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Cordame: Satie Variations (Malasartes)

Montreal's six-piece Cordame and composer Jean Felix Mailloux arrange and interpret 18th century composer Erik Satie's work "17 Variations" in celebration of his 150th birthday, adding a lilting swing and beautiful features allowing the orchestration of piano, harp, violin, cello, double bass, and percussion to improvise over these enduring melodies.

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product information:

UPC: 771028227228

Label: Malasartes
Catalog ID: mam_022
Squidco Product Code: 23561

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Studio 270, in Montreal, Canada, on January 15th, 2016, by Robert Langlois.


Eveline Gregoire Rousseau-harp

Sheila Hannigan-violin cello

Marie Neige Lavigne-violin

Jean Felix Mailloux-double bass

Guillaume Martineau-piano

Mark Nelson-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"A harpist and singer with thousands of projects, Éveline Grégoire-Rousseau has an original career, which comes in many variations, like music. Classically trained, Éveline seeks to demystify the harp by bringing it to the less popular paths of popular music and creation. On stage, we see it with Le Carré des Lombes, Cordâme, Solawa, the OSM, Pierre Lapointe, Philippe B, and Karen Young, to name a few. "

-Eveline Gregoire Rousseau Website (

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"Nova Scotian cellist Sheila Hannigan graduated from the Université de Montréal with a Master's in Performance under the direction of M. Yuli Turovsky. She also participated in masterclasses in Banff and Switzerland, and was the recipient of a bursary from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec to study non-classical improvisation techniques with M. Eugene Friesen of the Berklee College in Boston.

She can be heard regularly with Montreal ensembles such as l'Orchestre Métropolitain, l'Opéra de Montréal, I Musici de Montréal, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the SMCQ, La Piétà, Allegra Chamber Music, The Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and the Festival de Musique de Chambre de la Baie des Chaleurs.

Also interested in non-classical music, Ms Hannigan is a member of QAT - contemporary music and improvisation, the arab-jazz ensemble Absinthe, Cordâme trio, Persian singer Azam Ali, and the Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble, with whom she has toured Europe, the US and Canada. She is presently touring with Danse Lhasa Danse.

Ms Hannigan also regularly collaborates with popular, world music, and jazz artists, such as Pierre Lapointe, Bia, Coral Egan, Sylvie Paquette, Diane Dufresne, and Remi Bolduc, to name a few. She was a guest soloist for the Canada-wide tour of The Tea Party, and can be heard on soundtracks of many films and multidisciplinary projects." (

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"Marie Neige Lavigne received her Bachelor's degree in Classical Music Performance at the University of Montreal in 2003. She has been performing for several years in a variety of musical styles. Invest in several projects, she is a founding member of Cordâme, the ensemble is several times grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Foundation of the Mayor of Montreal and the Council of Arts and Letters of Quebec. Cordâme has three records to his credit, all three highly appreciated by local and international critics, the most recent winner of an Opus Award - Best Album: World Music in 2013. Since 2007, Marie Neige has led a project entitled Maré en collaboration with the guitarist Rémi Giguère where she interprets her compositions and those of Rémi. Since May 2005, she participated in a Jewish music show under the direction of Hélène Engel, together they recorded the album Voyage in 2007 and made two tours in Europe in 2011 and 2012. In 2005, she appeared on the show Belle and Bum as well as at the Rimouski jazz festival with the group Syncop. She performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2008 and 2012 with flute-flutist François Richard's Nouvel Orchestra. In 2006, she recorded a record with Vincent Julien, who won a grant from the Montreal Mayor's Foundation and performed among others at the Francofolies de Montréal and at the Place des Arts in 2008. His versatility and his taste for discovery takes place in multiple contexts, whether for albums, film music or shows with talented musicians: François Bourassa, Yanick Rieu, Michel Donato, Henri Oppenheim, Robert Marcel Lepage, Jean Félix Mailloux, and many others. For Marie Neige, music is the most beautiful medium of communication, which she shares with passion both to the public and to her students. Marie Neige Lavigne "ardently defends the colors of audacity and subtlety." Serge Truffaut, Le Devoir." (Translated by Google) (

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"Jean Félix Mailloux - Double-Bass (Montreal).

Jean Félix produces, composes, arranges and plays double bass on a variety of projects including Cordâme, wich produced three cds, the latest cd: Lieux imagines won an OPUS prize for best record: world music, the Jean Félix Mailloux Trio which produced the cd Aurores Boréales and Bomata a trio that produced an acclaimed cd in 2009 and is releasing a new one in 2013. Jean Félix is also a member of the Damian Nisenson Trio, which won the Best Performance Prize at the 2006 Montreal OFF Jazz Festival. Jean Félix also composed music for film, theatre and dance. He is a regular studio musician for composer Robert M. Lepage. Jean Felix is involved in a variety of other great projects."

