“Illumination” by Mathieu Bourret: beauty for Christmas

“Illumination” by Mathieu Bourret: beauty for Christmas


Pianist Mathieu Bourret offered himself – and offers us – a sweet gift with Illumination. This first Christmas album is intended to be a different opus from what is generally expected of an album of its kind. Far from the bells and hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it transports you to the world of the pianist for whom the beauty of Christmas begins with the memory of a few darker moments.

In duet with his adored instrument (he speaks in fact of a fusional link between him and his instrument), Mathieu Bourret unveils here six covers of Christmas classics and a spontaneous improvisation (creation technique that made him famous) baptized Illumination

“I wanted to show Christmas with my child's eyes, Christmases that have always been different,” explains the 35-year-old soloist. I wanted to portray another side of Christmas, something we are less used to hearing. Also look for the dark side, because to get this Christmas light, it is good to see the dark side. » 

In the same way, the musician from Laval – whose universe is often described as melancholy, dramatic, but also luminous – believes that you have to know how to live with silences to appreciate music. . The Joy to the World coinwants to be the most luminous of the album and refers to traditions, dance and family. 

The piece Illumination as for it, takes a moment before start, the same way you have to let the night pass to see the light. It must be said that this album, created in the midst of a pandemic, was strongly influenced by this moment of great loneliness. 

For the pianist, it was important that this album be organic, far from a desire for perfection. We hear his piano bench creaking when he plays, the ambient sounds, even his breathing.

“I want people to recognize themselves in that; in raw emotion more than perfection, explains the artist adept at slowness. There is not much difference between me and my piano and me as a human. I wanted to take my clothes off too, and the good thing about instrumental music is that we can create our own images of beauty. »

Here, beauty refers to Christmases that are not like the others, pandemic Christmases, lonely Christmases, wartime Christmases and unpredictable Christmases. 

This allows us to enjoy Christmases more soft. 

Sincere music

“I walk around a lot in music, continues the pianist and composer who launched the project The Climatologist last year (4 seasonal EPs launched over the last few seasons, he who says he is hypersensitive to changes in temperature and climate). The piano allows me to exteriorize my moods. » 

Sincere even in the challenges he likes to set himself, the improviser has also launched a unique virtual project: delivering 365 live improvisations over the past year. It is at 320.  

“A crazy project,” says the founding member of the Oktopus group. It’s super demanding and super dizzying! It transforms me as a human. A bit like automatic writing or drawing. Every day, I find myself in front of a blank page and this forces me to connect to the heart, to the source of my creation, in a state of total vulnerability. » 

Mathieu Bourret's Illumination album can be found on the platforms

To follow the pianist and find out more about his upcoming The Climatologist tour: mathieubourretpianiste.com/