Keyboardist Martin Lizotte calls himself a musical mercenary from his prolific active years which generated collaborations with the likes of likes of Jean Leloup, Daniel Bélanger, Loco Locass, Karkwa, Marie-Pier Arthur, Yann Perreau, Robert Charlebois, Les Pornflakes and many more. In 2014, the musician decided to briefly branch out on his own to release a personal solo piano works, “Pianolitudes” (review here, in French).

The album was born out of a dialogue with his then unborn daughter, Simone. The record reached critical acclaim for its bold originality. Lizotte was to make this spirited pieces come alive on a grand piano in the backroom of St-James church. In this intimate setting, the musician rolled out busy melodies with jumping hands, spiraling themes and dissonance. Performing the evocative and uptempo piano pieces, Lizotte also made use of interesting effects, such as placing ping pong balls inside the piano to have them jump, muting the string with tape or making us whistle.

martin lizotte live

(Photo André Chevrier, page Facebook de l’artiste)

During the live interpretation, the pianist also incorporated a great deal of improvisation in the jazz spirit as well as repetitions and variations with a result that sounded a bit muddled. The lack of nuances was however compensated by despise the dramatic nature of the music and the spontaneity of the act, picking songs from a handwritten set list and improvising for an encore.

The classical-pop aesthetic is the perfect fit for the short span attention disease that afflicts us all and the span attention, while the impressionist approach is utterly dynamic and pushing boundaries, which is not often done with piano. The best way to experience the fluidity and imaginative beauty of these pieces is the listen to the record, of which fortunately a second volume is in the work as a great thing to look forward to.

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Christelle is a Montreal-based writer, musician and translator based and born in Montreal. An hyperactive brainard, her first love really is music. She makes a living putting words together in different contexts.