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Claude Marc Bourget

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: November 23, 1956    

Claude Marc Bourget

Claude Marc Bourget gives us with the piano surprising improvisations, with the frays influences of modern jazz and classical, often virtuosos and where resound as in memory the landscape of the music of the 20th century.

“An energetic music, extremely dense, as well as uncommon harmonic richness. Autodidact, Bourget displays impressive technical qualities and shows nexhaustible creative inspiration.” —Pierre Boulet, LE SOLEIL, Festival international de jazz de Montreal

Claude Marc Bourget was born in 1956 in Montreal. Autodidact, he became known in 1982 with his appearance at Musak Noise Sound Festival (Montreal's Vehicule Art Gallery), where several experimental artists from Montreal and New York participated” with a concert for improv'ed solo piano and recorded piece, entitled Resonant Tension /prolongation.

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Musiques De Ballet from Claude Marc Bourget , by Susan Frances, Arts & Entertainment /Associated Content

Listeners cannot help themselves from being abducted by the vibrant musings of pianist/improviser Claude Marc Bourget. His latest CD, Musiques de Ballet coruscates a radiant bouquet of expressions from feeling sentimental and elated to being pensive and introspective. The tracks are treated as if each one is an autonomous chapter that when linked together produces an epic tome. The first fourteen tracks are part of the “Reford Garden Suite” which precedes the singular multi-textured “Espana Mistica,” followed by the seven tracks of “Sept Entrees de Ballet,” then the three tracks of “Passacaillies Etranges et Tragiques,” and finally the lulling aromas of “Naissance du Cygne” and “Pas de Deux.” With all of the music written and performed by Bourget, Musiques de Ballet demonstrates his ability to weave gorgeous tapestries that he makes into living, breathing organisms.

Bourget's dexterity shapes palatable pieces that permeate a prismatic luster as he immerses himself into the continually changing melodic forms. His keys sparkle vigorously along the progressions of “Long Walk in the Royal Colors,” and change intermittently through “Espana Mistica” between having the delicate touch of gentle raindrops drizzling down a windowpane and whipping savagely like a man on a mission. Oscillating between imprinting intensely bold punctuations with bouts of mildly tempered strokes, Bourget's improvisations are diligently detailed and thatched harmoniously with notes that vibrate in a variety of hues while erecting a maze that ambles naturally through the progressions.

Bourget's imagination is unyielding, and his ability to transpose his thoughts into fleshy piano patterns is laudable. His material embodies the malleable musings penned by his fingers and wrist motions while sustaining a melodic sonorous that orchestral artists will be inspired to mirror. The glistening tones of Bourget's fondling keys in “Entrée a Deux (femme et enfant)” are exhilarating, and the introspective mood projected in “Derniere Passacaille” is molded from the coasting swells forged by Bourget's penchant for playing from off the cuff. The burst of energetic twinkles scrolled by one hand is counterbalanced by the repetitive scheme played by the other hand in “Entrée Seul (enfant).” The peaks and recessed clefts are made gradually while emphasizing Bourget's edge to improvise kinks and inflections along the melodic phrases. Bourget's movements are unpredictable and express an active mind that honors the beauty of introspective stimulus.

Claude Marc Bourget's skills as a pianist and improviser foster the perception that the piano has a “WOW” factor. As a purveyor of avant garde jazz, Bourget works within the parameters of melodic tones and harmonious exchanges by transferring the movements of a ballerina's legs with the hands of a pianist. Musiques de Ballet is a phenomenal endeavor which gels multiple expressions, textures and dynamics that bend and reflect capriciously, and subsequently inject meaning into Bourget's art.

About SECOND TIME from Claude Marc Bourget, by Susan Frances, JAZZTIMES (Community), 04/03/09

The images that Claude Marc Bourget ignites with the piano keys can be as bucolic as a field of brightly hued perennials or as violent as a raging tempest on his latest album, Second Time from Ruby Flower Records. His compositions are like pictorials of the world around us, sometimes stringing notations filled with solace and other times the trail of notes rise up in a rash blaze of fury and release pearls of heated passion. His verses are melodically seamed and articulately linked displaying an eloquence akin to Sweden’s Joachim Kuhn.

Pianists of Bourget’s class see the deeper shades of life. He has a vision that pierces the surface and peers into what burrows beneath, then exhumes those emotions and channels them into musical forms. Bourget speaks the language of nature with such perception of its inner workings that his sonic creations show a visceral compassion for its shifts in mood, even when its anger is all-consuming.

