Ever since he hopped in his singer songwriter pickup 15 years ago, Guillaume Arsenault has steered its wheel through many musical trails and highways. With his feet manly rooted in the folk genre, he fully embraces his adventurer’s instincts by taking on experiments that are just as bold as they are harmonious. He concocts his songs with a keen craftsmanship. A true and genuine artist, he is at once sensitive and resolved, funny and placid. He sees and hears things that we only skim on the surface. In his backpack, he carries around his successes (Petite-Vallée, Galaxy Awards, Archambault), five albums and friendships with a herd of artists such as Eric Dion, Charles Imbeau and Erik West-Millette. As a musical explorer, Guillaume Arsenault draws new territories. He possesses a humble wisdom and a quiet laughter, his ears on his azimut mantra: to be himself, at home.
|Tour: Guillaume Arsenault en France – Mars 2018|
Guillaume Arsenault, singer-songwriter, was born in the Gaspé in 1976 and has run a song shop there for over 20 years. He belongs to this country and his voice matches the scale of his landscapes, based on the power of the elements.
It’s by birth, Guillaume draws his breath and his rhythm from the universe he lives in. He never tires of chasing the territory and diving into the sea. His breathing, sometimes jerky, sometimes restrained, reveals what constitutes both his strength and his sensitivity, the part of him that trembles.
The father, the lover, the cabinetmaker, the trainer, the artist share the same quiet strength, the same gift for contemplation, the same poetic outlook on things, the same desire to reinvent themselves with each project. Far from confusing it, this flow defines it. Guillaume Arsenault has a bias for freedom.
He feels the need to write useless beauty without ambition, searches for small sonic and poetic jewels to pose in his folk songs. They turn into real colorful mosaics thanks to the rhythmic and melodic use of the sounds he collects: birdsong, fridge motor, pebble noises, moose vocalization … The musician is patient and polite.
This can be heard in La partie de moi qui tremble, his sixth album, produced by Mathieu Pelletier-Gagnon, which was released in 2019. We take an inner journey punctuated by nostalgia and hope and by all these intangible things who nourish the existence. In pursuit of the monsters who hide there, sometimes at a run, sometimes in the slowness, we adopt a panoramic view of the landscape. We rub shoulders with diverse but complementary universes.
Here, the music seeks its balance between prettiness and twist. The folk songs are dressed in keyboards and hypnotic rhythms from the world of electronic music. They undergo fine electronic grindings which reveal rather soft melodies in cracks, small improbable critters. Folk simplicity and cheeky electronic degeneration.
Several times awarded (Petite-Vallée Song Festival, Radio-Canada Revelation Espace musique, CALQ Creation Prize, etc.) and named (ADISQ, Canadian Folk Music Prize, etc.), and drawing on his experience in song, Guillaume Arsenault now shares its know-how with emerging artists.He devotes himself in turn to sound design (Irene on March, The wonderful voyage of Réal from Montreal…), to production (Dans l’shed, Joey Robin-Hachey, Éric-John Keyser…) and to training (Unifying songs / Nikamu Mamuitun).
He becomes a mature artist, a man who has the courage of a sage, both feet in the truth and the spirit of adventure. He looks forward.
Festival acadien de Caraquet, ChantEauFête en Charlevoix, FrancoFolies de Montréal, Coup de coeur francophone de Montréal, Boîte à bleuet d’Alma, Festival de la Morue de Bègles, France, Quai des Arts de Carleton, Salle Telus-Desjardins de Rimouski, Festival de Musique du Bout du Monde de Gaspé, Nuit Blanche sur Tableau Noir de Montréal and more.
Guillaume Arsenault (voice, guitar)
Charles Imbeau (trumpet)