GENTICORUM, ON TOUR
[DUNKELBUNT]
A NEW DAY; LAYA PROJECT REMIXED
ADDIS ACOUSTIC PROJECT
AFRO ROOTS WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL
AMADOU & MARIAM
ANTÓNIO ZAMBUJO
APHRODESIA
BALKANBEATS
BANCO DE GAIA
BOBAN I MARKO MARKOVIC ORKESTAR
BOBAN I MARKO MARKOVIC
BOY WITHOUT GOD
C.J. CHENIER
CARLOS GOGO GOMEZ
CHOBAN ELEKTRIK
CHOPTEETH
CHRISTIANE D
CHRISTINE VAINDIRLIS
CLARA PONTY
COPAL
CUCHATA
DAMJAN KRAJACIC
DANIEL CROS
DEBO & FENDIKA
DEL CASTILLO
DR JAYANTHI KUMARESH
EARTHRISE SOUNDSYSTEM
EGYPT NOIR
ELIN FURUBOTN
EMILY SMITH
FANFARE CIOCARLIA VS. BOBAN & MARKO MARKOVIC
FEUFOLLET
FIAF PRESENTS WORLD NOMADS MOROCCO: MUSIC
FOOTSTEPS IN AFRICA
GECKO TURNER
GENTICORUM
GEOFF BERNER
GIANMARIA TESTA
GODS ROBOTS
GUARCO
HUUN HUUR TU
INDIAN OCEAN
IRENE JACOB & FRANCIS JACOB
JANAKA SELEKTA
JANYA
JERRY LEAKE
JOAQUIN DIAZ
JOEL RUBIN
JORGE STRUNZ
JOSEF KOUMBAS
JOYFUL NOISE (I GRADE RECORDS)
JUST A BAND
KAMI THOMPSON
KARTICK & GOTAM
KHALED
KHING ZIN & SHWE SHWE KHAING
KITKA'S CAUCASIAN CONNECTIONS PROJECT PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS
KMANG KMANG
KOTTARASHKY AND THE RAIN DOGS
LA CHERGA
LAC LA BELLE
LAYA PROJECT
LENI STERN
LES TRIABOLIQUES
LISTEN FOR LIFE
LOBI TRAORÉ
LO'JO
LOKESH
MAGNIFICO
MAHALA RAI BANDA
MIDNITE
MOHAMMED ALIDU AND THE BIZUNG FAMILY
MR. SOMETHING SOMETHING
MY NAME IS KHAN
NAWAL
NAZARENES
NO STRANGER HERE (EARTHSYNC)
OCCIDENTAL BROTHERS ON TOUR
OCCIDENTAL GYPSY
OREKA TX
ORQUESTRA CONTEMPORÂNEA DE OLINDA
PABLO SANCHEZ
PEDRO MORAES
RAYA BRASS BAND
SALSA CELTICA
SAMITE
SARA BANLEIGH
SARAH AROESTE
SELAELO SELOTA
SHYE BEN-TZUR
SIA TOLNO
SIBIRI SAMAKE
SISTER FA
SLIDE TO FREEDOM II
SONIA BREX
SOSALA
SWEET ELECTRA
SYSTEMA SOLAR
TAGA SIDIBE
TAJ WEEKES
TARANA
TARUN NAYAR
TE VAKA
TELEPATH
THE MOUNTAIN MUSIC PROJECT
THE NATIVE AMERICA NORTH SHOWCASE
THE SPY FROM CAIRO
TITO GONZALEZ
TOUSSAINT
VARIOUS ARTISTS
VARIOUS ARTISTS
WATCHA CLAN
WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY SOUNDTRACK
WOMEXIMIZER
WOMEXIMIZER
ZDOB SI ZDUB
ZIETI
Genticorum, On Tour
Quirky New World: Quebecois Roots Trio Genticorum’s Fantastic Voyage Of Rising Hemlines, Singing Oarsmen, and Happy Trappers on Nagez Rameurs

Three young players with deep ties to Quebecois music sail to Borneo and Egypt. As they travel, they tell wild stories of shrinking skirts and noble cats. They sing forgotten songs of old New France, of its log drives and lost rivers. They play dance numbers with their tongues and feet, and unwind trippy reels.

A tall tale come true, Genticorum navigate the silly and somber moods of North American Francophone tradition on Nagez Rameurs (“Pull Together, Rowers!”; Mad River; June 21, 2011). Firmly rooted in family and regional traditions, the trio’s wit, rich vocal arrangements, and masterful musicianship turn old songs about traveling into catchy and moving glimpses of a quirky New World.

“There’s a big chunk of Francophone repertoire linked to voyagers, because they shaped the colony by exploring and settling the country, and by interacting with the native peoples they encountered,” explains guitarist and singer Yann Falquet. “It’s interesting because unlike a lot of Quebecois songs, many of these songs are not from Brittany or Normandy. They aren’t about France. They tell the stories of people once they reached North America.”

These are stories of the joyful life of a freewheeling fur trapper (“Canot d’écorce”), the struggles of log drivers on Quebec’s rivers (“Grand voyageur sur la drave”), or the hearty calls of oarsmen working for the Hudson River Company (“Nagez Rameurs)”.

