La quête et l’acquis


Detailed description of content and creative process

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Couverture LQLA Low-res

The album La quête et l’acquis (more or less meaning “What one has and wishes for”) is the result of a long, slow reflection by fiddler, arranger, composer and instrumentalist Paul Lafrance. Working mainly with folk music gems from here and beyond, he adapted, reworked, deconstructed and decontextualized them. They have become baroque canon, Chinese airs, minimalist or twelve-tone theme, among others.

Track titles
  1. Ti-Jos techno  Watch video
  2. La sarabande des saltimbanques
  3. Brandy minimaliste Watch video
    After Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault and Steve Reich
  4. Le canon de Sherbrooke
    Music by Paul Lafrance, based on Le reel de Sherbrooke and Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
  5. Chinoisereels Watch video
  6. Odile Watch video
    File comme l’oiseau (Online streaming platforms only)
  7. La Belle Époque
  8. L’entre-deux-guerres
    Music by Paul Lafrance
  9. Jigue & jazz
    Music by Claude Léveillée © Éditorial Avenue
  10. Échange France-Québec
    Traditional, plus excerpt from La Casa by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon
  11. La traverse du Saguenay
    Music by Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault
  12. Le reel de la déprime
    Music by Paul Lafrance
  13. Le grand verglas Watch video
    Music by Paul Lafrance
  14. La nouvelle attente
    After L’attente by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon
  15. Rouler sur les planètes  Watch video
    Music by Paul Lafrance and Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738)
  16. Bonus track: Whisky, whiskey

***All music is traditional, unless otherwise indicated***


Adaptation, arrangements, interpretation and programming (violins, electric violins, viola, dulcimer, merlin, ukelin, virtual instruments, voice), soundscapes, production, sound recording and mixdown: Paul Lafrance

Vocals in Ti-Jos techno and Brandy minimaliste: Chantal Legault

Guitar in Odile, guitars in Le reel de la déprime, guitar and banjo in La Belle Époque and Whisky, whiskey: Marc-André Marchand

Acoustic guitar in Échange France-Québec (Ménage à trois quatre): Patrick Mailloux

Soprano saxophone in Le grand verglas: René Lavoie

Versions and rendering of the opening text in Rouler sur les planètes: Peter McKinnon (English), Hadjira and Bilel Kouaci (Arabic), Chen Zhongxiao (Mandarin), Gabriela Martínez Canto (Spanish)

Photomontages and graphic design: Paul Lafrance

Recorded in 2016 and 2017 at studio barock, in the Outaouais

© Les éditions barock, Paul Lafrance (SOCAN), 2017

Track description

Ti-Jos techno  Watch video

“Ti-Jos connaissant” thinks he can foresee the future and has crowned himself King of Gadgetland. Based on L’aile de pigeon as played by J.O. LaMadeleine and La gigue à Ti-Jos played par Ferdinand Dionne, versions which are deconstructed in the first 22 seconds of the track.

Ferdinand et JO
Ferdinand Dionne and J.O. LaMadeleine

La sarabande des saltimbanques

The fair has come to town! Musicians light up the scene while the crew takes down the big top. Medley of four American folk tunes: Hippodrome Reel, Inimitable Reel, Mardi Gras Reel, Acrobat’s Hornpipe.

Brandy minimaliste Watch video

Le brandy des Vaillancourt is a dance tune with a very simple and repetitive structure, punctuated by iterative small changes. Minimal music is a contemporary form of art music which repeats a short theme, each time adding subtle variations. Hence here is an  unlikely encounter between Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault and the American composer Steve Reich. 8^)

Steve Reich and Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault

Le canon de Sherbrooke

Another unlikely encounter. This time, it’s as if Johann Pachelbel had gotten his inspiration for his famous canon from listening to the “classic” Québecois tune Le reel de Sherbooke.

Pachelbel à Sherbrooke
Pachelbel and his girlfriend on vacation in Sherbrooke, Québec

Chinoisereels Watch video

Béatrice wakes up in Japan and Le reel à neuf resonates in the Middle Kingdom. These two Québec folk tunes are here played by an Asian instrumental–and virtual!–ensemble. Koto, shakuhachi, sheng, ruan, dizi, pipa, erhu, guzheng, violin, bass (!), percussion, sound effects. For Kit Hang and Huiqin.

Odile Watch video

Another traditional Québecois tune, Le reel de ma grand-mère Odile Boudreault, “crooked version” of Fisher’s Hornpipe, from Ireland, just as Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault used to play it.