Second Time is divided into five parts: Opening, Part I, Part II, Part III, and the final piece “Rising Death.” Each composition displays Bourget’s versatility to change the direction of a piece in mid-flight, and agility to spring into action and keep the pieces continually streaming as if no breach was ever made. Bourget’s notes branch out into dazzling mazes which culminate into mountains of thick foliage and then thins out into soft reclining valleys like the segments strewn across “Plays Of Winds,” or the mazes may wander capriciously expressing panic periodically like in “Dance Of The Large Bird.” The compositions alternate between expressing anxiety mounted by grand manifestations and inner peace portrayed by light, trickling showers of notes like those laid out along “Secret Ice.” The glistening cascades of the piano keys along “Ungrund” exude an unbridled passion, which Bourget reins in along the slender droplets seeping through the crevices of “River In The Air.”

Bourget creates a balance between the deposits of rage and peacefulness in nature. His compositions channel the moods which guide nature’s course, and draws out its beauty even when confronted with its darker, brooding tirades. Second Time demonstrates Bourget’s agility as a pianist, and skillfulness to convey nature’s messages to audiences. He shows a desire for challenges, and a need to master them.

About SECOND TIME from Claude Marc Bourget, by Lorelei Clarke, JAZZ REVIEW, 2009

Pianist Claude Marc Bourget put his musical career on pause for a few years to become a published writer back in the 1980s. He returns to the music scene with this solo album that blends both jazz and classical motifs into an impressionist soundscape. The album was recorded in the Françoys-Bernier concert hall of Domain Forget in Charlevoix, Canada, which makes the album into more than just an interesting piece. None of the effects from the hall are lost on the listener. The intensity of the music and the quality of the recording pull you into the music, until you feel almost as if you are sitting alone in a concert hall.

Bourget’s playing is not especially lyrical at first listen, but about the second or third time around, you begin to make sense of the long phrases and the subtle themes that continue through each section of the album. What is remarkable is how energetic his playing is. There is rarely a lull in the intensity; even the silences hold the listener’s attention. His playing is dense with harmonies at times, while at others it is reduced to a simplistic melodic strain. It is, as the title implies, cyclic, constantly building up and breaking down in complexity and volume. He drives these cycles with changes in rhythm and harmony, gradually moving away from his original theme, only to return to it later on. The themes sound more classical for the most part, but there are moments when he uses blues motifs. It’s hard to guess where the music will go next and how it will change, but in some ways the freedom and unpredictability of the music shows just how much thought went into each note.

No matter whether you are solo piano aficionado or not, Bourget’s sound is enthralling. His technical and creative facilities alone are admirable, but the sheer intensity of his music is enough to draw the most callused listener in. When so much music follows set forms of conformity and repeating phrases, it’s easy to get lost in the long, full themes that seem to never end. I am not traditionally a fan of solo piano works, and I probably won’t go out and buy any right away, but this album will definitely have a spot in my listening library.

About SECOND TIME from Claude Marc Bourget, by Susan Frances, JAZZ REVIEW, October 2008

Emotional, uninhibited, and hauntingly beautiful, pianist Claude-Marc Bourget takes his Ruby Flower Records release, Second Time, into highly cultivated passages displaying attributes of fertility and spontaneous encounters, which cause the music to feel amorous and lyrical as well as accidental. Someone once said that there are no such thing as accidents, only plans that other people make without your knowledge of them, and Bourget makes good use of this practice throughout Second Time making every serendipitous twist in the passageways and every bump in the road seem arbitrary and sudden, when in fact, they have been tested and honed into perfectly winding grottos. His long stretches of wanderings wicked by the piano keys seem mysteriously guided, as even the moments of transgressions manage to stay on course like they are under a trance, which stops them from trailing away from their objective, and every track resounds with an objective in mind.

Bourget’s compositions are strictly focused as well as free to soar as high as the creative imagination will allow and sink as low as the heart’s emotional abyss. Through the episodes of deep contemplation and mesmerizing flights, Bourget exhibits impressive maturity that causes people to stop in their tracks and listen to him. You don’t have to be a fan of piano jazz in order to hear and understand the messages permeating through his music. The music speaks in one language which can be interpreted in many dialects, and allows Bourget to refurbish Beethoven’s piece “Song Of Destiny” beautifully. The haunting shadows and noir tint of “Tides Of Hopewell Rocks Part II” exhibit a calculated madness as the notes lunge, twist, spar, and parry as they implant lofty squabbles and lyrically clashing tides similarly to the images of Disney’s animation “Fantasia.” The capriciously wielding piano keys of “Ungrund” display anger in its avant-garde motifs, while the softly gilded spreads of “River In The Air” feel like soothing droplets raining down on the soul. Bourget’s interpretation of Brahms gently moving “Lull In Ashes” has breathtaking vistas, and his own “Dance Of The Large Bird” arouses liberating sensations emanating from its rivers of natural flutters.

