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Riccardo Seguin | From screams to whispers

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In Connect places, Richard Séguin walks between the country of his childhood and the inhabited area. A new intimate and enveloping album, by a songwriter who believes in the power of the word “hope”.

Posted at 6:45 am

Josee Lapointe

Josee Lapointe
The print

Richard Séguin is discreet between each album, but he still writes. Five years after his musical project dedicated to Henry David Thoreau, here he is again with a work matured for a long time, in which his music takes on new colors.

“At 70, the novelty is that you do things without expectations,” says Richard Séguin, who for two years wrote and composed in his small hut built in the forest of Saint-Venant-de-Paquette, where he lives. He took his time, “without Deadline to “forge” each of the ten songs on the album.


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Riccardo Seguin

“Basically, I’m a craftsman,” says the singer, who then hurries to show us the photos of that cabin and the view it offers him of the Appalachians, “his” mountains. “My girlfriend is very happy since I will work there, there is less noise in the house! ”

Richard Séguin is in a good mood. He is preparing to return on tour in mid-September with a big tour of 80 shows in one year. “I’m doing the vocals, I started the guitar exercises again … The stage is not the place where you release the toxins, I want to be in good shape! And he is happy to collaborate with musicians who take him to new paths.

“They are all young in their forties. They tell me their parents made them listen america day when they were 9 years old… That makes good anecdotes! ”

He’s laughing. But working with artists from other generations is part of the fun of having a long career, something around 50 years in her case.

Young people often ask me how I can resist. They do what they want with the answer, but I tell them to take breaks. Life precedes writing. The musical score takes all its direction when there are silences, and it is the same thing for the career.

Riccardo Seguin

The album was born with three texts written for him by the poet Hélène Dorion, of whom he loves the lucid vision of the world. ” It is already midnight / In the forest of the world / What have we betrayed / For the storm to roar », He recites. “She sums it all up. ”

His longtime accomplice Marc Chabot also wrote him a song, From, a text more serious than he expected, born after a discussion about loved ones carried away “by the grim reaper”. The singer also adapted a text by Hugo Latulippe, inspired by his documentary I risewhich he performs a cappella at the end of the album.

He was inspired by the “unexpected” of these new lyrics and, after meeting the arranger Mathieu Vanasse, Richard Séguin let the strings and keyboards take their place alongside the guitars. “It gives colors that I have never had. ”

Result: he felt in this “new theme” a form of pacification that we feel in his way of singing, sweeter, closer, more intimate. “I tended to push the note a lot, in this one I lowered the register. ”

Sometimes we even get the impression that he is whispering, like inside A little bit of poetrywhich opens the album.


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Riccardo Seguin

Maybe I needed this path of introspection, of intimacy, after everything we had just been through. I came close to silence, to interiority. It’s a season, my season. I don’t know what’s next.

Riccardo Seguin

Through all this sweetness, it is no surprise that we find family and the benevolent shadow of his parents there. In The garage, tenderly evokes the lair of the father, full of objects “that speak as words”. Then inside Near the poplars, for the first time, he dedicates a very moving song to his mother. The one who brought “culture” into the house and who wrote down all sorts of quotes in a notebook.

Today it is he who engraves the fragments of text that have marked him in the wood of his hut. “Ah, this is his DNA, that’s for sure,” says Richard Séguin, smiling sweetly, for whom visiting the past is not a nostalgic gesture. He sees the exercise more as a “chronicle”.

“I find it very difficult to look back, I prefer to look forward. But this does not mean that the country of birth and childhood is still alive and that the impressions received at that moment are decisive. ”

To hope

This bubble of interiority that he has woven around the album also spreads into his most committed lyrics. For example, in the Forest trailsdenouncing the clean cut, Richard Séguin is carried by the same exasperation of the time Protest song. But the way has changed.

“The way to deal with it is less frontal, but also felt. Sometimes whispering can have a bigger impact than shouting. ”

he who sang What we leave him 15 years ago he is more concerned than ever by the climate crisis and the treatment we reserve for the planet. But if he’s lucid, he rejects fatalism.

When I did it Twelve robbed menI sang this verse from Miron: “I will be the bearer of your hope“. There are words of refuge and it is a word that has been with me for a long time. I believe that words can be inscribed in our flesh, that they are as essential as water.

Riccardo Seguin

In the show, which promises to be more acoustic than the previous ones, there will also be words. He will obviously be navigating between recent and old songs and intends to mark the album’s 30th anniversary. At the gates of the morningwhich meant a lot to the audience.

“I don’t remember who said that, but a song is like an emotional point of reference in our lives. It is always surprising to know the path they take. ”

He hopes the news will also resonate with people. And even if “we are far behind”, he remains confident for the future of the world and has faith in the new generations.

“At the moment the current flows more with women, as with the Mothers at the front. I don’t know how the next generations will perceive us … I wonder, sometimes, are we dancing on the Titanic? ? ”

This doesn’t stop him from continuing to make songs.

“Yes. I will do it as long as my health permits. A song … me, it makes me feel good. When Hugo lends me his words: We will feed the fire of our villages … Where we live happy days … These territories are our temple … It really takes me. ”

A sudden emotion tightens his throat and he stops talking. He is reminded that just when he sings these words it is useful. He closes the bag, gets up slowly and looks at us with shining eyes.

” We will try. ”

The album Connect places out on Friday 9 September.

Connect places

folk-rock

Connect places

Riccardo Seguin

Ghosts

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