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Jean-Michel Blais: Qobuz Interview & Live Session

By Marc ZISMAN |

A fresh voice in the vast contemporary neo-classical scene, we met with the Québécois pianist who has been awarded a Qobuzissime for his new record “Dans ma main”. And as a bonus, he played a live version of the title track exclusively for Qobuz...

Neo-classical. No doubt by laziness, this label is stuck on the back of a growing number of artists. Even if they do not speak the same language, Nils Frahm, Arnalds Arnalds, Max Richter and a few others share a fascination for Brian Eno, the minimalist Steve Reich and Philip Glass, without forgetting about the composer Erik Satie… it’s difficult not to insert Jean-Michel Blais’ name in this family, which is growing day by day.

Especially since the thirty-year-old Canadian brings his uniqueness to his compositions on Dans ma main, his second album that he has published on the label Arts & Craft. But, if the instrumental music of Blais echoes many others, if his mix of acoustics and electronics is of a rare breed and if his melodies depict frozen and moving imagery, there is an elegance within him and a lyricism in his piano that is rather rare amongst his counterparts.

During our interview, Jean-Michel Blais recounts his unique journey, the way technology has affected his writing, the atypical recording on Dans ma main, not to mention the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, the surprise guest on this new album. As a bonus, Blais played an exclusive session of the title track Dans ma main for Qobuz. Enjoy below!


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