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artist The National Parcs

Montreal, QC, CANADA
Audiogram
genres
Soul, Hip Hop
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5,031
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biographical info

The National Parcs, veterans of Montreal’s celebrated Freeworm, have gone into the wild – and come back with a look and sound that’s as big as the world.

The three young men were born in the backwoods of Quebec, Malawi and B.C., but bred on Montreal streets buzzing with the noise of every nation on earth. For this groundbreaking CD/DVD album, they strip back down to basics, returning to their roots in the bush. The great outdoors becomes their studio, and their songs come alive with all-natural samples of wood splitting, sand slipping, paddles slapping, water dripping. Their cameras and microphones are trained on the trackless woods around them, but their ears have been trained on Grime and Hip Hop, Afrobeat and Baile Funk, American Spirituals and Malian Blues. The resulting Timbervision tracks are an invitation for the world to dance, starting with the half-remembered hum of our own backyards and smuggling in the best that the world has to offer.

The band first joined forces for Freeworm’s 2001 live shows, which pioneered their fascination with grafting exotic and broken beats onto the rhythms of maple forests and canoeing. This was the year the city first got out of its seats for the trio’s infectious found-sound and found-image stage experience: their Club Soda performance at the Montreal Electronic Groove Festival won them the MIMI “Show of the Year” award. Two Freeworm albums later, they’re making the partnership official as The National Parcs. The French–English mash-up of the band’s new name suggests the range of their influences, while the parkland theme is a nod to preserving what matters.


Summer, fall and winter, the band went off the grid to collect the raw materials for the Timbervision album. Miles away from a studio or even a drum, they discovered echoes and ambience unlike anything heard in the city. The footage records the three-man crew in their natural environment, banging sticks, jumping on four-wheelers. The National Parcs’ new album is a reminder that freedom makes the kind of art you can move to. This is the message of Timbervision, shot and recorded in the wild: let everyone join the party, and let the party never stop.

According to Vincent Letellier (AKA Freeworm): “We wanted to throw a party that would get five continents bouncin’ – and you need more than just an album for that. You need music and video that rise up together, shot and recorded as one.” Says Chimwemwe Miller, who joins Vincent on the music and lyrics: “If you want bring the world together, you need summer hits that ignore borders and boundaries, but you can’t close the door on the shadier stuff: Death in a bone suit, African snow like a sky full of ashes.” Ian Cameron, the visual director responsible for the videos’ nature documentary esthetic, agrees: “Most of all, you don’t just ring up six billion neighbours without knowing where you came from yourself.”

 

Vincent Letellier (AKA Freeworm), Music and Lyrics

Vincent hails from Luskville, a tiny community in western Quebec. In 1992, as a young multi-instrumentalist intent on stretching the potential of his electric guitar, he left his first band to seek cross-cultural inspiration in Montreal. Vincent’s debut record as Freeworm, 2000’s Vegetation = Fuel (Hydrophonik/Indica), spun organic samples into an urban playlist of breakbeats, drum and bass, liquid jazz and hip hop. The Quebec music scene paid notice. He was soon doing remixes for Bran Van 3000 and Adam Chaki, and collaborated with Daniel Bélanger on Rêver Mieux. He is also sought after for his soundtrack work. He has traveled in Europe, Brazil, Vietnam and West Africa, and the talent that has accumulated around him shone through on the critically acclaimed Solar Power (2003), which featured no fewer than 27 collaborators. Timbervision marks an ambitious multimedia return to an ongoing concern: integrating the sound of the back woods with cutting-edge pop exploration.

Chimwemwe Miller, Music and Lyrics

Arriving in Montreal from Malawi at the age of seven, Chimwemwe stepped directly onto the local stage – where he continues to this day. Since his teens, a variety of bands and ensembles have benefited from his drum, trumpet, piano and vocal training. In the nineties he joined the People's Gospel Choir of Montreal, where he went on to be tapped as baritone/bass soloist.Chimwemwe has pursued also storytelling for many years, and in theatre has acted, written, directed and taught, most notably with the Black Theatre Workshop. He first lent his stage presence to Freeworm’s live show in 2001, stunning audiences with his charismatic percussion and beatboxing skills, and now joins the rechristened National Parcs for their trip into the woods. He holds a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Concordia University.

Ian Cameron, Director

Ian also lived in Africa as a child, but left Côte d’Ivoire to grow up mostly in Aylmer, Quebec, just downriver from Vincent’s hometown. On his way to a BFA in film production from Concordia University, he built strong credentials in music video production, and in 2000 broke into the domain of live video mixing (VJing). He has since performed alongside most of the world’s highest-paid DJs, worked the main event at large festivals. Although he enjoys the spontaneous collaborations that live video mixing may offer, his work with The National Parcs lets him take the fusion of image and music image into unexplored territory. Timbervision is his first opportunity to create an album-length visual experience. He also works as the Video Production and Post-Production Coordinator for Concordia University’s Intermedia/Cyberarts Major.

lineup

Chimwemwe Music & Lyrics
Freeworm Music & Lyrics
Ian Cameron Director

influences

Grime
Hip Hop
Baile Funk
American Spirituals
Afrobeat
Malian Blues
Norman McLaren
Lorne Greene's New Wilderness
Timbervision
Audiogram
June, 2007
List Tracks ▼

Video

Poirier's '90's Backyard' (The National Parcs Remix - Instrumental Version) 3:26
Powerline 3:10

Powerline

The National Parcs' second single from their audiovisual album "Timbervision". Shot with a 360 degree angle of view.

Border Patrol 3:38

Border Patrol

"Border Patrol" is our first A/V single from our CD/DVD album "Timbervision"

where to buy
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