The Squid's Ear Magazine

Belanger, Marie-Soleil / Normand Guilbeault: Les Salines (Ambiances Magnetiques)


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product information:

UPC: 771028116027

Label: Ambiances Magnetiques
Catalog ID: AM_160
Squidco Product Code: 7664

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardstock foldover


Marie-Soleil Belanger-violin, violin baritone, ehru

Normand Guilbeault-doublebass

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Beautiful and intricate compositions using extended and unusual techinques from these two excellent string players. Guilbeault is perhaps best known for his work with the Ambiances Magnetiques collective players - Derome, LePage, Lussier, etc. and from his recent Charles Mingus tribute album. Here shows a more personal, fluid and melodic side to his playing. Lovely and interesting.

"Fall 2005: While on a tour of France, Marie-Soleil Bélanger (who compulsively loves water) and Normand Guilbeault (a salt fan) had the chance to visit Guérande (Britanny) and its salt marsh. The two musicians were presented with a strange landscape cut into tanks, like the squares of a quilt, with small white mounds of salt scattered all around. The whole thing is set on a horizontal surface that is stretched and diced.

Salt is an essential element of mankind's life. Early on, this vital product was exploited and commercialized on a large scale. Although the first salt-marsh were most likely built by the monks of the St. Michel's Abbey in the 12th century, the salt industry really took off only during the 15th century. Nowadays, salt producers (or salt-makers) are applying age-old techniques, since the operation of a salt-marsh has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages.

Tucked between sea and land, salt-marshes form a privileged natural environment home to a fertile though fragile ecosystem. This environment is very rich and hosts a large number of unique bird and plant species. By making sure that the water in the tanks is renewed and by maintaining water levels in the marsh, the salt-maker preserves this natural habitat.

As for water, it has already become a global political issue: drinking water, water for cultures, water of industrial use. Water is now a highly coveted resource, generating numerous debates about its distribution and sharing. Right now, 1 billion people on the planet do not have access to drinking water. We often hear of water wars and water management. Will water really become an issue in the conflicts of the 21st century? The current crisis is about more than rarity. It also covers the distribution, allocation and choices made regarding water.

Salt brings thirst and water needs salt for the human body to absorb it. Salt water is undrinkable, but we can extract salt out of it. These two complimentary elements inspired the Les salines project, for which musicians Guilbeault and Bélanger wrote 14 pieces. This music work sees the infinitely small brush elbows with the infinitely large. Impressionistic music evoking wide flat landscapes. At times fragile, at times strong, Les salines brings to mind tiny crystals of salt and salt-marshes, but also the sea and the various incarnations of water. A successful marriage between composition and improvisation, noise and lyricism, discipline and freedom."-Ambiances Magnetiques

Artist Biographies

"First and foremost a double-bass player, composer, jazz and musiqueactuelle performer, he is very active in the provincial and national musicscenes and is highly regarded in the field. The tone, rhythm, and style of Guilbeault explain why he has played with Montréal's most creativemusicians (Jean Derome, Robert Marcel Lepage, Pierre St-Jak, René Lussier,and others) and why he has recently teamed up with excellent singers (suchas Lou Babin and Geneviève Letarte). Out of his ambitious projects havecome accomplished and very inspired and spirited works (Hommage à Mingusand RIEL Plaidoyer Musical). Along with other musicians (Pierre St-Jak, François Marcaurelle, and Jean Vanasse) is also the prime mover, programplanner, and organizer behind the Montréal OFF Festival de Jazz, at whichhe presented the first part of his PARKEROUAC, a project wedding poetry andjazz.

Normand Guilbeault, who first became known through his work with Jean Beaudet, Yannick Rieu, Nelson Symonds, Bernard Primeau, and other jazz musicians, has gained public acclaim with the Normand Guilbeault Ensemble (winner of the Prix de Jazz duMaurier at the 1994 Festival international de Jazz de Montréal), whose 1994 album Dualismus [Red Toucan] was followed by Basso Continuo in 1995 and, with guest artist Jean Derome, Hommage à Mingus in 1996 [both on Justin Time]. The Jazz Report Magazine (Canada) voted the ensemble "Acoustic Group of the year" for 1997.

Since 1995 some of the people he has worked with have included Jean Derome (on music for film, theatre and dance, and as part of a jazz trio and a jazz quartet), René Lussier (Les Boudines, Pour un Punch Hawaiien, music for film), Robert Marcel Lepage (music for film, theatre and dance), Michel F Côté (Bruire / Les Chants Rupestres, and music for dance), and trombonist Tom Walsh with the group NOMA.

In May 1998, the 15th Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville opened with his most recent project, Riel, which brought together thirteen of Montréal's most creative musicians and two talented narrators. He also presented the work at the Open Waters Festival of New and Improvised Music in Halifax, and at the Lion d'Or in Montréal on 20 and 21 February 1999. Recordings of these concerts were used to produce the double album entitled Riel Plaidoyer musical / Musical Plea, which appeared on the Ambiances Magnétiques label [AM 073] on 15 November 1999. Recently, performance of Normand Guilbeault's Riel project, in Confederation Park, was one of a the highlights of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (July 17, 2000)."

-ElectroCD (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Les salines 1 4:18

2. Gouttes d'eau dans la mer 2:48

3. La sueur du paludier 6:11

4. Ruissellement 2:49

5. Comme deux gouttes d'eau 2:45

6. Marée haute 3:41

7. Tempête dans un verre d'eau 1:46

8. Les salines 2 5:08

9. Gros sel 2:25

10. Nappes souterraines 1:58

11. La marche du sel 7:50

12. Fleur de sel 1:52

13. La source 4:04

14. De bassin en bassin 4:45

Related Categories of Interest:

Ambiances Magnetiques
Improvised Music
Stringed Instruments
Musique Actuelle
February 2007

Search for other titles on the label:
Ambiances Magnetiques.

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