Maxime Goulet tells stories

No need to spend a full evening in the company of Maxime Goulet to understand that he tells stories. Far from mythomania, the composer tell his stories through music, first in the amused silence of his spirit as he imagines the soundtrack of harmless events he encounters on his path, then in the melodic breadth of his concert works.

By his own admission, a very small part of his production is inscribed within narrativity. A multiple narrativity, inscribed first and foremost in a fluid and directed melodic discourse, and then at various levels of abstraction, with winks to narrative forms, either musical or literary, that have inspired him.

About his recent production for the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Maxime affirms: Toute une journée (“An Entire Day”) is a work for string orchestra and ‘added means,’ tracing a metaphorical parallel between the unfolding of one day and that of an entire life, as if one were the microcosm of the other.” In four brief movements tracing back the events of the day, in light of various life events as in the enigma of the Sphinx, the author makes his unique melodic material evolve in a manner freely inspired from theme and variation. This melody is developed throughout the day that is put to music, moving from the foreground to the background; it serves as guide to the musical discourse, then yield to more dramatic events.

It is in a very humble way that Maxime explains that the narrative framework of his work can be understood on various levels. On a first level, melodic and almost anecdotic, in which the listener follows this melody-thought (of his life) from morning until evening. The passing of time is represented on stage by “added means” such as an alarm clock (first movement), a punch-clock and the musicians’ walking noise (second movement), the candle between the duettists (third movement) and the murmuring of the musicians (last movement). The other levels refer back to allusions, inspirations and winks that he makes to key elements of his personal library: Le livre du rire et de l’oubli by Milan Kundera and A day in the Life of the Beatles. Humble, to evoke Kundera and the mythic Fab Four? Everything lies in the manner! The manner of the performance as well as the manner of talking about it. Maxime speaks about it with enlightened admiration, gracefully keeping in memory the naivety of the first reading or the first listening, in order to better enjoy the next ones. What is striking in Maxime Goulet’s musical writing is the attention and respect paid to the listener. Whoever listens for the first time, without expectations, or whoever already knows much and listens in an enlightened way, or finally whoever re-listens. If in the end all these listeners found food for thought that makes his whole day.

Martine Rhéaume

______________________________

Maxime Goulet, « Toute une journée ».

McGill Chamber Orchestra, dir. Boris Brott
Creation: Monday, May 9th, 2011, 7:30PM
Pollack Hall (555 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal)

Arkea Ensemble, dir. Dina Gilbert.
Thursday May 19th, 2011, 7 :30PM
Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs Church (4155 Wellington, Verdun).
No need to spend a full evening in the company of Maxime Goulet to understand that he tells stories. Far from mythomania, the composer tell his stories through music, first in the amused silence of his spirit as he imagines the soundtrack of harmless events he encounters on his path, then in the melodic breadth of his concert works.

By his own admission, a very small part of his production is inscribed within narrativity. A multiple narrativity, inscribed first and foremost in a fluid and directed melodic discourse, and then at various levels of abstraction, with winks to narrative forms, either musical or literary, that have inspired him.

About his recent production for the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Maxime affirms: Toute une journée (“An Entire Day”) is a work for string orchestra and ‘added means,’ tracing a metaphorical parallel between the unfolding of one day and that of an entire life, as if one were the microcosm of the other.” In four brief movements tracing back the events of the day, in light of various life events as in the enigma of the Sphinx, the author makes his unique melodic material evolve in a manner freely inspired from theme and variation. This melody is developed throughout the day that is put to music, moving from the foreground to the background; it serves as guide to the musical discourse, then yield to more dramatic events.

It is in a very humble way that Maxime explains that the narrative framework of his work can be understood on various levels. On a first level, melodic and almost anecdotic, in which the listener follows this melody-thought (of his life) from morning until evening. The passing of time is represented on stage by “added means” such as an alarm clock (first movement), a punch-clock and the musicians’ walking noise (second movement), the candle between the duettists (third movement) and the murmuring of the musicians (last movement). The other levels refer back to allusions, inspirations and winks that he makes to key elements of his personal library: Le livre du rire et de l’oubli by Milan Kundera and A day in the Life of the Beatles. Humble, to evoke Kundera and the mythic Fab Four? Everything lies in the manner! The manner of the performance as well as the manner of talking about it. Maxime speaks about it with enlightened admiration, gracefully keeping in memory the naivety of the first reading or the first listening, in order to better enjoy the next ones. What is striking in Maxime Goulet’s musical writing is the attention and respect paid to the listener. Whoever listens for the first time, without expectations, or whoever already knows much and listens in an enlightened way, or finally whoever re-listens. If in the end all these listeners found food for thought that makes his whole day.

Martine Rhéaume

______________________________

Maxime Goulet, « Toute une journée ».

McGill Chamber Orchestra, dir. Boris Brott
Creation: Monday, May 9th, 2011, 7:30PM
Pollack Hall (555 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal)

Arkea Ensemble, dir. Dina Gilbert.
Thursday May 19th, 2011, 7 :30PM
Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs Church (4155 Wellington, Verdun).

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