JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS TO RELEASE SOUNDTRACK TO XAVIER DOLAN’S MATTHIAS & MAXIME 

MATTHIAS & MAXIME SOUNDTRACK OUT OCTOBER 25 VIA ARTS & CRAFTS

WATCH AND SHARE “LE SOUPER” LIVE PERFORMANCE HERE

BUY / STREAM “LE SOUPER” HERE

“There is such tenderness and gentleness in this film” – The Guardian ★★★★ 

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Matthias & Maxime Soundtrack Print Cover // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

French-Canadian composer and pianist Jean-Michel Blais will release the soundtrack to Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s upcoming film release, Matthias & Maxime, on Arts & Crafts on October 25. The Montreal-based composer was chosen by the acclaimed actor and film-maker to write the music for the film, which received its world premiere on  May 22 at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. There is a long love story between Cannes and Dolan has he is in fact the youngest director to ever receive the Jury Prize

The music for the Matthias & Maxime Official Soundtrack was developed in close collaboration between Blais and Dolan in the studio, using techniques derived from improvisation, with the music of Franz Schubert serving as a point of inspiration. Unusually for a feature film, certain tracks were developed first, the scene was shot to the music, and then edited to fit it, rather than the other way around. 

Today, Jean-Michel Blais shares a performance of “Le souper”. Swiftly written in just a few minutes, “Le souper” was born from Xavier's desire to add mandolin over the piano. Although cut from the final film edit, this simple and sensitive piece, tinged with a sweet melancholy, convinced us that it should remain on the album.

WATCH AND SHARE “LE SOUPER” LIVE PERFORMANCE HERE

BUY / STREAM “LE SOUPER” HERE

Directly approached by Dolan, Blais was eager to take on the project: “I was touched, moved, incredulous... without reading the script, I accepted right away. Growing up with every single movie [Dolan] has made, it was a simple choice for me cancel my vacations and get to work. Following a fairly unorthodox process, we ended up keeping the demos, improvised in the studio - variations on a Schubert theme - creating a cohesive musical soundscape that Xavier used during the shoot and the editing period.” 

MORE ABOUT XAVIER DOLAN

Xavier Dolan was born in Montréal, Canada, and is known for his work as actor, screenwriter and director. He won the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for his film Mommy and went on to direct the music video for Adele’s chart-topping “Hello”. In Matthias & Maxime, Dolan stars as Max alongside Harris Dickinson and Anne Dorval. 

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Matthias & Maxime Soundtrack Digital Cover // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

MATTHIAS & MAXIME SOUNDTRACK
1 L'amitié
2 Les feuilles mortes
3 Le lac
4 La blessure I (skit)
5 La blessure I
6 Le souper
7 La solitude (skit)
8 La solitude
9 La blessure II
10 La ferme
11 Un autre amour

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Photo Credit : Jérémy Dionn // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

TOUR DATES
Oct 11: Theatre Granada - Sherbrooke, QC
Oct 13 : Centre Culturel Notre-dame-de-grâce - Montréal, QC
Nov 10 : Theatre Roger Ferdinand - Saint-lo, France
Nov 12: Centquatre - Paris, France  
Nov 16: Auditorio del Conservatorio de Música Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - Bilbao, Spain  
Nov 20: Auditório Camões - Lisboa, Portugal 
Nov 22: CCCB, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona - Barcelona, Spain  
Nov 24: Círculo de Bellas Artes - Madrid, Spain  
Nov 25: King’s Place - London, United Kingdom  
Nov 29: Brandbau - Erpeldange-les-wiltz, Luxembourg  
Nov 30: 30cc/Ticketbalie - Leuven, Belgium  
Dec 1: Tivolivredenburg - Utrecht, Netherlands  
Dec 3: Cultuurcentrum Hasselt - Hasselt, Belgium  
Dec 4: de Spil - Roeselare, Belgium  
Dec 5: Silent Green Kulturquartier - Berlin, Germany  
Dec 8: Gnessin Russian Academy of Music - Moskva, Russia  
Dec 10: National Library of Russia - Sanktpeterburg, Russia
Jan 15 : Place des arts - Montréal, QC
Jan 21 - Roy Thomson Hall - Toronto, ON

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PIANIST JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS ANNOUNCES REMIX EP

