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It is not her success that Ariane Moffatt wanted to highlight when her first album turns 20. Thinking about the time that has passed since the release ofaquanaut rather it reminds him of “the 22-year-old Ariane who is at the exit”. “What I like to celebrate is the first gesture, she says, the moment we start. »
Hence the idea of reaching -and hearing- the next generation. Still emerging artists, who sometimes already have an album under their belt, and who, like her, have a predilection for electronically inspired music. “I went to people who have a little bit of this relationship to music, this uncompartmentalized side,” she confirms.
Ariane Moffatt gave her guests carte blanche. She provided the art direction for this Aquanaute 2022 and, above all, the task that makes it the most trippy has been reserved: mixing. She wanted some kind of mixtape of different voices and sounds, an orientation that he underlines by adding spoken interludes in which he reviews his first meeting with Michel Bélanger, then head of the Audiogram record label, or evokes the recording sessions with two precious collaborators: Francis Collard and Joseph Marchand.
A sound and an atmosphere.
aquanautIt is above all a sound. An enveloping blend of acoustic and electronic music still rare in Quebec song at the time of publication. inspired by tour lilith fairAlanis Morissette, Ani Di Franco, Goldfrapp and Portishead, Ariane Moffatt wanted to do everything except “Quebec-style folk” as she did and still does a lot.
aquanaut, is also an atmosphere. A bubble imbued with sadness, but inhabited by a desire for flight, if not weightlessness. The softer aspect of this sound bubble contrasted with what the young woman lived inside: tensions about her sexual orientation, the fact of being a woman in music, being the only girl in a group, that feeling of being an impostor.
I was going through this on my own, and I struggled with it a lot.
She believes in retrospect that this record, which expresses a search for her deep identity, can testify to what it can be like to live those questions when you have few role models. “There are small steps that I took in my differences alone in my corner and, at some point, I received an echo,” she says. She relieved me, over the years. She adds that it was an opportunity for her to have the music that accompanies her and allows her to sublimate her “great vertigo” through songs that can resonate with others.
find the scene
Two decades later, Ariane Moffatt is more serene and even at peace with the fact that her creations are still steeped in sadness. She is also visibly excited about her return to the stage, although the last stop of the shows weighed on her psychologically. She feels lucky to have a great tour ahead of her. “And I have a lot of gratitude for people who go out to see shows,” she adds. I’m not depressed when I leave the stage! »
Over the next few months, she gives herself many gifts. Two concerts with the Orchester symphonique de Québec (and the special participation of Martha Wainwright) in April, then a show at Les Francos where material from her album Embody will be magnified by the addition of a set of 10 strings. The arrangements are signed by Antoine Gratton in both cases.
She also has a festival tour scheduled for the summer. With relatives, who happen to be first class musicians: Marie-Pierre Arthur on bass, Alex McMahon on keyboards, Joseph Marchand on guitar and Jean-Phi Goncalves on drums. She calls it “the group of friends”. We anticipate that it will be a very nice reunion.
Aquanaute 2022, Available now. At the Grand Théâtre de Québec with the OSQ on April 21 and 22. At the Théâtre Maisonneuve on June 7.
three times ofaquanaut
Nearly 20 emerging artists, many of them women, offer a reprise of a song from the album. aquanaut by Ariane Moffatt, who turns 20 this year. Three of them talk about her approach.
Velvet Velvet: angel dust
Raphaël Pépin-Tanguay, the artist behind the pseudonym Velours Velours, was not born when aquanaut showed up. She was in her mother’s womb. And maybe that’s when she first heard angel dust by Ariane Moffatt, a song that she covers in Aquanaute 2022. “You can take it in various ways, this song. As Ariane does, you could say she’s talking to a friend or talking to herself, she says. I don’t have the option to talk to my girlfriend, a friend, or my sister. That this song, which delicately speaks of abortion, is performed by a male voice imposes a very interesting change of perspective. It no longer conveys concern, but comfort. “I had to get closer to something soft, to the emotion that the song can convey, instead of making an arrangement that, musically, could have been more complex,” explains Velours Velours. I had to get closer to the point. »
Maria Claudel: in an ocean
in an ocean It is one of the first songs that Marie Claudel learned on the guitar, at the dawn of adolescence. ” With the barricade, it’s really my favorite on the album,” he says. By immersing himself in her again, he also immersed himself in her childhood, a moment in her life for which he harbors great nostalgia. “It makes me feel good,” he says again about the Ariane Moffatt song. Marie Claudel chose to interpret it on the baritone guitar, whose sound is lower than that of a “normal” guitar, without being as serious as the bass. She also brought forward the strummed melody on all six strings, without losing the floating character of the original version. “For me, this song is really a journey. That’s what I felt when I heard it and wanted to do it my way again. »
Laurence Anne: good at nothing
Ariane Moffatt is one of the singers that Laurence-Anne listened to a lot when she got into music. Needless to say, she received like a flower the invitation they gave her to participate in Aquanaute 2022 in which she acts good at nothing. “I wanted to go with a lesser-known song from the album,” she explains. We had carte blanche, we could choose the song we wanted. I started with the one that gave me the most emotions or chills when listening to the whole album again. She liked the repetition of the lyrics, which she sees as a mantra. She pushes the electro side of the piece, intending to do a “real remix”. Her reinterpretation takes a look at the dance floor and evokes the techno sounds of the turn of the millennium.