“Twelve original works for trumpet, a very rich sound. His style is fluid, straightforward and strong. Accessible music – you want to keep listening.”
Francine Grimaldi – Samedi et rien d’autre, CBC Radio 1 (première chaîne de Radio-Canada)
“A deeply lyrical album ranging across several styles. Moods touching on jazz, pop and Latin music.”
Alexandre Vigneault – Paroles et musiques
“Film music. Road music that breaks through the clouds. Music that makes you dream of travel. Music to set out on the road by…This is really great music!”
Myra Cree – Cree et chuchotements, CBC – Radio 2 (chaîne culturelle de Radio-Canada)
“A magnificent self-produced work from a trumpeter whose work is fascinating – indeed, deliciously brilliant!”
Éric Messier – Le Quoi
“Louis Babin’s work is notable for his research and renewal of tone in everything he does. The complete artist – Babin is skilled in many different styles. I must emphasize his rich tone, his solid playing and the sensitivity of his trumpet.”
Vic Vogel – Arranger and orchestrator Vic Vogel Band
As if distance were always close by, pleasure within reach of your fingers, and the magic of exotic flavours touching your lips…the music of Louis Babin is a cinematic fresco in which each piece carries you from one shore to another to the rhythm of ocean waves, with neither loss of time nor jet-lag. You can taste each melody and imagine somewhere else. Somewhere else: where the heart often finds itself….that place where the heart would take us. Louis Babin’s rhythms are the shapes of the entire universe and his trumpet is the beating of wings in flight.
Listen to Mananara alone, or with your lover, or around a table where friendship sometimes creates a silence to make room for the music. You are suddenly on a terrace down south, gently caressed by the tropical heat, tasting a cool drink, happy never to leave this moment…then you’re transported to the bedroom, accompanied by all the tenderness a body can imagine. There is a divine sensuality in this adventure’s musical script. You are immersed in the twists and turns of the mystery and always anxious to know more. You become the hero of the suspense, the ineluctably mysterious solitary lover, the eternal voyager in the regions of the soul. Throughout Mananara the attentive ear will find answers, the music lover pleasure; and the uninitiated will say, “This is excellent! I want to go there too.”
translation from french by John Brooke
Mananara. What is it? Where is it? How should we know it? And when? One way to find out: listen.
Start in the city. Morning. Mananara is a mural on a wall in a newly discovered street. Follow it, from one revelation to the next, musical images linked like lines in a prayer, each image opening into its own essential musical dimension; each dimension essential to the larger picture.
The sense of continual opening this music brings. The physical contours Mananara lays out and guides us toward. This mural on a city wall becomes a landscape. Or a lifescape. The beauty of the beloved’s hair tossed in the wind. The distances we’re meant to travel.
So personal. It penetrates like garlic and beer, curiosity and love. I do not know Mananara, but, hearing it, I feel Mananara belongs to me, to my life, that everything is mine. Not to own but to add to – reciprocal and in good faith, from the warm grass underfoot to the farthest abstracted thought circling like an unknown bird…descending…coming closer, down through the light. Alighting. Approaching. Friends? Within Mananara: yes and more and always.
This music reminds me that the best things are yet to be defined, that these are the conditions of the life we imagine. This is how it is: I…you and I, dealing with non-definition as it forms and re-forms with every step – believing, sometimes failing, enjoying exaltation when the moment is right, learning to love the (one) fact: that everything will always change in its own good time.
Out onto the water now. An excursion down the coast to the cape – to that far point which may or may not be real. The water, the sky, a series of mirrors. Mananara is the means of orientation, the chart and vehicle. We hear music to dream by, music to stay on course – happy, anxious, longing, waiting to arrive…Then Mananara’s mirrors show us that same place after we are there. Retrospect. Musical nuance. Waves in the evening.
As if we’ve always been here. Mananara.
Today I decided to take a break from my routine and revive my senses.
I made my usual way through the light and the noise of the city toward the wonderful refuge of my home. Where I came upon your album, hiding among all the things I know and cherish – but unknown until now because of too much work and the desperation of daily life.
What a rainfall of colors! What a blend of light and shadow connecting your tones with my emotions! What sublime music in this labor of love! It lightens my spirit, so dominated by the arrogance of mediocrity and held down by this dread, this feeling of death that pervades the times, so inevitable and close at hand…
It’s at that moment when I jump away from my anger and into the sky to rediscover my joy. There I encounter my father in his dimly lit room listening to the music that made me dream of the future when I was a child…and my daughter, fragile yet strong as life itself, freely moving her tiny body, charmed by this music.
Once more I understand that the essential things are born in simplicity, and that simplicity always goes straight to the heart, and that the heart is the seed of happiness, and that happiness is love, and that there is no love without music, that you have set this magic chain in motion with your music that wakes the senses.
adaptation from spanish by John Brooke
At first I had a wonderful sensation of being free from gravity and floating in the air. It seemed like I had wings…I rise gradually into the sky like a bird. Landscapes, places, scenes…they are appearing and disappearing below my eyes in time to trumpet music like a gentle breeze. Although I have never visited most of those place I feel a strong nostalgia.
At a massive canyon surfaces of earth are burned in tones of red. Shadows of clouds move slowly on the ground as if big black fish were passing. The surface of the unknown lake is brilliant white. Shore grasses wave in the wind, wet stones are almost transparent. Suddenly I am taken away to the place where human warmths are fulfilled. I hear the sound of rumba, noises of a busy market on a distant southern island.
By giving myself into the melody of the trumpet I could immerse myself into the deep blue at the bottom of the deep sea, without feeling the coldness of the water. I could hear the twinkling of stars under a skyful of stars. On the savannah, thousands of animals are moving in one direction yet I could hear a plaintive rumbling of the ground. A scent of dry earth touches my nose.
Everybody may have similar scenes like oases deep in their mind. Suddenly in daily life they will wake a person up and invite travel far from the present time. Listening to music of Babin is like being free in an infinite cosmos.
adaptation from japanese by John Brooke