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Pierre Guérin | Vagues | Album Review by Dyan Garris
Nothing “vague” about this lovely solo piano album. Clear, crisp, clean, this is like a breath of fresh air or a soft wave of elegance that washes over you and calms the spirit. In French, “vagues” means “waves,” and we can truly feel that graceful caress all through. – Dyan Garris
“Vagues: Compositions Au Piano,” is the third solo piano album from Pierre Guérin. Pierre is an intuitive piano player and composer who has been composing music since he was a child. He is inspired by those encounters with humanity which have touched his heart and made an impression on him in some way. His compositions are passionate as well as calming, and all with a deep sense of vibrancy and life-force energy. They are alive.
Pierre’s style ranges from classical to popular. Emotion shines through on all 15 tracks on “Vagues.” Each is perfectly played, with perfect cadence, flow, and movement, but it’s the sentiments and nuances of life itself that are even more perfectly conveyed here.
The album opens with the title track, “La Vague,” which sets the tone with a flowing melody and wonderful use of both upper and lower registers of the piano. Flowing, and very calming to the spirit.
Following is the soft and very playful, “Sous Le Charme,” which in English means “in love.” This is simply charming and delightful, perfectly capturing all we love about the game of love. Another playful tune is “Le Chat” which means “cat.” Dreamy and lighthearted, again – and throughout this album – skillfully combining both upper and lower piano registers, this is lovable. It paints the perfect soundscape of the interesting behavior of cats.
Some other favorites on this album: “Je La Vois” means “I see her.” This is melodic, tender, and romantic, with a wonderful and memorable piano melody. Very pretty. “Sage” is twinkly, soft, and flowing.
“Élan” in French means “momentum” in English. This is really likeable in every way, and like “Comme Un Bourgeon,” which means, “like a bud,” truly showcases Pierre’s awesome and precise keyboard skills, as well as his obviously honed composition skills.
Fun and lighthearted, “Bulles,” which means “bubbles” in English, is also one not to be missed. This is lively and happy. “Soie D époque,” means “vintage silk” in English, and this piece is just like that, smooth and flowy. This is also one to love here. “L_espoir (Re-Vie),” which is “hope and new life” in English, is just gorgeous, imbuing us with an easy sense of optimism and renewal
The album closes out with “Au Tout Début,” which means “at the beginning.” An ending is always a new beginning, right? This is a very brief, gentle piece, which perfectly closes out this lovely album. And there is a long space of essentially silence (with some deliberate and vague sounds, as is also found for a few seconds on the very first track of this album), about 1/3 of the way through. What better way to end this lovely album? Artistic perfection.
Be sure to watch the beautiful video for the title track on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkQb2vFxP6s&feature=youtu.be
Get “Vagues” here: https://www.pierreguerin.ca/en/ or wherever music is sold/streamed.
The piece – Mauve -, entered the competition of piano compositions Fidelio in Spain, has already reached the third round of this international competition in which participate composers of over 40 countries throughout the world.
Weekly performances were given in May and June via teleconferencing tools, but other shows had to be cancelled due to Covid 19.
Uncertainty is over : performances will be given as scheduled on the grand piano of the beautiful Auberge-spa du Portage in the Kamouraska area (province of Québec), from July 5th to July 20th (break on the 13th).
After awesome moments with the nature around on the St. Lawrence River, the new year brought the overwhelming coronavirus pandemic. By chance, piano playing never stopped through the use of the most recent technological tools. It was even possible to play in rooms occupied by people at the end of their life.
The video The Wave (La Vague, La Ola, Die Weile) has now been viewed over 200 000 times. Scheduled shows for this summer are on hold.
Two new videos are in the making and will be added to the already existing : « La Vague » (90 000 views in Youtube) and « Le Chat ». Life events remain an inspiration source more than ever. Thus, there are more than enough compositions worthy of an album. The challenge is to end up with impeccable recordings.
A number of intimate concerts are planned for the fall in the Ottawa region.
This summer, there will be performances in Kamouraska (café Côté Est, located on the bank of the majestic St.Lawrence seaway) on July 5th and 6th. Also, after a successful series of concerts at the prestigious Auberge de Notre-Dame-du-Portage in 2017, the experience will be repeated this year, from July 8th to 22nd (except July 16th). For more details, please contact these facilities.
The musical journey continues to be taken to a palliative care center. This also includes private concerts on demand. Also, radios stations like the prominent Radio-Classique, pursue broadcasting of compositions such as « Mauve », « Le Chat », « Comme un Bourgeon » and last but not least « La Vague », added recently. Apps like iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, etc. are still attracting visitors. The website preserves its vocation as the place of choice with its rich content.
Canadian (Stingray Music), Quebec (Radio-Classique) and European radio stations continue to honour the various pieces from all albums. Also, radio in the USA, via AT&T has also begun to diffuse these original compositions. While the website remains the corner stone, the musical platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and the likes allow a larger access to audiences.
After some concerts in the Ottawa region and in Trois-Rivières, July will be mainly dedicated to «saline» piano, in Notre-Dame-du-Portage, facing the awesome St. Lawrence river. This will be a new experience as resident pianist. Videos remain popular (« La Vague » has had 65 000 views in less than a year and a half).
Another CD eventually? Perhaps another formula, more modern. It’s hard to say at this point. It’s easy to say however that inspiration remains very alive. «Vive la vie».