In 1999, I was introduced to her music. We were joining a mailing music club, you know, the ones where you get X number of “free” disks along with the engagement to buy a few albums every year at 3 times their retail prices. Whenever you signup to these clubs, you always face challenges to fill your 1st order. It always seems like their catalogs are quite limited and you already have the interesting stuff in your music library. As one of the last resort selection, Anne-Marie picked “Vent Fou” from Jorane.
-“No harm done; it is free anyway.”
Weeks later we received the box. We went through the mostly anticipated albums 1st and eventually got to Jorane’s, a francophone from Montreal playing cello. I did not have any francophone albums in the house and could not think of any others with cello as leading instrument. I had some doubts about the place she could occupied here. I was still into Moist, Veruca Salt, Holly McNarland, The Cardigans, The Cranberries, Poe, Pink Floyd (I could become a fan of House music and Pink Floyd would still be in my music short list). When I started to listen to the album I found some similitudes with Tori Amos piano mastering and Bjork’s originality . I thought that like Tori and Bjork, her style could grow on me. Maybe if a second album got released already… Then track 7 came up. Track 7…
Who needs a second album after listening to track 7!? I was sold! I hit several times the back button on my Diskman® to listen over and over “Dit-Elle”, a song about Death and the will to live. It was that song that made me realize that the cello was not only a musical instrument but a conduit for the emotions that couldn’t be translated into words (I just restarted the song for the 3rd time since I started writing…). I have been purchasing and listening every one of her albums ever since. Her work is most inspiring. Her music played on my iPod during my 1st steps into photography and on the computer during my late nights/early morning post processing sessions. I had insomnia last night; guess what was playing…
I had the chance to see Jorane live a few times, always in small and intimate venues. I saw her do the opening act for Chantal Kreviazuk a few years ago and her presence on stage was incredible. Rarely you buy tickets for a show and don’t want the opening act to get off the stage. The icing on top of the cake was when Chantal called her back on stage for a little jam session; my favourite cellist with one of my favourite pianist and song writer together, 25 feet away from my seat.
I received an email last week from her production agency. A friendly reminder of Jorane’s new album release and invitation to a small 100 seats concert. I was sitting in front of the computer when that email came in and I am sure my response flew out of my mailbox within seconds.
With much anticipation, Anne-Marie and I showed up at the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal for the album launching party. A few minutes before the show, the doors of the concert hall opened and we were the 4th and 5th person to get in. I knew what the hall looked like and did not want to end up in the back. The photographer in me kicked in at that point. All I had were my 17-40mm and 85mm. This meant either front seats or cropping. I hate cropping.
It was about 40 minutes of pure delight. Jorane played her new material, all covers from other artists such as Indochine, Niagara, Vanessa Paradis, Anne Sylvestre and Leonard Cohen. Jorane managed to make these songs hers on this album with both musical instruments arrangements and vocal performance but I am glad I had the chance to hear it 1st coming out the 4 strings of her cello.