FEATURING REWORKS BY CFCF, KID KOALA, CRi, AND FOXTROTT

LISTEN TO DANS MA MAIN (REMIXES) EP ON THE FADER HERE

DANS MA MAIN (REMIXES) EP AVAILABLE ON STREAMING PLATFORMS AUG 23

CANADIAN TOUR DATES BEGIN SEPTEMBER 27

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Photo Credit: John Londono // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

Following the global success of Jean-Michel Blais’ sophomore classical-electronic crossover album, Dans ma main, and accompanying stripped-down EP, eviction sessions, Blais has announced Dans ma main (remixes): a collection of his enchanting compositions reimagined by four of Montreal’s most innovative electronic producers: Grammy Award-nominated electronic producer CFCF, legendary turntablist Kid Koala, dance music upstart CRi, and electro-pop artist FOXTROTT.

LISTEN TO DANS MA MAIN (REMIXES) EP ON THE FADER HERE

“While writing Dans ma main, I remember tracing a line between modern classical and electronic music, wishing to leave those loose ends to remixers... and here we are!” explains Blais. “I asked four Montrealers, friends of mine, to come with their own vision of their favourite song, giving birth to CRi’s uplifting, major, dance-y version of 'blind', FOXTROTT’s groovy, complex, subtle take of 'dans ma main', CFCF's mystic, surreal, intricated rework of 'roses', or Kid Koala’s textured, processed, meditative perception of the same song. How humbling it is asking other artists to take control over one’s creation - I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.”

LISTEN TO DANS MAN MAIN (DELUXE LP) HERE

Dans ma main was recently awarded Best Classical Album at the American Association of Independent Music’s Libera Awards, this followed the album’s shortlist designation at the 2018 Polaris Music Prize where Blais performed the title track

Blais recently expanded his repertoire into film providing the score for Matthias & Maxime, the latest film from acclaimed Québécois director Xavier Dolan. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where Blais received a special mention during Cannes Soundtrack Award ceremony, earning him a golden record award.

Dans ma main (remixes) will be available on all digital retailers on August 23rd.

TOUR DATES
Sep 27: Domaine Forget - Saint-irénée, Canada  
Sep 28: Théâtre Banque Nationale - Saguenay, Canada  
Oct 5: Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault - Saint-jérôme, Canada  
Oct 6: Théâtre du Marais - Val-morin, Canada  
Oct 11: Theatre Granada - Sherbrooke, Canada  
Nov 12: Centquatre - Paris, France  
Nov 16: Auditorio del Conservatorio de Música Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - Bilbao, Spain  
Nov 20: Auditório Camões - Lisboa, Portugal 
Nov 22: CCCB, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona - Barcelona, Spain  
Nov 24: Círculo de Bellas Artes - Madrid, Spain  
Nov 25: King’s Place - London, United Kingdom  
Nov 29: Brandbau - Erpeldange-les-wiltz, Luxembourg  
Nov 30: 30cc/Ticketbalie - Leuven, Belgium  
Dec 1: Tivolivredenburg - Utrecht, Netherlands  
Dec 3: Cultuurcentrum Hasselt - Hasselt, Belgium  
Dec 4: de Spil - Roeselare, Belgium  
Dec 5: Silent Green Kulturquartier - Berlin, Germany  
Dec 8: Gnessin Russian Academy of Music - Moskva, Russia  
Dec 10: National Library of Russia - Sanktpeterburg, Russia

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DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

TRACKLIST
1 blind (CRi remix)
2 dans ma main (FOXTROTT remix)
3 roses (CFCF remix)
4 roses (Kid Koala remix)

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JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS SHARES NEWS VIDEO, ANNOUNCES DELUXE EDITION OF DANS MAN MAIN + EVICTION SESSIONS TODAY

DELUXE EDITION OF POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE SHORT-LISTED LP, DANS MA MAIN, AVAILABLE TODAY  VIA ARTS & CRAFTS

WATCH AND SHARE “BLIND” HERE

UPCOMING TOUR DATES THROUGHOUT QUEBEC BEGIN MARCH 23

ORDER DELUXE EDITION DANS MA MAIN + EVICTION SESSIONS HERE

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Today, Jean-Michel Blais announces the deluxe edition of his Polaris Music Prize short-listed LP, Dans ma main together with his recently released EP, Eviction Sessions. The deluxe edition is available on today from Arts & Crafts and will be available at upcoming performances as Blais continue on an extensive world tour including dates throughout of Quebec. Full tour dates can be found below.

