“I’ve always done music to relieve myself”, advance Klo Pelgag.
July 2, 2020
Updated 4 July 2020 to 4h18
Klo Pelgag : music that heals
Well before the release of his third album, Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Klo Pelgag had set the table with a mini-documentary telling us about the genesis of its creation : after years of overwork, she has spun a bad way. “A thick fog has settled in my head,” she says. The music, this “friend”, helped her to the hunt.
Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, it is a village of the Bas-Saint-Laurent, whose mere name terrified Chloé Pelletier-Gagnon when she was a child. It is also a symbolic location as it was renamed in his head and where she placed her fears and her distress when she lost her footing. Klo Pelgag has had the opportunity to make peace with Our-Lady-of-Seven-Pains, which she describes as a place “idyllic”. Dispersed the clouds also in the sky of the author-composer-interpreter, sacred female performer of the year at the ADISQ gala, 2018 for his album The star in the chest. And that, she owes a lot to its creation.
“I’m really at a beautiful place in my life, confirms the young mother. It is for this reason that I have so much ease and pleasure to wear the album that I present to you today. I am getting better. This particular album has helped me. This is the first time I saw an album with so many emotions. I know how important the music has been my friend during this time period and how I’m lucky to make it in life.”
Klo Pelgag cites the”tool” that gives it its status of being an artist : to be able to name his emotions. “Try to understand, it’s like my “job”, she adds. It is a privilege to be able to devote to it and, at the same time, to be able to perhaps help people who will recognize themselves in these songs-there to name something that they were not able to nominate themselves. From then on, music has properties of healing. Without neglecting the other forms of assistance that you can get when not going well…”
Pushing the limits
Dense, baroque, navigating between breathtaking and very intimate, between the strings and sumptuous synthesizers, heavy… Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, has given the opportunity to Klo Pelgag to push the limits. Musician, self-taught, she is for the first time allowed to sign string arrangements.
“I had a need for postage and decision confidence. I wanted to assume what I am capable of doing and don’t be afraid,” describes one which was launched without too much thinking, even if she does not know to read or write music. “My ear is very, very sharp. It is she that I rely on all the time. This is my most faithful weapon. The arrangements, I made them without any pretension. I followed my instinct. But I had this desire and notes, I could hear them.”
Far to describe themselves as a “geek software” — quite the contrary! — Klo Pelgag tells us to be “kické the ass” to learn how to use these technological tools. It has also made use of the synthesizers purchased at the end of his last tour.
“My composition has changed, she noted. It has given me a lot more freedom at the level of the composition. It is a freedom that I did not know and who was given parts that I couldn’t do piano-voice.”
Ditto for the string arrangements, she has created on machines before entrusting the leadership of the orchestra in the studio with Marianne Houle.
“I didn’t have the vocabulary to tell the cello to enter to such a measure,” she says. I don’t know what is it a measurement. It is fucké. It is still an approach that is out of the ordinary. We don’t see so often people who do not read music and who are going to write two arrangements for string orchestra. I have this chance in life.”
The author-composer-performer, who has accustomed us to combine rigour with a certain eccentricity, relies first and foremost to his instinct.
“I learned a lot in live with the musicians with whom I play, who all have a musical training. I am in the company of people who have learned the technical aspect. Them alongside my instinct and it is something that is not taught at the school of music.”
This results in Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs a proposal at once personal and ambitious, documenting a milestone in the life of its creator.
“I have the impression that I’m still not evil committed in my previous works, too, evokes it. I think it was much more metaphorical. But I think I’ve always done music to relieve myself, in fact. It is a little bit selfish, but this is what is interesting when you listen to a work. When I listened to the last two albums of Nick Cave, who were completely heart-wrenching and sad, this is what I found interesting. He passes on what he has experienced with notes, with harmonies, with melodies and with lyrics. He transmits his pain, and it is that fact what you can recognize. When one speaks of oneself, one is more likely to be in the authenticity and sharing.”