-Jean Felix Mailloux Website (

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"The musical universe of Guillaume Martineau is multiple and always in movement. Curious, versatile, Guillaume combines experiences without giving up anything.

He won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition devoted to classical music in 2009, Radio-Canada consecrated him the revelation of the year 2015-2016 in jazz and his latest album, Lucioles, acclaimed by critics, proposes an exploded vision of the chamber orchestra, at the crossroads of rock, song and cinema music.

His passion for music has always been rooted in creativity and innovation to explore new ways and bring different sound universes into dialogue. His improvisations, Guillaume Martineau draws them in all his luggage, running his fingers on the piano at the whim of his inspiration.

For him, to discover is above all to put oneself in a state of learning as evidenced by his choice to embark on musical studies. After obtaining a BA from the University of Montreal and a MA in Classical Interpretation from McGill University, he studied at Indiana University and then jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

At each stage, the meeting of great masters was decisive. Whether it's Anton Kuerti or Menahem Pressler in classical music, or Oliver Jones or JoAnn Brackeen in jazz, they have inspired him and encouraged him to find his own voice, to invite his own style.

For Guillaume Martineau, music has always been part of life. He wishes that his can accompany the lives of people today."

-Guillaume Martineau Website (Translated by Google) (

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track listing:

1. Autour de Gnossienne I 3:28

2. Danses de travers 6:28

3. Gymnopedie africaine 5:10

4. Autour de Gnossienne III 6:53

5. Gymnopedie angelique 2:31

6. Autour de Gnossienne IV 4:34

7. Le fils des etoiles 4:51

8. Airs à faire fuir 7:46

9. Un morceau en forme de poire 3:02

10. Les cloches du grand maître 8:04

11. Gymnopedie aquatique 2:31

12. Carre de sable 5:06

13. Autour de Gnossienne II 5:27

14. Rêverie de l'enfance de Pantagruel 1:16

15. Avant-dernieres pensees: I. Idylle 1:02

16. Avant-dernieres pensees: II. Aubade 1:20

17. Avant-dernieres pensees: III. Meditation et variations 3:44

18. Reflexions sur choses vues à droite et à gauche [Sans lunettes] 3:30

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"...Montreal's six-piece Cordame, whose interpretation of 17 Variations (Malasartes MAM 022 by French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) adds free-floating swing to these animated miniatures. Composer/arranger Jean Felix Mailloux does so with agile shadings for his own double bass, Mark Nelson's percussion and Guillaume Martineau's piano, with themes largely interpreted by Sheila Hannigan's cello, eveline Gregoire-Rousseau's harp and Marie Neige Lavigne's violin. Like experimental chemists testing new substances Mailloux encourages the musicians to intermix their experiences. On a track such as Danses de travers for instance, Martineau moves from prosaic note reading to healthy swing, backed by drum pops; while four sets of healthy string slaps make Un morceau en forme de Poire peppier than what Satie envisioned. Avant-dernieres Pensees: III Meditation et Variations picks up on the lighthearted run-through of II Aubade that precedes it, but the churn comes from Neige Lavigne's fiddle and slippery piano comping. Novel tinctures beyond Satie's ken are suggested as well. Shades of jazz piano phrasing and almost rock-styled drumming are audible on Autour de Gnossienne III; while like the additional detailing added to the frame of an Impressionistic canvas, the centre section of Hannigan outlining the theme in careful fashion is preceded by call-and-response from the other string players and followed by rooted harmonies from piano, bass and drums. The sextet brings out the unblemished beauty plus looming unease that characterizes Les cloches du Grand Maitre with the skill of conservatory graduates, but pizzicato motion enlivens the pieces so that it climaxes with percussive plucks and thumps. More characteristically Cordame confirms its position as a group of more than mere interpreters on Airs a faire fuir. As if the players are superimposing a transparent diagram of new nations on top of the composer's Edwardian-era map, Gregoire-Rousseau's bell-like reverb and tick-tock drum beats provide a groove upon which Neige Lavigne sluices out passages that would be equally acceptable in a Balkan ditty or a Satie composition."-Ken Waxman,

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at The Whole Note
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Musique Actuelle
Compositional Forms
Sextet Recordings
Canadian Composition & Improvisation

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