To mark the release, Blais is also sharing the new video for Dans ma main track “blind”. Directed by Mauriès Matos the video is “the story about Anna the overachiever, who uses herself as a subject during experimental research as a young acclaimed yet controversial plant neurobiologist,” says Matos. “During the process of using herself in her study, she makes an incredible discovery of a type of rhizome plant which allows one to reach their own consciousness. One night, on the eve of preparations to reveal this great announcement, she experiences the first encounter with Self.

‘I found myself recognizing the inherent beauty of nature as time erases all previous conditioning. The path isn’t linear like the world isn’t flat, its round and it spirals round and round, moving deeper and inward. And now, I feel lost.’ - Anna

In a greater sense, the video for Blind is also about Belief as a technology that creates change. That magic isn’t an effect. It’s a way to create change through processes that you can’t entirely understand. There are aspects of human reality we can’t measure, supernatural things that happen. Magic means you can give yourself an opportunity to stop analyzing things. Even for us – how are we going to figure out what’s next? How are we going to bend all the information at our disposal into a new truth?”

WATCH AND SHARE “BLIND” HERE

Accompanying Blais celebrated LP, Dans ma main, in the deluxe edition is the Eviction Sessions, a 5 song EP recorded in his beloved apartment during an intimate farewell performance before being evicted.

“In the spring of 2018, I was asked to leave the beloved apartment where lived for 7 years, and where I recorded my first album, Il,” explains Blais. “Before signing with Arts & Crafts, I would host one show a year in the intimacy of my bedroom. Eviction Sessions is a recording of my final pop-up concert in that apartment, and my way to say goodbye to that room, “he continues. “Friends and family, side by side on the floor, on my bed, sharing the silence of their breathing, I wanted to record a live album in a unique way that would capture the presence of them being.”

The result is eviction sessions, recorded live to accompany Blais’ recent full length, Dans ma main. The EP features new piano-only recordings the vocal and electronic-heavy album tracks, “blind”, “igloo” and “chanson”, as well as two new songs, “sans titre (andante)” and “hutchinson (improvisation)”.

WATCH A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF “SANS TITRE (ANDANTE)”

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PHOTO CREDIT : Drowster // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

MORE ABOUT DANS MA MAIN

Dans ma main, the sophomore release by pianist and composer Jean-Michel Blais, is an expansive album of post-classical piano with strands of electronic detail. Blending his conservatory skill and precise pop sensibility with synthetic accompaniment, Blais creates unique environments where the piano’s intimacy can be subtly disrupted at any time.

Largely composed in one week of open exploration, Blais comes closer to the improvisational source of his writing, painting impressionistic stories within the fluid, indefinite outlines of dreams. Dans ma main rolls like clouds of nostalgic fog blown away on a clear wind, at once recalling and signifying the end of Il, his critically acclaimed 2016 debut album.

By contrast, Il was written and recorded by Blais over two years, culled from rolls of accumulated experimentation into an enchanting, unignorable arrival. Il unearthed an unknown musical imagination, with overwhelmingly intimate compositions cloaked in the romantic din of Montreal city noise. The debut album would go on to amass 50 million streams worldwide, reaching #1 on Canadian Classical Albums chart, and transforming audiences globally.

On Dans ma main, tempted by a tangent first explored on Cascades, his 2017 collaborative EP with Grammy-nominated electronic producer CFCF – born from a featured performance at 2016’s Red Bull Music Academy – Blais steps out with an artistic statement that both reaffirms and refutes his post-classical stature. The disparate universes within Dans ma main are so seamlessly entwined that they appear borderless.

Dans ma main weaves together expressive piano with austere synths in a double-helix of acoustic and electronic arpeggiation, tethering techno, industrial, ambient, and new age music to Blais’ solo piano essence.

The first single, “roses”, is a binary journey, softly oscillating between despair and hope. Oblique turns meet familiar resolve, as warm chords reference Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”, and Eric Carmen / Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”, in sharp counterpoint to Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 – an unexpected, but intentional cross-hatching of high-and low-art. Its emotional arc – optimistic and funereal – closes soundly with the glint of cinematic strings.

LISTEN AND SHARE “ROSES” HERE

The pulsating and elastic “blind” captures the grace with which Blais traces this genre dance. “Built as a subtle transition from acoustic to electronic, the piece blends styles, deconstructs categories, pushes back boundaries alongside a spectrum reflecting our human potential to self-transcendence,” Blais describes. “Might we be blind at night, at least we aren’t deaf.”

