By Stevie Connor.
Just when the darkness gives way to the dawn, the birdsong reaches a crescendo. It is the “dawn chorus,” which greets the first sunbeams piercing the horizon. Au Coeur de l’Aube (The Heart of Dawn), the eleventh album by the trio Genticorum, is an invitation to delve into the core of Quebecois folk music by the light of the breaking dawn. The album’s title captures this spirit in untranslatable wordplay, simultaneously evoking “the heart of the dawn” and the “dawn chorus” in the homonyms coeur/choeur.
These twelve tracks, a mixture of vocal pieces and instrumentals, are populated by a host of birds. A recurring figure is the lark, who visits sailors on the high seas, accompanies lovers in the fields, and places her heart in the wings of the blackbird. We also meet the quail and the partridge, perched on the throne of their nest, watching us. These tales are illuminated through the trio’s idiosyncratic musical sensibility, honed by their experience playing on the international scene for more than 20 years.
The sum of this cumulative experience nourishes the three musicians of Genticorum in their craft. Weaving together vibrant threads of accordion, guitar, violin, flute, and foot percussion, with arrangements that are sometimes festive, sometimes introspective, the trio is dedicated to expressing the essence of these melodies and the poetry of traditional songs. With glad hearts, Pascal, Yann and Nicholas invite you to discover these stories, brought to life again on Au Coeur de l’Aube.
With multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as Juno and ADISQ nominations, Genticorum have earned a reputation as a leading voice in the evolution of Québécois traditional music.
For over twenty years and eleven albums, the trio has earned a place of privilege on world, traditional, folk and Celtic music stages. Known for their unbridled energy, their musicianship and their magnetic stage presence, the trio has won over audiences at such prestigious events as Celtic Connections in Scotland, the Tønder Folk Festival in Denmark, the National Folk Festival in Australia, the Independent Music Festival in Alexandria, Egypt, the Rain Forest Festival in Malaysia, as well as countless venues across North America.
Pascal Gemme (fiddle) and Yann Falquet (guitar), the group’s two founding members, are both recognized individually as major contributors to the trad music scene in Québec. Since 2015, they have been joined by accomplished multi-instrumentalist and composer Nicholas Williams (flute, accordion). Weaving intricate fiddle, flute and accordion lines, gorgeous vocal harmonies, subtle guitar textures and exhilarating foot percussion, the pleasure that these three musicians have creating and playing together is palpable, both in the studio and on the concert stage.
fiddle - mandolin - foot percussion - voice
Pascal Gemme is a leading light in Quebec’s traditional music scene.Known as much for his original compositions as his fine interpretation of traditional tunes, Pascal is the fiddler, singer and arranger of the band, Genticorum, whose CDs have met with critical acclaim in several countries.
From a young age, the fiddle music and songs of his native province have captivated him. After graduating with a degree in composition and band arrangements at Montreal’s St Laurent College, he immersed himself in the traditional music around him, playing, collecting and recording music found all over Quebec. Pascal has developed a vast knowledge and is a leading exponent of the music.
guitar - jaw harp - voice
Yann Falquet is a very active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelor's degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America).
His involvement in the province's traditional music scene has brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to tour regularly throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia with Genticorum but also with JUNO award-winning Celtic and world group The McDades and the Jean-François Bélanger Trio.
accordion - flute - voice
Nicholas Williams has developed a reputation as a versatile and sought-after musician in the traditional music scenes of Québec and New England. His rhythmic yet nuanced style of flute playing draws from Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as from his studies of classical North Indian music. After completing a BFA in world music and composition at York University, Nicholas moved to Québec in 2000, where he has enjoyed exploring the common ground of his own diverse musical experiences with the rich Québécois musical tradition. Also an accomplished accordion and piano player, he has been a member of the band Crowfoot since 2005, plays with fiddler Laura Risk, and in the Alex Kehler & Nicholas Williams duo.