Posted at 8:00 a.m.
It is not her success that Ariane Moffatt wanted to emphasize when her first album is 20 years old. Thinking about the time that has elapsed since the release ofAquanaut rather reminds him of “the 22-year-old Ariane who is at the start”. “What I like to celebrate is the first gesture, she says, the moment we start. »
Hence the idea of reaching out – and ears – to the next generation. Artists still emerging, who sometimes already have an album to their credit, and who, like her, have a penchant for electronic-inspired music. “I went to people who have a bit of this relationship to music, this decompartmentalized side,” she confirms.
Ariane Moffatt gave carte blanche to her guests. She provided artistic direction for this Aquanaut 2022 and, above all, has reserved for herself the task that makes her the most trippy: mixing. She wanted some kind of mix tape of different voices and sounds, an orientation that she underlined by adding spoken interludes where she looks back on her 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 first of all a sound. An enveloping alloy of acoustic and electronic music still rare in Quebec song at the time of its publication. Inspired by the tour Lilith FairAlanis Morissette, Ani Di Franco, Goldfrapp and Portishead, Ariane Moffatt wanted to do everything except “Quebec folk” as he did and still does a lot.
Aquanautit 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, of being the only girl in a group , this feeling of being an impostor.
I was going through this on my own, and I struggled a lot with it.
She believes with hindsight that this record, which expresses a quest for her deep identity, can bear witness to what it can be like to live through such 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. It relieved me, in the last years. She adds that it was a chance for her to have the music to accompany her and allow 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 remain imbued with sadness. She also visibly feels her return to the stage with enthusiasm, even if 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 plenty of 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 the material for her album embody will be magnified by the addition of a set of 10 strings. The arrangements are signed Antoine Gratton in both cases.
She also has a festival tour lined up for the summer. With relatives, who happen to be high-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.
Aquanaut 2022offered 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 replay of a song from the album Aquanaut of Ariane Moffatt, who turns 20 this year. Three of them talk about their approach.
Velvet Velvet: angel dust
Raphaël Pépin-Tanguay, the artist behind the pseudonym Velours Velours, was not born when Aquanaut appeared. He was in his mother’s womb. And maybe that’s when he first heard angel dust by Ariane Moffatt, a song he covers on Aquanaut 2022. “You can take it in several ways, this song. As Ariane does, you could say she’s talking to a friend or talking to herself, he says. Me, I don’t have the choice to speak either to my girlfriend, to a friend, to my sister. That this song, which delicately speaks of abortion, is carried by a male voice imposes a very interesting reversal of perspective. It no longer transmits concern, but comfort. “I had to get closer to something soft, the emotion that the song can convey, rather than making a rearrangement which, musically, could have been more complex, explains Velours Velours. I had to get closer to the point. »
Marie Claudel: In an ocean
In an ocean is one of the first songs that Marie Claudel learned on the guitar, at the dawn of adolescence. ” With the barricadeit’s really my favorite on the album,” she says. By plunging back into it, she also plunged back into her childhood, a moment in her life for which she keeps a great nostalgia. “She makes me feel good,” she says again about Ariane Moffatt’s 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 put forward the melody strummed on the six-string, without losing the hovering character of the original version. “For me, this song is really a journey. That’s what I felt when I listened to it and I wanted to do it again in my own way. »
Laurence Anne: good in 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 that was made to her to participate in Aquanaut 2022 on which she performs good in 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 had given me the most emotions or shivers when I listened to the whole disc again. She liked the repetitiveness of the lyrics, which she sees as a mantra. She pushes the electro side of the piece, with the intention of making a “real remix”. His reinterpretation takes an eye to the dance floor and evokes the techno sounds of the turn of the millennium.