[Entrevue] “Links to places”: even him


Candy. Slow. The guitar has time between the strings. A piano lets the notes flow. The beautiful voice of Richard Séguin invites itself, almost a whisper. “It’s already midnight / In the forest of the world”, he lets slip between his lips, like a suffering breath. Tenderness and sadness in the tone. Hélène Dorion’s words are the right ones, the ones he should sing first. Richard Séguin is not taking refuge in his paths, stands on the brink of the end of the world and has no choice but to see it and bear witness to it: “What have we betrayed? / Do you hear the rumbling storm. “The title of the song is launched like a buoy: “Keep me a little poetry. » The initial affirmation becomes a question, in extremis “Is it midnight already? Maybe yes, maybe no. Of course, the man in love with humanity, the tenacious of the tenacious, has hope more tenuous than ever.

A little poetrythe album’s opening song Links places, is not a call to arms nor an incantatory song, nor a great blissful encouragement. More of a reaction. A letting go of what torments him as much as us. The following ? What next? Existential anxiety even in the tranquility of Saint-Venant-de-Paquette, it’s scary. Even him ? Even him. Richard Coeur-de-Séguin admitting that he is faced with the irreparable, staring at nothingness… “The forest, the people you meet on a path, it’s comforting. But the news gets to us. With perhaps even more force, because the awareness of what we are losing is more palpable. The big trucks that keep passing with their load of trees, we see them more than in Montreal. »

Acceptance, yes, resignation, no!

There’s a song that talks about it specifically, by the way: Forest paths. Anger in the words, sustained marching rhythm in the instrumentation, but Séguin does not sing in full voice, on the contrary. “You can’t sing louder than the chainsaws “, he says, more than lucid. “I even lowered my tones, you can’t shout that. Séguin is not Richard Desjardins. There is more resentment than disgust in his denunciation of the “language of ministries” where “everything crashes every four years”. It is past midnight when he sings: “I heard the trees singing. » Vertigo of the void. There are “militants” [qui] cling to the spruce trees,” he blurts out in the last verse like we’re letting go of ballast, it looks like a consolation prize. Imbued with a certain… cynicism. Cynical, Richard, come on!

The forest, the people you meet on a path, it’s comforting. But the news gets to us. With perhaps even more force, because the awareness of what we are losing is more palpable. The big trucks that keep passing with their load of trees, we see them more than in Montreal.

“There is a lot of acceptance in this album, but not resignation, anyway! » he maintains stubbornly on the phone, in the slightly miffed tone of an eternal hippie who has nevertheless aged a little: at 70, ideals necessarily take a little water. “What we’ve been through with the pandemic, what we’re going through as a society, Trump and his gang just downstairs, what’s happening in Ukraine, what’s happening to the Earth, you can’t ignore that. It’s hard, and it’s discouraging, it must be said. It’s quite a crossing, and we really haven’t reached the shore. We can be discouraged by big stretches, but not desperate. I refuse despair. »

Hope despite everything

It strikes nevertheless in the majority of the songs: hope is late. In Since, written by the faithful Marc Chabot, it is about the “little time”, the “sad heart”, the “fears of tomorrow”, “our hope which is held back”, these are the final lines that support the building in all its cracks. Even in Residewhere the voice is strong, the chorus motivating and the folk-rock arrangement vigorous in the spirit of america day, Richard sings that “hope seeks the shore”. “But I repeat three times ‘nothing is over’, for me it’s a rallying song. ” It’s true. Courage, courage, the shore is not so far away, it seems like in a movie scene that would precede the outcome. Hurrah or hallali?

If there are some very intimate songs in the middle of the disc, perhaps the most personal in all of Richard Séguin’s repertoire, a sensitive letter to his mother (Close to the aspens), an evocation of the closeness with his father (The garage), tribute to Florent Vollant (The drum), the fact remains that the album’s great songs of hope — the very lyrical Be herethe aptly named Little hymn to great ranks — are served for dessert, as if to leave a good taste in the mouth. “Hugo Latulippe wrote me an extraordinary text. Words that name the territory. For me, it was essential. It is written in the simple future: “We will go crazy, hay / until after we will prepare our lives to come / Our migrations to other times / And as at other times / in our history we will found a country on hope. »

Richard Séguin will have won it hard, this momentum, this charge of energy, this great vote of confidence. “It may be my most realistic album, but it’s not a pessimistic album. I keep thinking that the dream is something real. You have to look for beauty wherever you can find it. »

Links places

Richard Seguin, Spectra Music

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