Flore Laurentienne is the vessel of Québécois composer Mathieu David Gagnon. The project nests in the history of botanical writing as the namesake of an inventory documenting flora in the St. Lawrence Valley, the area where Gagnon was born and raised. The musical vision of Flore Laurentienne is illuminated by Johann Sebastian Bach, the contrapuntal master and one of Gagnon’s greatest inspirations.
Having operated behind the scenes, working on other people’s projects over the years, 2019 saw the release of his debut solo works with Volume I, an innately ambitious project, imagined by Gagnon, recorded with a fifteen-piece string orchestra and an arsenal of early synthesizers, including the Minimoog Model D, the EMS Synthi and combo organs. The album saw high acclaim and was longlisted for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize as well as receiving many other nominations such as numerous Juno award nominations.
1. Albinoni’s adagio was not composed by Albinoni.
2. The guitar solo of Stairway to heaven was recorded in one take.
3. You must read Schott’s Original Miscellany
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Nature & contrepoint.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing the piano at the age of 5, and at the same time, composing small pieces of music.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
.The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
.A Rainbow in Curved Air – Terry Riley
.Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht op.4 – Variationen für Orchester op.31 – Berliner Philharmoniker . Herbert Von Karajan
.Glassworks – Philip Glass
.Breakfast in America – Supertramp
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Music legacy & Currywurst.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Where there is nature, cats, coffee & synthesizers.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Music for Nine Post Cards – Hiroshi Yoshimura
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Playing Bach’s mass in B minor in its entirety with synthesizers for 9 spectators in my basement. Thanks to my roommate of the time Sylvain Deschamps for creating this historical moment, and of course to the person who did the body surfing on “Osanna in excelsis”.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It is important not to see that it exists, or at least as little as possible.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
It’s a normal thing, it’s part of the family.