Jean-Michel Blais – roses
– Top selling classical album in Canada 2017.
– Over 50 million streams worldwide.
– ‘Il’ (2016) listed at TIME Magazine’s #10 album of 2016.
– Nominee for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Post-classical pianist and composer Jean-Michel Blais has shared "roses", a new song that explores the cathartic effects of music and the understanding of sickness and wellness it provides. On it, Blais deftly treads the lines between the classical and pop worlds, simultaneously referencing Radiohead’s "Pyramid Song", Rachmaninov / Carmen’s "Concerto no 2: Adagio sostenuto", and Celine Dion’s "All By Myself". The composition feels equally at home in concert halls and rock clubs.
About the track, Blais says, "’roses’ is a funeral piece dedicated to my friend’s mother who died from cancer. The ostinato, the repeating single note in the intro, represents her beating heart, and the ever-present tumour, sometimes forgotten but still growing. How do ill people find peace, if they can at all? "roses" is my attempt to reflect a journey of someone’s musical memories, wandering from pop to classical remembrances, concluding on nostalgic harmony."
Last year Blais collaborated with CFCF for an acclaimed EP Cascades on Arts & Crafts, which struck a unique balance between classical composition and contemporary electronic music. The collaboration stemmed from a featured performance the at the Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal. In 2016 he released his debut album Il, which introduced Blais as an exciting new voice in the realm of crossover classical music. Blais will release a follow-up to Il later this year on Arts & Crafts.
"it invites you to take a moment and recognize there’s still plenty of beauty left in the world"
– TIME Magazine
"Simply put, [Jean-Michel Blais’] Il is a masterpiece." – Exclaim (9/10)
"Blais’s compositions can be as poignant as they are playful, mixing together accessible melodies with experimental flourishes. – CBC
"a fragile and beautiful piece of music" – Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC6
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