A Propos host Jim Corcoran has been featuring the sounds of Quebec and the francophone world on CBC Radio for 25 seasons now. So, we’re celebrating! Ten great artists from Quebec accepted our invitation to revisit, re-arrange and re-record 10 essential francophone songs written in the past 25 years — chosen by Corcoran — in Montreal's Studio 12.
Through the month of April, videos of the recordings are being released on CBC Music. Last week, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Jérôme Minière and Sylvie Paquette helped us celebrate. Today, you can watch three more performers in action below.
Louis-Jean Cormier performs Daniel Bélanger’s ‘Intouchable et immortel’
Louis-Jean Cormier is the lead singer of the multi-award-winning band Karkwa, and one of Quebec’s most talented songwriters and musicians. He recently released his first solo album, called Le treizième étage (The thirteenth floor), and has an incredible following in Quebec and abroad.
“He‘s a gifted artist and he’s not at all star-struck, despite all the success and notoriety,” says Corcoran. Cormier agreed to record Daniel Bélanger’s “Intouchable et immortel” ("Untouchable and immortal"), one of 10 essential francophone songs that Corcoroan chose. As one of Quebec’s most creative and inspired artists, Bélanger has been a major figure on the francophone music scene, and his songs have been part of A Propos for more than 20 years.
With his own personal touch, Cormier created this remarkable version of "Intouchable et immortel," originally found on Bélanger's best-selling album Rêver mieux in 2001.
[AUDIO] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of Daniel Bélanger’s “Intouchable et immortel.”
Alexandre Désilets performs Karkwa’s ‘Moi-léger’
Since the beginning of A Propos, Corcoran has supported up-and-coming artists that he feels are truly talented. One of the bands he has broadcast from the very beginning of their career is Karkwa. Years before their name became known, Corcoran claimed that this was one of Quebec’s best bands. And they went on to be recognized as such, winning, among other awards, the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. It's the reason Corcoran chose Karkwa’s song "Moi-léger" as one of the 10 essential songs from the past 25 years.
“The only singer from Quebec I thought could do justice to a song written by Quebec’s Karkwa was Alexandre Désilets," says Corcoran. "I knew he had a great voice, I discovered a powerful voice. I knew he was soft-spoken, I discovered a rock 'n' roller. I knew he was cerebral and intelligent. I discovered a visceral dude comfortable with distortion and decibels."
Singer-songwriter Désilets is an innovative artist who has a distinctly personal voice. His songs are real gems, and his latest album, entitled La garde, won him an Independent Music Award in 2012. With his beautiful voice and extraordinary talent, Désilets created a powerful version of “Moi-léger.”
[AUDIO] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of Karkwa’s “Moi-léger.”
Marc Déry performs Dédé Fortin’s ‘Le répondeur’
For A Propos’ celebrations, Quebec’s Marc Déry came into CBC Montreal’s Studio 12 to record a song by Les Colocs’ lead singer, Dédé Fortin.
“Few songs in my life, in any language, have moved me as much as ‘Le répondeur’ ('The answering machine'), written by Quebec’s Dédé Fortin shortly before he killed himself,” says Corcoran.
Marc Déry was the lead singer of the popular French band Zébulon in the 1990s. He went on to have a successful solo career, and knew Fortin. In this recording, Déry offers a transparent and nakedly honest performance that is absolutely breathtaking; an exceptional moment of emotion.
[AUDIO] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of Dédé Fortin’s “Le répondeur.”
Come back next week, as we’ll continue our celebration of A Propos’ 25th anniversary on CBC Radio, and feature two other exclusive videos of essential francophone songs.
Video: Marie-Pierre Arthur, Jérôme Minière and Sylvie Paquette celebrate 25 years of CBC's A Propos
Jim Corcoran celebrates 25 years of A Propos with special stream
on Apr 12, 2013