File comme l’oiseau (Online streaming platforms only)

On this version of Flee as a Bird, a Lancashire clog, the fiddle is accompanied on (a virtual!) cimbalom, a large hammered dulcimer from Eastern Europe, sometimes called the « Gypsy piano ». For my sister Marie-Claude.

La Belle Époque

“[I]t was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, apex of colonial empires and technological, scientific and cultural innovations.” — Belle Époque, Wikipedia.


The inter-war period that came after La Belle Époque was in a sens very different, and in another not so much…

Jigue & jazz

Not too jig, not too jazz, but it sure grooves! This tune first appeared on the album 1 voix 2 pianos by Claude Léveillée and André Gagnon, in 1967.

Échange France-Québec

What if instrumental folk music from Québec came from “Douce France”, rather than from the British Isles*? Here are a few pieces from the French-Canadian repertoire, in a setting “à la française”.

Passing by Brittany: An-dro de la Garouine (after La casa, by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon)
From Centre to Midi: La bourrée de la promenade (based on Le reel de la promenade), De Saint-Malo à Gaspé (based on Le reel de Gaspé), Les cousins du Canada (based on Les gens du Canada), Partis de l’Occitanie (based on Partie de Calédonia)
In Poitou: Branle des GrandMaison (based on Gigue des Grand’maison)
On Île-de-France: Ménage à trois quatre (java, based on Par un dimanche au soir)

* Though old French-Canadian folk songs often relate directly to medieval France, most of the instrumental Québecois folk music is mainly influenced by the musics of Ireland and Scotland.

La traverse du Saguenay

“Beethoven imagined what the tempest might sound like, on his piano, so why couldn’t I imagine the ferry working his way on the Saguenay River, on my fiddle? A crazy idea, you might think, but I thought it could be funny to try it!” said Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault. Bonne traversée!

Le reel de la déprime

The whole world feels depressed. Yet, one can always find a reason to dream, to act, to celebrate. So what if we turned the world around, what if we gazed at the great Universe?

Le grand verglas Watch video

Everybody remembers the big Ice Storm. Was it in 1997… or 1998? Our own neurons often get stuck in heavy frost. Let the bright sun melt down all our hearts!

Brrrrrr! Crackle! Pop!

La nouvelle attente

Cover version of L’attente, collection and adaptation of folk tunes (Le reel des reels, Les rois, L’hymne à la joie) by Dominique Tremblay and Philippe Gagnon on the album Ça roule, which came out in 1973.

Rouler sur les planètes  Watch video

The opening short poem was inspired by the text written on Philippe Gagnon’s Garouine, that he also recites at the closing of the album Ça roule. To dream of other planets while resigning ourselves to the fact that we’ll have to spend our lives down here, is a way among others to accept who we are and to open to others’ realities. Music, Paul Lafrance, and Lament for Sir Ulick Burke and Planxty Sir Ulick Burke, from the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738).

Bonus track!

Whisky, whiskey

Titles of folk tunes of Ireland and Scotland often refer to alcohol. God only know why… This medley unwinds like a series of sound sketches that tell a story (unfortunately too frequent in real life): a guy who drinks all the time becomes drunk, quarrels with his close friends and family, decides to quit drinking, starts drinking again, and the pattern goes on and on…

Whiskey Before Breakfast, Connely’s Ale, A Draught of Ale, Jackson’s Bottle of Brandy, The Bottle of Brandy, Spirits of Whisky, The Humors of Whiskey, The Drink of Brandy, A Drop of Whiskey, Whiskey and Beer, Farewell to Whiskey, Welcome Whiskey Back Again, Whiskey Before Breakfast

🔊💰 Stream or buy album
Bandcamp Page
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To buy the CD, please contact us.

[This CD uses these sounds from freesound: by dobroide, Horse Snort 2.wav by GoodListener, horse.mp3 by 3bagbrew, 78start.wav by x_25, Vinyl end crackle 2 by lulyc, KAZOO! by NoiseCollector, Flock of seagulls.wav and Seagulls close-up.wav by juskiddink, by dobroide, Female Muttley Laugh.wav by kristi2374, drunk fight.wav by tim.kahn, woman screaming yelling at drunk husband domestic violence dramatic intense.wav by bulbastre, 20091223.mariajose.wav by dobroide, Bar Crowd – Logans Pub – Feb 2007.wav by lonemonk]