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Photo by Jonathan Lorange

Interview: Jade Bergeron takes Flying Hórses to Iceland and Banff before first hometown concert of the year

By Amanda Armstrong on March 30, 2017




2017 has started off a busy year for Flying Hórses. Jade Bergeron released two music videos from her debut album, Tölt, and is releasing a third video soon, for a piece she created while in Banff last October. In addition to all of this, Jade is performing as a part of the instrumental/experimental showcase at JUNOfest on Saturday at St. Alban’s Church, her first performance this year.

Tölt came to life in Iceland. The album was recorded and produced in Sundlaugin Studio, by Sigur Rós producer Biggi Birgisson. The first single, which shares the same name, is a “soundtrack to the past.” The sounds that make up the hauntingly beautiful piece take the listener back to the days of their youth and the video brings melodic imagery to life. Bergeron, who wrote Tölt during a period of reflection on her own childhood, was not surprised that director Alexandre Richard was storyboarding the difficulties of our younger years, before even she told him about the inspiration for the piece.

The record’s second music video, Attic, speaks of love and loss and the memories that we stow away in our mind’s attic, hoping to keep them at a distance, all the while close, able to recall these in a single instant if we so wish. One of the last songs on the record, Bergeron admits to having never really intended for Attic to be a part of the album.

“It is quite dark, heavy, and creepy,” says Jade, when asked to describe the piece. “Coming out of a bit of heaviness myself, I decided to focus the story on loss and melancholy,” she remarks, and the imagery in this music video leaves viewers feeling exactly that. “I think it is a transition between the really optimistic, innocent, lullaby songs that start off the album and the new single that I will be releasing sometime in the spring.”

That new single is the fruits of an independent music residency Jade completed at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity last fall. Upon arriving, Jade decided that she would create one long piece of music. There she had her own studio, with a grand piano, a harpsichord, vibraphone, and a few percussive instruments to work with. “Waking up every morning to clean, fresh air, in the middle of the mountains, and to be surrounded by talented, inspiring artists was so amazing.”

Jade had begun composing a piece of music while in Iceland, but had not worked on it since. “The entire rest of the movement happened really organically during my first week in Banff,” reflects Jade, “being back in nature really brought the song to life.”

It was during her residency that Jade met Alex Mah, a classical guitarist and experimental cellist who was there working with Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. Upon hearing him play, Jade asked Alex if he would like to be a part of her new piece. Charles Spearin, of Broken Social Scene and post-rock band DO MAKE SAY THINK, with whom Jade had come to Banff to work with, also played horns on Flying Hórses’ newest single.

The single is being mixed by Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and mastered by Biggi Birgisson in Iceland. “It’s a pretty heavy listen, but it’s colourful and it represents a really important recent-time in my time” speaks Jade of Flying Hórses newest material. The music video for the piece is currently underway in Iceland and is on the way to its spring reveal.

As for her upcoming performance at JUNOfest, Jade is excited. Focussed on creating new music, Jáde only performed at festivals last year. She is looking forward to sharing the stage with Charles Spearin again and seeing her friend Gabrielle Giguere (aka Her Harbour) perform songs from her newly released sophomore album. We too are excited, to experience Flying Hórses’ evoking melodies, in such a perfectly suited space.

Over 100 artist will perform at 15 venues across the city this weekend as a part of JUNOfest. You will find Flying Hórses this Saturday night at 8pm at St Alban’s Church. Tickets cost $15 in advance and are available online.