LISTEN AND SHARE “BLIND” HERE

Dans ma main explores an everyday life awash in spirituality, stemming from Blais’ interplay with music as therapy. Compelled by the cathartic air that audiences exude in his pin-drop performances, Blais considers how music has served as a tool of wellness in his own life. From his prior career in special education, to the role classical and ambient music played soothing the Tourettic symptoms he experienced as a child, Jean-Michel’s new compositions subconsciously call upon these periods of his life, reimagining a serenity he had only experienced seated at the piano.

Decidedly not limited to the keys as his compositional palette, Blais’ music is imbued with an emotional depth that belies its wordlessness. His playing and composition are poetic in themselves, with an inspired understanding of the inherent lyricism in instrumental music.

Borrowing imagery from the words of singer-songwriter Safia Nolin on “igloo”, Blais’ interprets the lonely nights where, “wandering like an amnesic ghost,” one can find oneself within its own shadowy reflections, a nostalgic incursion into a person’s vintage recollections.

LISTEN AND SHARE “IGLOO” HERE

Yet perhaps in the album’s most unexpected turn, on closer “chanson”, Blais reveals his own hidden falsetto, trilling like adjacent keys in a nearly wordless lilt. Ironically, the only discernible meaning he sings: “I speak.” Blais presents the human voice as another instrument, resting vague in its definition, so emphasizing the listener’s active role in projecting and interpreting itself. As Blais says, “What one hears becomes more relevant and telling than what is said.”

More than Blais’ mastery of composition x improvisation, greater than his ability to touch and confront emotion – including the pain of even death (“roses” and “a heartbeat away”) – is his ability to challenge listeners. The title track, “dans ma main”, and by extension the album as a whole, is about Blais’ conscious decision to pursue the unknowns of a musical path.

LISTEN AND SHARE “DANS MA MAIN” HERE

Growing up in rural Quebec, Blais began writing original compositions by age 11, and by 17 was invited to the Trois-Rivières Music Conservatory. However, the constraints of formal training drew Blais off this musical course, putting aside his piano until years later, settling in Montreal, he rediscovered his love.

The result, as Blais’ body of work unfurls, is the creation of a new musical forum where freshly sounded notes bounce back instantly with the magic and wisdom of shared space. Dans ma main captures but one moment of this infinite lineage, but with it comes the reminder of all the energy we hold in our own hands, in this moment. As Blais says:

“Like pieces of an unclear puzzle, a melting mirror, hope lays right there, into our singular hands, with which we love, we fail, we pray, we steal, we give, we try, we pay, we pluck, we muff, we scratch, we touch, we play, we hold each other’s hands.”

TOUR DATES
Feb 23: Musikcafeen - Copenhagen, DK
Feb 25: Jahrhunderthalle - Bochum, DE
Feb 27: Kuz Kulturzentrum - Mainz, DE
Feb 28: Kulturzentrum Dieselstrasse - Esslingen, DE
Mar 1: Heppel & Ettlich - Munich, DE
Mar 2: Purcell Room - London, UK
Mar 3: Zonnehuis - Amsterdam, NL
Mar 6: Théâtre le Piaf - Bernay, FR
Mar 11: John Dee - Oslo, NOR
Mar 23: Theatre Lac-Brome - Lac-Brome, CA
Mar 24: Salle méchatigan - Sainte-Marie, CA
Mar 29: Centre Culturel Henri Lemieux - Montreal, CA
Mar 30: Cabaret Espace Scène - Rimouski, CA
Apr 1: Centre des Arts de baie-comeau - Baie-Comeau, CA
Apr 2: Salle Jean-Marc Dion - Sept-Iles, CA
Apr 4: Studio Hydro-Québec du Quai des Arts - Carleton-sur-mer, CA
Apr 5: Central United Church - Moncton, CA
Apr 6: St. Matthew's United Church - Halifax, CA
Apr 10: L`étoile Banque Nationale - Brossard, CA
Apr 11: Cabaret BMO Sainte-Thérèse - Sainte-Thérèse, CA
Apr 13: St-george Church - Granby, CA
Apr 26: Le Centre d'Art la Petite église - Saint-Eustache, CA
May 2: Monument National - Montreal, CA

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