CFCF & JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS COLLABORATIVE EP CASCADES OUT MARCH 15 (DIGITAL) / APRIL 14 (LP) VIA ARTS & CRAFTS
CFCF & JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS TO PERFORM AT SXSW MARCH 15
“[CFCF’s] own records are stunningly variegated…His influences are both esoteric and familiar. [His arrangements are] not designed to add danceability and bombast, but arranged to coax out emotional qualities... [His] songs are both breezy and cinematic.” - The New York Times
“Jean-Michel Blais strings together stunning improvisations and composed pieces that harken back to Chopin, Satie, and modern minimalists like Harold Budd... The music breathes, and it invites you to take a moment and recognize there’s still plenty of beauty left in
the world’ - TIME Magazine, #10 Album Of 2016
PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Wilton // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
“Hasselblad 1” is the opening track from the new collaborative EP, Cascades, by pianist Jean-Michel Blais and electronic producer CFCF (aka Mike Silver). The song debuted on BBC 6 Music last night where it was described by Mary Anne Hobbs as "a fragile and beautiful piece of music".
"This track constitutes the first improvisation we ever played together,” claims Blais. “Basically, I was jamming around two chords while Mike was experimenting on top of it. However, we opted for a different version for the EP, using the original recording of ‘Hasselblad 1’ - taken from my debut album Il's B-sides - and transforming it with CFCF's magic fingers. Subsequently, opposite but complementary worlds were merging: reminiscences of my original ‘Hasselblad 1’ recording - the loose tickling of a clunky upright, a clicking Hasselblad camera taking a picture, a saxophonist blowing down the street - were blending with parsimonious and ethereal sound manipulation from Mike."
This month, the duo perform at SXSW followed by solo dates in Paris at the Paris Music Festival, and London for Erased Tapes' Piano Day, by Jean-Michel Blais.
Building off their sold out performance during the globally celebrated Red Bull Music Academy, Cascades is a stunning 5-song, 30-minute meeting-of-minds that navigates spaces between the artists’ respective crafts and tendencies toward playful minimalism. Featuring reworkings from the duo’s catalogues, a reworking of John Cage’s “In A Landscape”, and a new original, “Hypocrite”, Cascades is a celebration of the traditional and experimental, dissolving the old into the new.
Jean-Michel Blais’ 2016 debut album Il of neo-classical piano pieces landed on TIME Magazine’s Top Ten Albums of 2016, debuting at #1 Classical Billboard Chart (Canada), and long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize.
CFCF has been releasing music since 2009 on labels such as Paper Bag, 1080p, UNO, Driftless, International Feel. His wide scope of interest in genre and pop structure and mature melodic instinct allow him to shift gears effortlessly from techno and house to ambient and new age. He was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for his remix of Max Richter’s “Berlin by Overnight” and recently profiled in the New York Times.
CFCF & JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS LIVE
Mar 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW, St David's Episcopal Church - http://bit.ly/2lgIDhR
Mar 17 - Paris, FR - Paris Music Festival, Petit Palais - http://bit.ly/2lX1mxy
Mar 29 - London, UK - Erased Tapes' Piano Day, St Pancras Old Church - http://bit.ly/2ldttds
1. Hasselblad 1
2. Two Mirrors
5. In A Landscape (Rework)
MORE ON JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS
Jean-Michel Blais is a 31 year-old pianist from Montreal, Canada. His enchanting instrumental compositions pair the melodic pop sensibilities of Amélie-era Yann Tiersen and Arts & Crafts alumni Chilly Gonzales with the breathtaking technical skill of classical minimalists like Philip Glass and Erik Satie. Il, his debut album of original compositions was released on October 7, 2016 by Arts & Crafts.
Blais grew up in a rural French Catholic town in Quebec absent of Culture save for a giant Encyclopedia he’d read feverishly as a child. At age 9, Blais began tinkering on his family’s organ, improvising, and at age 11 started to write original compositions and taking piano lessons. A natural talent, by 17 he was invited to the Trois-Rivieres Music Conservatory and began training as a classical pianist. However, Blais was entering the throes of teenage rebellion and found the constraints of formal training cumbersome rigid structure. Gravitating towards experimentation, Blais wasn’t content to be told how to play, and not to improvise or compose. Read Jean-Michel Blais’ extended bio here.
MORE ON CFCF
Michael Silver (aka CFCF) is one of those rare talents to whom pop sensibility seems to be second nature. The Montreal native has been making music in his bedroom since he was 12 years old, and over the past 6 years or so that the rest of the world has been able to share in his pop experiments. This wide scope of interest in genre and pop structure and mature melodic instinct allow him to shift gears effortlessly from Techno and House to Ambient and New Age; from Kate Bush- tinged pop to the melancholy micro-genre known as ‘Night Bus’ (of which Silver has been a pioneer), and everything in between. His pop music can be sweetly sad or creepily disturbing, but it is always fundamentally Pop. Read CFCF’s extended bio here.
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