To live in the geographical, spiritual, and imaginary territories of Quebec in music. This is the proposition that motivates L'Oumigmag, the avant-trad and jazz ensemble, led by the composer, guitarist, and poet Sébastien Sauvageau. With the audacious double album Habitant, which will launch on September 6th, L'Oumigmag continues the luminous quest which began with Territoires (2017), casting a new and refreshing light on Quebec's musical roots. Habitant is a true voyage of Quebec's musical memories. It catches the music of the river, of the forest, and of the links of the dweller with the land in which he lives. As in traditional songs, the band seeks to focus and expand this figure, long judged as naive.
Habitant is conceived as a space to visit and in which to live, with subtle melodic echoes carried from one piece to the next. From large ensemble pieces shaded with progressive accents to warm, intimate solos, the album astonishes the listener. Co-produced by Ludovic Bonnier from Studio du Chemin 4, Habitant seems to emerge from another time, in its breadth and in the attention paid to the details of its sound.L'Oumigmag is the word in Inuktitut language for one of the strongest species of wild animal: the musk ox. Following in the spirit of filmmaker Pierre Perrault, who sought to meet this elusive beast to see what it could tell him about the soul of a place, the band seeks the soul of L'Oumigmag - sometimes in contemplation sometimes in the pure energy of movement.
Sébastien Sauvageau has reworked the ensemble to create an incredible sextet featuring guitar/mandolin, fiddle/viola d'amore, saxophone/bass clarinet, double bass/electric bass, and two drummers and percussionists. As with his music, which combines contemporary jazz and traditional music with the sounds of classical contemporary music, the ensemble brings together six musicians from far-apart horizons. Unique musical personalities work together to serve the same idea: to create an innovative and never-heard-before sound with a tenfold power, and filled with the brightest of light.
In an acoustic jazz that is sensitive to the richness of the timbre, to group improvisation and to the style of modern classical textures, L'Oumigmag shapes vast sound landscapes and watery compositions through which the light of a traditional tune passes.
«An erudite and daring mix of jazz, trad and contemporary music. A musical postcard that illustrates the entire territory of Quebec,
those who live in it, its landscapes, its history. A huge
disc to which we will return, often. Certainly one of the best of the season, if not the year."
François Marchesseault, Ici Musique, Radio-Canada
This new album is absolutely unique in Quebec. This is a double-album
composed with finesse and intelligence. [..] To be discovered,
go ahead, explore it!"
Jean-François Côté - Ici Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
"Juste incroyable ! That was the reaction of the audience to this
afternoon’s performance by L’Oumigmag. [...]this six-piece ensemble had
everyone spellbound. We felt we were floating during this concert, the music giving aural form to clouds in the sky and waves in the ocean. [...] Simply a stellar performance."
Elizabeth Szekeres - Roots Music Canada
«Sauvageau's peaks-and-valleys approach to songwriting keeps things engaging throughout, as no section overstays its welcome or feels overly self-indulgent. L'Oumigmag captures the sound of the trees and water that the first Habitant's lived in. Though the almost ineffable qualities of nature are hard to capture, L'Oumigmag, through the use of primarily acoustic textures and the playful rhythmic patterns, express the organic variations within the natural world. Habitant uses old standards to make the passage of time go from the world of the abstract
to the physical world, drawing a line from those first settlers to the people who live in Quebec today. A stunning achievement.»
Matt Hooke - All About Jazz
"The Oumigmag certainly has no equal in the Quebec musical landscape with its own, very cinematic sound."
"A really interesting album! Where traditional music is very well represented. A beautiful album with a wide range of sounds and moods. A successful blend of jazz and folk. "
Cap Ès Trad - CKRL