When you travel do you wonder what it’s like to be from the place you’re visiting? Are you the kind of traveller who takes everything in as a spectator, or someone who really lets a place into your heart? Discovering local music and local musicians is a great way to dig deep into the soul of a city.
A couple of years ago I began to listen to a lot of piano music. The cat, the neighbours’ cat actually, is a very big fan of piano music. She kept me company every day when I was home recovering from an operation. I noticed that she was happier and calmer with the likes of Petrucciani or Rémi Panossian playing in the background; and I was happier and calmer with her in the room.
We all know what it’s like adapting to the musical tastes of others. Life is all about compromise. She (the cat) tolerates Miles and Chet Baker, is appreciative of Coltrane and Stan Getz but actually likes piano music. I know what you’re thinking. The cat just likes calm music (or this blogger is nuts) but the truth is she likes Monk and she likes Ahmad Jamal at his most enthusiastic. Play any music featuring an electric guitar and this cat throws a fleeting glance of disdain my way before exiting the room in a huff. The cat’s company post op was a wonderful remedy for loneliness and so I became a big fan of piano music.
Rémi Panossian is a pianist who was born in Montpellier in 1983 and later moved to Toulouse to further his musical studies. I first discovered him on FIP radio, in the car. I bought DO, his solo 2017 CD, which features a cover of Paint it Black where he appears possessed at times. Also on this album is the Mirror, a pretty, soulful composition. There are seven original pieces and three covers on DO, his first solo album. It was recorded under the artistic direction of Nicolas Gardel, a trumpeter and friend of Panossian.
Nicolas Gardel has been playing the trumpet since the age of 7. He plays in a group, Nicolas Gardel and the Headbangers, an eclectic mix of musicians who don’t really fit into any particular genre of music. A child prodigy virtuoso musician, he has multiple varied influences and plays with great passion.
The two artists have teamed up again to record the Mirror. This album also includes a combination of covers and original compositions. The first couple of tracks are composed by Nicolas Gardel and there is one track co-written by the two artists. The Mirror, the gorgeous track which featured on DO reappears on this album with the addition of Gardel’s trumpet. It enhances the melody perfectly, deepening the mood and is my favorite track.
Amaterasu is a beautiful uplifting piece of music that makes me think of mountains or some kind of majestic scenery. From here the album takes a turn towards the more traditional and starts to swing a little. The album terminates on a funkier note. After the 8th track I often find myself pushing play all over again. I am infatuated with this album and can’t get enough of it.
Visit www.nicolasgardel.com for more information
I hope you liked this post and that you discover the album the Mirror for yourself and the Occitan musicians Rémi Panossian and Nicolas Gardel.
Follow me to keep up with my on my travels around beautiful Occitanie…..a bientôt Christina