Claude-Marc Bourget conveys deep emotions in his compositions allowing the notes to speak from his soul. Sometimes the chord movements seem like haphazard collisions, but on closer inspection, they are meaningful scrolls that coordinate with life‘s movements. Bourget has a mind that sees music unlike anyone else’s. His album Second Time shows his skills as a virtuoso on the piano, but also as a masterful composer and arranger. At 52 years of age, Bourget does not seem to want to turn back time, but to move ahead with it, as Second Time embraces huge challenges and tests Bourget’s reflexes to move spontaneously along the changing tides.

About SECOND TIME from Claude Marc Bourget, by Jessica Lombardi ” LIVE MUSIC REPORT, September 2008

« Behind the bland cover art, the music on Claude-Marc Bourget’s newest CD Second Time/ Improvisations Cycle is dynamic and temperamental. Comprised of an opening movement, three inner parts (with five pieces to each part), and a final adagio movement, this cycle uses interesting modalities and jazz idioms to unite each section. Bourget explores melodic material and sound acoustics providing moments of extremely tranquil reverberations and thick tonal clusters.

Each song in this cycle paints a different picture with similar shades and strokes. “Northern Restlessness” is unstable: using dissonance, repetition and rising melodic content to evoke the experience of a piano being tuned. “Dance of the Large Bird” uses flying staccato passages next to smoother legato parts, syncopated rhythms and frequent leaps across the piano which show off Bourget’s agility and sensitivity to the instrument. “Second Time” is emotionally and intellectually insistent, with great variety heard through radical shifts in dynamics, rhythms, tone clusters, repetition and contrast of melodic material. Other pieces worthy of mention are: “Dripping of Whiteness” with its curious intervallic leaps that explore a mysterious and vast territory; “Tides of Hopewell Rocks”, which sounds more like an orchestra than a single instrument; “Ungrund” with its smooth and reflective melodies; “Awakening Cycle”, which uses clusters and whirls of tones to create a great gust of wind blowing the melodies against a wall of sound; and “Rising Death”, the pinnacle of dizzying and unsettling tension that fails to release until the final break that is left to echo in the last few moments of the CD.

Sometimes certain pieces sound familiar with one another, as when Bourget experiments with melodies in the upper register and heavy chords in the bass, but his pieces are most often insightful, and his style of improvisation can be both reflective and virtuosic.

Sur SECOND TIME de Claude Marc Bourget, JAZZ FRISSON Octobre 2008

Après une pause de plus d'un mois, je vous reviens avec un album du pianiste québécois Claude Marc Bourget. Second Time, Improvisations Cycle marque le retour à l'avant-scène de Bourget, dont j'ai déjà publié une interview ici. J'ai écouté souvent ce disque durant ma pause de Jazz Frisson. Ne venez pas chercher ici l'analyse musicale savante. Je m'en voudrais de découper cet acte d'amour en petites pièces. Car c'est bien de cela qu'il s'agit. Voilà un beau morceau de courage qui nous ramène souvent à nous-mêmes. N'essayez point de capter cette musique par bribes. Vous en perdriez toute l'essence. C'est une musique de solitude qui s'écoute de la même façon. Combien de fois l'ai-je écouté en voiture lors d'un long trajet en solitaire, pour me retrouver une heure plus tard à destination, ayant magiquement flotté au-dessus du temps?

Un fleuve, la vie...

Bourget est un pianiste exigeant. Introspectif par moment, plus exubérant sur certains morceaux, il nous fait vivre toute une gamme d'émotions. Il faut se laisser envelopper par sa musique, dont l'émotion se dévoile par couches successives comme l'aube naissante révèle les détails qui nous entourent. Les pièces de cet album ont été enregistrées au magnifique Domaine Forget de Ste-Irénée en septembre 2007 aux abords du fleuve St-Laurent. Tel ce cours d'eau source de vie, la musique de Bourget est majestueuse, vecteur de tous les chagrins, joies et espoirs qui y transitent sereinement.

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Download jazz mp3 “Espana mistica (y appostilla) ” by Claude Marc Bourget Download jazz mp3 “Plays Of Winds” by Claude Marc Bourget Download jazz mp3 “Secret Ice” by Claude Marc Bourget
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