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Pierre Cartier Biography

Pierre Cartier’s music is the convergence of the multiple approaches he has pursued since the very start of his career. A classically trained double bass player, a specialist in baroque music on original instruments, Pierre Cartier wishes to play music as one speaks one’s mother tongue — that is, with freedom, fluidity, and intelligence — passing from symphonic music to baroque and contemporary music, and from the jazz of Thelonious Monk to the fertile grounds of improvisation. He founded his own ensemble in 1987 and, centred on his own instrumental compositions, develops a very personal integration of musical idioms.

However, it is in vocal music, when voice and text mobilize both the spirit and the heart, that this integration is at its most organic. The discovery of his deep affinity for ancient sacred song, particularly Gregorian Chant and primitive polyphony, accompanied the composition of his first vocal work Chansons de Douve, a solemn and majestic ceremonial created around the poems of Yves Bonnefoy.

«Dis, Blaise…» chanson du Transsibérien sets to music a long poem published by Blaise Cendrars in 1913: Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jeanne de France. This musical journey, at once painful and enlightening, was for Pierre Cartier a turning point since it was the first time he sang solo while playing the double bass.

Chansons de la belle espérance is his most recent show: seven jazz songs on texts by Québec poets. These songs, in the manner of jazz standards, shed both a lyrical and critical light on the timeless theme of love.

Pierre Cartier is a member of the new music group Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms, of the group Évidence (music of Thelonious Monk), of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Schola St-Grégoire, and the Strauss-Lanner ensemble.

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