Many old tunes, the ones Genticorum tackles with greatest gusto, jump from the New World into a side-splittingly absurd alternate universe. Humor is part and parcel of Quebecois musical culture—“We’re bad at being sad,” laughs Falquet—but Genticorum take the merriment to psychedelic places.

Witness “Quand chus parti du Canada,” a fanciful world tour during which the song’s narrator bemoans the ever-shorter skirts he encounters—and the dreadful threat this shortening trend may pose to males. Or the surprisingly touching waltz dedicated to kitchen appliances, “La valse de poêles,” that the group learned from Quebecois traditional fiddler Simon Riopel.

The more serious side of the New World spirit echoes in the unique sound of Canada’s Métis, the descendents of mixed European (often Francophone) and First Nations backgrounds. Isolated in small communities for centuries, Métis musicians like fiddler and healer Lawrence “Teddy Boy” Houle have transformed Celtic reels to fit their own cross-cultural tastes, changing phrasing and favoring irregular time signatures. Houle shared with Genticorum fiddler and composer Pascal Gemme one of the pieces that became a suite, “Violon Guerrisseur.” “Teddy Boy uses tunes like this one to help induce a meditative state when he heals,” says Gemme.

Another striking and curative tune—“Reel Circulaire”—flows from the creativity of Franco-Americans, a cultural community extending as far south as Connecticut. In small pockets, some families continue to pass along their language and music, as young Franco-American fiddler Daniel Boucher’s distinctive tunes demonstrate.

To tell these uniquely New World stories, Genticorum turns not only to Quebec’s traditional amalgam of French, Scottish, and Irish sounds—Old World songs, reels, mouth music, and foot percussion—but seeks inspiration from new sources. The trio draws on everything from Norwegian folk music to Kraftwerk. The trio—guitar, flute, fiddle, and three strong voices—innovates carefully, adding a poignant harmonium part to a sorrowful ballad on “Grand voyageur sur la drave,” thanks to friend and Celtic music master Grey Larsen. Or laying down an occasional thoughtful groove on the electric bass.

“There’s been a strong Celtic influence on Quebecois bands for a while,” Falquet notes, “but we younger musicians are drawing on all sorts of things, especially the newer roots music from Scandinavia. Not necessarily in the neo-traditional way either. We don’t add percussion or electronics; we just try to take a really fresh, passionate look at the old tunes.”

Even the old tunes that many young players find too square, the dance styles lacking the virtuosic flash of some reels, but still filling the dance floor at the traditional dances Genticorum plays when not touring Borneo, Egypt, or Australia. Gemme, for instance, felt the group needed to revisit the good old dance genre of the galope. So he wrote one, dedicating it to his feline boss, Sir Soft Tummy (“Galope Doux Bedon”).

Or “Les Menteries,” a “song of lies” reminiscent of the tall-tale contests once common at Quebec’s kitchen parties. Gemme, who heard this type of song frequently from his grandfather, has wanted to record this particular lying song, a childhood favorite, for a decade.

“These songs are so out there, with wonderfully bizarre imagery and weird animals doing anthropomorphic actions, that kind of thing,” smiles Gemme. “For the last ten years, I’ve tried to come up with a good version and along the way, I added way too many verses. I had to pick and choose my favorite lies for the album.”

Even at their silliest moments and on their wildest adventures, Genticorum maintain their powerful ties to their musical families and regional roots, hanging out with traditional song-keepers and storytellers, jamming at folk music sessions, and digging in archival collections for intriguing new pieces. “We are within a certain tradition and play with a certain esthetic, without really radical changes,” states Falquet, “and people are able to really enjoy it for what it is, whether they’re Scottish folkies or Malaysian teenagers.”

Genticorum are the proud recipients of two Canadian Folk Music Awards as “Ensemble of the Year” and “Traditional Album of the Year” for Nagez Rameurs.

“With Le Vent Du Nord, Genticorum are the giants of Quebecois music, a trio enbroiling fiddle tunes, feet, Jew's harp, whistles and guitars into a furiously energetic sound.” – The Independent (UK)

Genticorum will be performing all over the United States in 2012!
April 18 The Upstage, Port Townsend WA theupstage.com
April 19 Woodmen Hall, Lopez Island WA
April 21 Bing Crosby Theater, Spokane WA celticmusicspokane.com
April 22 Seattle Folklore Society Concert, Seattle WA Phinney Neighborhood Center Community Hall, seafolklore.org
June 23 Boarding House Park, Lowell MA 
June 24 Kindred Spirits, Delaware Valley HS Auditorium, Milford, PA Kindredspiritsprograms.org
July 1-8 Fiddle Tunes, Port Townsend WA
July 13 Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids IA
July 14-15 La Fête de Marquette, Madison WI marquette-neighborhood.org
July 15 Good Hope Island Concerts, Milwaukee WI
Aug 3-5 Pickathon, Happy Valley, Oregon
Oct 13 Museum of Making Music Carlsbad, CA
Oct 14 Goleta Fest (Old time fiddler's convention, Santa Barbara, CA) fiddlersconvention.org
Dec 1 Unitarian Universalist Church of South County, Peace Dale RI

<< release: 02/17/12 >>
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