Home Music Perreau gets by with a little help from his friends

Perreau gets by with a little help from his friends

by Veronique Thivierge October 16, 2012
Perreau gets by with a little help from his friends

Yann Perreau for his latest album “À genoux devant le désir.” Press photo.

A couple of years ago, the poet Claude Péloquin gave Yann Perreau 300 pages of poetry and said: “you can do what you wish with this.”

With the recent death of his father, the liberty to draw from this sea of prose came as a full breath of fresh air. From this ocean of words, À genoux devant le désir stood out as the title. As Perreau puts it, a title has to have some punch to it, and he had found his ‘punch line.’

Perreau describes himself as one of a line of artists who push their limits. As a multidisciplinary musician, he draws from theatre, dance and literature to colour his music and nourish the soul. He doesn’t want a label to be stuck to his forehead. He is in constant evolution, and when asked what kind of artist he is, he says, “I don’t know yet, and I think that is healthy.”

This collaboration between Perreau and Péloquin was not planned. At an art exhibition in 2009, Perreau felt a hand on his shoulder — it was Péloquin, a legendary artist that marked the ‘60s and ‘70s in Quebec. A true and creative relationship was born from this encounter.

Building an album based on Péloquin’s words, for Perreau, brought the poetry to life. At the same time, the singer created an album faithful to his own image. He describes it as the boundless and eclectic soundtrack of an unexisting movie. To see it, you simply have to close your eyes and let yourself travel away.

Perreau’s liveliness, energy, and authenticity stood out throughout his Oct. 11 album launching show. Boasting a backing band composed of 20 musicians and nine female vocalists, this was his biggest show to date. For each musical piece, Perreau called for the voice of a particular singer. He performed “Les temps sont au galop” alongside Marie-Pierre Arthur and sang “Vertigo de toi” with Catherine Major. “Qu’avez-vous fait de mon pays” called for the rasping voice of Salomé Leclerc, and nobody but Lisa LeBlanc could have sang “Le coeur a des dents.”

The show was a brilliant homage to femininity and Quebec talent. The climax of the evening was the announcement of Perreau’s girlfriend’s pregnancy, or “the moment to which each man aspires in his life — to become a father.”

In short, À genoux devant le désir is an uplifting album that comes straight from the heart.

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