Universum Noll´s man i Quebec, Kanada, Markus Enger, har intervjuat Marc Vallée, en av de mer tongivande musikerna på den quebecanska progrockscenen. Nedan berättar han om sina erfarenheter som musiker, sitt eget band Contrevent och progrock från Quebec.
Markus förordnande som prog-korrespondent löper snart ut och vi tackar honom för hans fina bidrag. Tack vare Markus har vi fått en inblick i den progressiva rocken från Quebec, dess historia och de band som genom årens lopp kommit och gått.
Den som vill fortsätta att läsa Markus skriverier kan kolla in bloggen Spisa Vax.
Med andra ord är hans tjänst vakant. Om du som läsare har lust att rapportera om den progressiva rockscenen i Kanada, Japan, Sydamerika eller vilken annan plats som helst på klotet där progressiv rock spelas eller lyssnas på, så maila några rader till firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nu till intervjun:
1. How would you like to introduce yourself to the swedish audience?
I'm a composer and sound designer for stage plays, but I'm a guitarist first, mainly acoustic fingerstyle because I studied classical guitar and moved into electric and guitar-synth. Eventually I learned keyboard by myself and all the computer stuff I need to know for my work.
2. Could you shortly describe your own musical career?
I studied 5 years of classical guitar at the Laval University (School Of Music), started writing music for theater companies and started my band 'Contrevent' around the end of my studies. Shortly after, in 1983, I had the wonderful opportunity to play and tour with a belgium poet-singer (Julos Beaucarne) in Europe for a couple of years.
I lived in Paris and Brussels and played mostly in french Europe. Back in Canada my band really started to play and record. We made three albums from 85 to 93.
The band started very folk-oriented with violin, cello, flute and developed into something I would say was more jazz prog oriented. We played in a lot of jazz and folk festivals in Canada, and a few visits to USA and Europe.
Then I played and toured with different singers while continuing to write music for theater companies and some visual documents, still to these days.
At the beginning of the year 2000 I founded a new group, Marc Vallée Trio, which was acoustic and world music oriented. We made one album Hamadryade on Fidelio Records based in Montreal. Since 2006 I play the music of The Beatles with Les Boréades, an early music ensemble from Montreal, about 15 musicians.
3. From your own musical career, are their any special moments that stand out? For example things you are extra proud of, or funny/interesting things that happened to you or you've participated in?
There are lots of wonderful moments of course, but the first that come to mind is certainly the privilege I had to work with The Beatles producer Sir George Martin for a unique concert in 1992 in Quebec city, a concert celebrating the music of The Beatles with The King's Singers, an orchestra and electric band. I was lead guitarist and Martin's son, Giles, who produced The Beatles 'LOVE' album, was second guitarist on that concert.
Another highlight was certainly touring in Japan with pianist Steve Barakatt, wonderful country.
4. The Contrevent album Terre de Feu has caught some attention here at Universum Noll. What can you tell us about that band and that record?
I think it was our best album, and we were at the peak of our artistic evolution. I also think that the line-up was interesting with the unusual use of the cello in a jazz context.
It takes years for a band to find a sound, to have your own voice. What was great with the recording of this album, is that all the songs were road tested for over a year before the sessions began.
5. The progressive music scene in Quebec seems to be, and alway has been, quite big and prosperous, why is that do you think?
In all modesty, I could say that in North America, the province of Quebec was the opening door for progressive music in the Seventies, while bands like Genesis worked harder in the USA to promote their music. Hard to say why... There was an ongoing rush of concerts, Crimson, Yes, ELP, Gentle Giant, Ekseption, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd before Dark Side etc...
6. The progressive music of Quebec - is there something that makes it different/special compared with other progressive music in the world? Does it have its own trademark, so to say?
Probably, first because of the language, but a lot of them are really inspired by the British bands, and a lot of them were in the seventies too.
7. Are there any progressive Quebecan bands you would recommend?
Octobre was my favorite band. I think it's possible to find a double CD, which is a compilation (Octobre 1972-1989).
I love Contraction too and one of the most famous album is L'Heptade (1976) by Harmonium, a double album, the last they made.
Very atmospheric at moments, a lot of acoustic 12 strings guitar, great electric too, mellotron, rocking good, great vocals, and a few 15 minutes songs.
8. What are your thoughts on the future of Quebecan prog?
Oh you got me here!! I wonder if there is a prog scene now in 2011. I don't want to hurt anybody, but it seems there is not really a lot of prog bands right now. Can't really name one now!
9. The french language is an important part of the culture of Quebec, but doesn't it make it harder to get international attention? Any thoughts on that?
There are lots of singers here that managed to make a career with a few jumps to France but it is of course a little bit limited.
But I believe the internet is a fantastic tool to help them get some attention, as I have myself the pleasure to listen to music from Sweden even if I don't understand a word!!