A mélange of sweet melodies, sophisticated jazz, rollicking cabaret and exotic worldbeat, this album is a sensuous and soothing journey through the ever-changing fortunes of the human heart.
Chansons Irisées or songs of iridescence (like a rainbow) is a charismatic compilation of Barry’s own French compositions as well as her interpretations of songs by Québecois poet Christine Bernard and the icon of French Chanson, Édith Piaf.
Album: Chansons Irisées
Year Released: 2010
Awards: ECMA nomination in the Francophone Album of the Year category
- Yves Drolet
- Recording, mixing, mastering:
- Studio Sismique in Québec studiosismique.com
- Graphic design:
- Marie-Claude Quenneville
- Denise Pelletier
- Paddy Barry, Skye Tostowaryk
- Michel Dubeau
- duduk, bulagarian kaval (chromatic end-blown flute), tenor & soproano sax, clarinette
- Sylvain Neault
- violon & alto
- Richard Lavoie
- guitar, dobro & percussion
- Christine Bernard
- classical guitar on Les Engoulevents
- Daniel Breton
- electric & accoustic bass
- Sébastien Dubois
- Bruno Fecteau
- piano, vocal harmonies & musical direction
Song List & English summaries
- La fille de la mer
- Written by a dear friend of mine, Marie- Lili Cauchon, this song freed the “inner pirate” in me, and with the rhythm and the colours of the clarinet and violin, it is a true valse terre neuvienne à la française. (It is also a song for me, about me. Je suis la fille de la mer.)
- Je t’aime tant
- Easily one of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard, and a total joy to sing, this song contains one truly wonderful lyric that sums up the power of love “I can make smoke rings and just as easily take them away because “l’amour me donne du talent” – “love gives me talent”.”
- La lune autour
- My first French poem set to music, written under a harvest moon and an October sky on a chance trip through Drummondville, love would drop into my arms, like moon drops from the sky.
- La vie en rose
- Having been performed in a dozen ways by a ton of artists, how could I come near recording a song of such fame and still bring something fresh to the interpretation? Bruno believed that piano accompaniment alone would create an impressionistic background for the words to sit, but little did I know that the sparseness of the piece would demand that I go deep inside of me to that vulnerable place that only being swept away by love can feel like.
- Pourquoi c’est comme ça
- Strange as it may sound, I have the same birthday as Kierkegaarde, the founder of existentialism and this song came from a place of wondering why something is a certain way, while something else is not. Set to a tango, the dance highlights the tension of these two conflicting notions that resolves only in infinity.
- J’aurai sa peau
- Another of Christine’s pieces but this one I was sure I would never have the guts to sing. The lyric is raw and very suggestive in places (J’aurai sa peau – I’ll have his skin!) Even the title made me think that Sister Mary Catherine might roll over in her grave. But I know that feeling of being in a place where love feels so close that it’s in your skin, so I decided to take the chance and go for it. It was totally liberating!
- Peine d’amour
- Continuing with the Christine Bernard suite, a true classic with a haunting arrangement that for me captured the isolation and bittersweet pain of heartbreak and ultimately the acceptance that must come in order to heal the wounds from the war with love. This is my mom’s favourite song. When she heard it she said “I really like the words in this song”. Funny, but my mother doesn’t speak French, but she still understands the feeling behind the words.
- Les engoulevents
- Imagine a deserted field with a toppled over house that is inviting and scarey at the same time. In this house lives a wizard who calls in the spirits at night. The sound of the dudük brings us into la Sorcière’s world of talismans and magic potions as the spell is cast like a spider web around the narrator of the story. Les engoulevents are whippoorwills and it is their call after midnight that she will recall.
- Though I didn’t know this piece before, I was convinced that it was a ballad that would win my heart. Basically, “before my youth is over and my springs have all gone, I would like to see Syracuse, Easter Island, Mount Fujiyama, Verona, relish the souvenirs while listening to the wind sing.”
- Quand la ville dort
- A very quirky song with indescribable lyrics that tell a story of what goes go in the city when the town is asleep and all kinds of bizarre characters are on the move. The unusual time signature of 5/4 keeps you on your toes while the wailing of the sax reflects the shrill sound of the sirens at night.
- La gare
- the last of Christine’s songs that is set in a train station, where time and place meet up with a sad woman who holds on to her heart and her dream. This song is my first country song and I am in love with it, especially the chorus and the dobro riding underneath. It’s also Mme. Isabelle Fecteau’s favourite song (Bruno’s Mom).
- Ne me quitte pas
- Jacques Brel’s classic that many “wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole”, this is a song of profound despair and a very challenging song to tackle lyrically. But, it is a piece that has always moved me and I have wanted to record it since the first time I heard it. With Bruno’s arrangement of the strings that are nothing short of sublime, I am particularly attached to this version of the song.