Richard Seguin | From screams to whispers

in the Connects placesRichard Séguin wanders between the land of his childhood and the territory he inhabits. An intimate and enveloping new album from a singer-songwriter who believes in the power of the word “hope”.

Posted at 6:45am

Josee Lapointe

Josee Lapointe
The press

Richard Séguin is discreet between albums, but he writes nonetheless. Five years after his musical project dedicated to Henry David Thoreau, he is here again with a long-matured work in which his music takes on new colors.

“What’s new is that at 70 you do things without expecting anything,” says Richard Séguin, who spent two years writing and composing in his little cabin in the woods in Saint-Venant-de-Paquette, where he lives. He took the time, “without meeting to “forge” each of the ten songs on the album.


Richard Seguin

“Basically, I’m a craftsman,” says the singer, who then quickly shows us photos of said cabin and the view it offers him of the Appalachia, “his” mountains. “My girlfriend is very happy since I will be working there there is less fuss in the house! »

Richard Seguin is in a good mood. He’s gearing up to get back on the road in mid-September with a big tour of 80 shows in a year. “I’m doing vocals, I’ve started doing guitar exercises again… The stage isn’t where you release your toxins, I want to be in good shape!” And he enjoys working with musicians who lead him in new directions.

“These are all young people in their forties. They tell me that their parents made them listen america day when they were 9 years old… That makes good anecdotes! »

He laughs. But working with artists from other generations is part of the fun of a long career – in his case, around 50 years.

Young people often ask me how I manage to persevere. They do what they want with the answer, but I say pause. Life precedes writing. The musical score takes all its direction when there is stillness, and the same goes for the career.

Richard Seguin

The album was born with three lyrics written for him by the poet Hélène Dorion, whose clear vision of the world he likes. ” It’s already midnight / In the forest of the world / What have we betrayed / That the storm is roaring » he recites to us. “She sums it all up. »

His longtime accomplice Marc Chabot also wrote him a song Since, a more serious text than he expected, born after a discussion of loved ones carried away “by the Grim Reaper”. The singer also adapted a text by Hugo Latulippe, inspired by his documentary I risewhich he performs a cappella at the end of the album.

Inspired by the “unforeseen” nature of these new lyrics, and after meeting arranger Mathieu Vanasse, Richard Séguin allowed strings and keyboards to take their place alongside guitars. “There are colors I never had. »

Result: In this “new signature” he felt a form of appeasement that we hear in his way of singing, softer, closer, more intimate. “I tended to push the note down a lot, in this one I lowered the register. »

We sometimes even get the impression that he’s whispering, as in A little poetrywhich opens the album.


Richard Seguin

Maybe I needed that path of introspection, of intimacy, after what we had just been through. I approached stillness, introspection. It’s a season, my season. I don’t know what’s next.

Richard Seguin

With all that sweetness, it’s not surprising that that’s where we find the family and benevolent shadow of his parents. in the The garage, he tenderly recalls his father’s hiding place, filled with objects “that speak like words”. Then in Near the aspensFor the first time he dedicates a very moving song to his mother. The one who brought “culture” into the house and wrote down all sorts of quotes in a little notebook.

Today he is the one who engraves the text passages that have shaped him into the wood of his cabin. “Ah, that’s his DNA, that’s for sure,” says Richard Séguin with a gentle smile, for whom visiting the past is not a nostalgic gesture. He sees the exercise more as a “chronicle”.

“Looking back is very difficult for me, I prefer to look ahead. But that doesn’t change the fact that the country of birth and childhood is still alive and the impressions from back then are decisive. »


That bubble of inwardness he’s woven around the album extends into his more committed lyrics as well. For example in forest pathswho denounced the clear-cutting, Richard Séguin is carried by the same bitterness as then protest song. But the way has changed.

“The approach is less frontal, but also felt. Sometimes whispering can have a greater impact than shouting. »

the one who sang What are we leaving them? 15 years ago is more concerned than ever about the climate crisis and the treatment we reserve for the planet. But when he is clear, he rejects fatalism.

When I did Twelve men disarmedI sang this line from Miron: “I will be the bearer of your hope“. There are words of refuge, and it is one that has stayed with me for a long time. I believe that words can be inscribed in our flesh, that they are as important as water.

Richard Seguin

In the show, which promises to be more acoustic than the previous ones, words also get loud. He will of course navigate between current and old songs and intends to mark the album’s 30th anniversary. At the gates of morningwhich meant a lot to the public.

“I don’t remember who said it, but a song is like an emotional milestone in our lives. It’s always amazing to know the path they are taking. »

He hopes the message resonates with people, too. And even if “we are lagging far behind”, he remains hopeful for the future of the world and trusts in the rising generations.

“At the moment the current is flowing more with the women than with the mothers at the front. I don’t know how the next generations will perceive us… I sometimes wonder if we dance on the Titanic? ? »

That doesn’t stop him from continuing to make songs.

” Yes. I will do it as long as my health allows. A song … me, it does me good. If Hugo lends me his words: We will feed the fire of our villages… Where we live happy days… These territories are our temple… It really picks me up. »

A sudden emotion chokes his throat and he stops talking. He is reminded that it is precisely when he sings these words that he is useful. He closes his bag, stands up quietly and looks at us with bright eyes.

” We will give it a try. ”

The scrapbook Connects places will be released on Friday, September 9

Connects places

pop rock

Connects places

Richard Seguin


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