoy their music and enjoy each other. They get excited and happy when one of their colleagues does a particularly fine solo, and share that enthusiasm with the audience.
It’s a long-standing joke that whatever language is spoken in Quebec isn’t French. Boulerice commented after the break that a native French speaker from the audience had told him during the break that, despite being fluent in French, she couldn’t understand the lyrics. But the lyrics really didn’t matter. The message was the music, and it was delightful. Thanks to Fairbanks Concert Association for another brilliant show.