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A marriage of music and politics
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Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:00 AM
TONIGHT AT HANOVER COLLEGE: Rejean Brunet, left, and Olivier Demers and their bandmates from Le Vent du Nord, Simon Beaudry and Nicolas Boulerice, will perform at Hanover College as part of the Community Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. today. Group members incorporate their interest in French Canadian history into their performances.(Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
The French-Canadian group Le Vent du Nord enjoys pushing boundaries.
The quartet, from Quebec, tries to do something new with each album in an attempt to push their art forward. Band member Rejean Brunet said everything from the cover art to the composition of the music is meant to work as one cohesive piece of art.
"When people come to see us two years later, it's a completely different show," Brunet said.
Le Vent du Nord - the north wind in French - is performing at Hanover College tonight as part of the Community Arts Series featuring musical talents from around the world.
Band members also enjoy talking politics. As Francophiles living in North America, Brunet said band members see it as part of their job to talk about their unique experience.
"For us, we want to talk and represent Quebec as much as we can," band member Oliver Demers said.
Their politics and the history of Quebec often go hand in hand.
"It's very related, our music, is related to identity, to survival, to a way to express ourselves," Brunet said.
Getting their people's history into music often means doing a lot of research. Brunet said band members study historic documents and records for lyrics, or try to find a melody from before recording music was available, and will add that knowledge to their songs.
"We're very close to the history. We produce new old songs and they're often talking about historic things," Brunet said.
"We like to dig. It's a like a research work at the same time. We like to do songs that have not been recorded before."
Members of the quartet include: Nicolas Boulerice on vocals, hurdy gurdy, piano accordion and piano; Demers on vocals, fiddle, foot-tapping and guitar; Simon Beaudry on vocals, guitar and Irish bouzouki; and Brunet on vocals, diatonic button accordion, acoustic bass guitar, piano and jaw harp.
They play between 100 and 120 shows a year, and have performed in 18 countries and 38 states.
"It's a good way to see the world and also play this music that represents the Quebecois," Demers said.
Tickets for the concert are $15 at the door for adults; $12 for senior citizens ages 65 and over; and $5 for high school-aged students and younger.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.hanover.edu/arts or by calling the Hanover College Box Office at (812) 866-7110.
The concert featuring Le Vent du Nord is part of the Arts Midwest World Fest, which will include two international groups next year from China and Brazil.
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