At North of North, night, time is suspended
A few friends and lovers are huddling around a campfire In their eyes, northern lights are dancing. A melody emerges from silence and climbs to the sky in a curl.
1st Cycle of electroacoustic compositions by Sylvain Picard.
Noördik is available now here and on all streaming platforms.
Sylvain Picard is a composer and guitarist based in Montréal (Québec, Canada). The music that he writes is like movies for the ears.
In April 2023, he released Noördik an EP of soohting music composed specifically for lucid dreaming sessions.
He spent the pendemic composing new music and exploring new sonic territories.
In November 2019, Picard was commissioned by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) to create orchestral mockups for French hip hop artists IAM. The concerts were postponed because of Covid19.
Earlier in 2019, Picard wrote the score to the seminal documentary series Ramaillages "Gatherings" (produced by the National Film Board of Canada.)
2017–2018 Picard toured Québec with his songs (more than a 100 concerts).
Gloria was released in 2015 to wide acclaim.
In 2013, he was commissioned by the Gesu Church (Montréal) to write a Jazz mass of the Christian Catholic ritual. Picard gave the suite the title Gloria. Written as a chamber jazz suite, Gloria was performed by some of Québec most prominent musicians: Yannick Rieu on saxophones, Maxime St-Pierre on trumpets, Guy Boisvert on double bass and Picard himself on guitar. (scroll down for more info on Gloria)
Picard also released two other albums as a leader, one of his compositions honouring Erik Satie in a trio setting; one with an octet offering his arrangements of Québécois popular songs.
Messe jazz en 10 mouvements composée pour guitare, saxophone, trompette et contrebasse. Sylvain Picard, Yannick Rieu, Maxime St-Pierre et Guy «de velours» Boisvert.
Musiques brindezingues composées en l'honneur de l'iconoclaste au monocle Érik Satie. Sylvain Picard, Mathieu Descheneaux, Charles Duquette
Le terroir d'ici jazzé... pour huit joyeux musiciens
Gloria - sacred music by Sylvain Picard
Gloria is ten films for the ears played by four musical accomplices. This luxuriant 10 movement jazz-suite explores the shimmering human adventure.
"As far as I can remember, I noticed that music has the power to unite people", reminesces Sylvain Picard. "Independently from their origins or their beliefs, during a concert, music will bring people together and unite them. In this communion state, music will bring them in a thousand directions. To use an expression passed on to me by the great pianist Bruno Fecteau, music lives and and vibrates in the "poetic space" of the human being. My goal with Gloria is to touch that poetic space whether it be in a prosperous business woman, an homeless elder, an aspiring politician, a nurse, a construction worker, a street worker, etc. The focus is on the emotions and fortunately these music will contribute to the creation of a state of delightful introspection and celebration."
GLORIA was commissionned to Sylvain Picard by the Gesù Church (Montréal, Québec). It's goal: create a jazz-mass that respects every aspect of the Roman Catholic traditional mass. For example: in the introduction just before the Eucharist, there is the Introït, a slow and calming piece conductive to creating a meditative atmosphere. Following is the Kyrie, a poignant and heartbreaking piece, like a scar behind the human shell. After that comes the Gloria, which is a joyous piece that is oriented towards the divine. Then the Psalm, which is a struggle between despondency vs hope, anxiety and confidence. And so on.
Sacred music tradition goes back a long way. Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky and many others have composed superb offerings. On the jazz side, Duke Ellington composed major sacred works and Charles Mingus often made tongue in cheek reference to it. With standards in mind, composing a mass represented quite a challenge for Sylvain Picard. Instead of flinching under the pressure to do as good or better than those immortals, he decided to focus on the translation of emotions as closely and honestly as possible, not in a competition spirit but in a sincere and joyous sharing state of mind. With this idea music always imposed itself, feeling having precedence over style.
In order to translate the feeling and narrative of each piece, Sylvain Picard surrounded himself with experienced and sensible musicians. First, on tenor and soprano saxophone we find the energetically contagious Yannick Rieu. Then, on trumpet and flugelhorn, with a sometimes rich and soothing, or roaring and screeching sound is Maxime St-Pierre. To propel the ensemble forward is an accompanist with a satin touch doubled by a powerful drive, Guy « de velours » Boisvert. Sylvain Picard colors the sonic landscapes on the guitar.
There are dream catchers, there are also sound catchers. Rob « Bobby Knobs » Heaney (who won a Grammy award this year) is one of them. His accomplice Mathieu Dulong contributed to the capture of the sonar pulsations.