Hear the blearily beautiful ‘Nostos’ below.
For the majority of Jean-Michel Blais’ 31-years, he’s been playing piano in some form or another. The Quebec-born pianest first began improvising on his family’s organ at 9 and over two decades later he brings some of that childlike wonder to his debut album Il.
On it, Blais condenses two years worth of daily improvisations into a blindingly bright 28-minute release exploring piano textures influenced by Erik Satie and minimalist virtuosos including Lubomyr Melnyk and Philip Glass. Though Blais’ piano is at the center, he adds occasional compliments throughout — a subtle field recording on ‘Casa’, or in the case of ‘Nostos’, electronics. Working with producer Bufflo, the track begins gently and patiently before blooming to a sweeping climax and one of the first real displays of Blais’ skill. Listen to it below and look for Il April 8 via Arts & Crafts.
01. ‘Hasselblad 4 (improvisation)’
04. ‘Nostos (feat. BUFFLO)’
05. ‘Hasselblad 2 (improvisation)’
08. ‘Rondo majeur (trois mains)’