MATTHIAS & MAXIME
— OST by Jean-Michel Blais
2. Butterfly Metamorphosis
3. Fire Salamander
4. Lynx Cubs
6. Piatra Ridge
7. Lynx In Winter
ABOUT THE SOUNDTRACK
The music for the ‘Matthias & Maxime’ Official Soundtrack was developed in close collaboration between Blais and Dolan in the studio, using techniques derived from improvisation, with the music of Franz Schubert serving as a point of inspiration. Unusually for a feature film, certain tracks were developed first, the scene was shot to the music, and then edited to fit it, rather than the other way around.
Directly approached by Dolan, Blais was eager to take on the project: “I was touched, moved, incredulous… without reading the script, I accepted right away. Growing up with every single movie [Dolan] has made, it was a simple choice for me to cancel my vacations and get to work. Following a fairly unorthodox process, we ended up keeping the demos, improvised in the studio – variations on a Schubert theme – creating a cohesive musical soundscape that Xavier used during the shoot and the editing period.”
ABOUT MATTHIAS & MAXIME
Winner of the Jury Prize for Mommy at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 and Grand Prize in 2017 for It's Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan came back in the Official Competition of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival with Matthias & Maxime. Starring Anne Dorval, Gabriel d'Almeida Freitas, as well as himself, Dolan films the story of two childhood friends, changed following a kiss they had to share for an amateur movie.
about THE COMPOSER
Jean-Michel Blais is a post-classical pianist and composer living in Montreal, Canada.
Blais grew up in a rural French Catholic town in Quebec and began tinkering on his family's organ at age 9. By 11, he began writing original compositions and taking piano lessons. A natural talent, by 17 he was invited to the Trois-Rivieres Music Conservatory and began training as a classical pianist. The constraints of formal training began to wear on Blais, who started to gravitate towards experimentation and improvisation. He eventually left the school and put aside his musical path.
In his mid-20s, Blais travelled to Europe and Latin America. He studied special education, liberal arts and psychology, moving from Berlin to Buenos Aires and then Montreal. There, he rediscovered his love for composing and performing and this caught the ear of Toronto-based indie label, Arts & Crafts.
Blais’ debut album, Il, was written and recorded in his apartment over two years of daily improvisations. It was released on April 8th 2016 and has amassed over 50 million streams worldwide. It reached No.1 on Billboard’s Classical Chart in Canada 14 times, earned a Polaris Music Prize long list nomination and a spot on TIME Magazine’s Top Ten Albums of 2016.
After a year of touring North America and Europe, Blais began working on his sophomore album, Dans ma main. Released on 11 May 2018, Dans ma main is an expansive album of post-classical piano music with strands of electronic detail. Recorded at night in a Steinway & Sons piano shop, Blais blends his classical skill and precise pop sensibility with synthetic accompaniment, which creates unique environments where the piano’s intimacy can be subtly disrupted at any time. Dans ma main earned a Polaris Music Prize short list nomination.
Fascinated with the cathartic response to his performances from audiences worldwide, Blais considers how music has served as a tool of wellness in his own life: from his early career in special education, to his parents’ use of ambient music to soothe the Tourettic symptoms he’s been suffering since childhood. On Dans ma main, Jean-Michel calls upon these periods of his life, reimagining a serenity that he previously found only seated at a piano.
In early 2019, he signed to Mercury KX (part of Decca Records/Universal Music Group) and plans to release new music on the label in the coming months.