Canadian composer, Flying Hórses, released her sophomore album, Reverie, via Bonsound on February 22nd, 2019.
The album is an emotional one and although this is a heartbreak record for multi-instrumentalist, Jade Bergeron, it still allows the listener to experience their own personal journey. It’s a beautiful album from start to finish and one that will leave you fulfilled.
As she prepares for a slew of shows in support of this release, we asked Flying Hórses to pick three records that have influenced her. Read about them here…
Jónsi & Alex – Riceboy Sleeps
I remember listening to Riceboy Sleeps for the first time, laying in bed with headphones on, and disappearing entirely into an ocean of ambient magic. Something about the low-fi recordings of cats purring and floors creaking really allowed my mind to completely relax. The record came out around the time that I had really been binging on Icelandic music and it sort of opened up this new world of experimental, ambient, and drone sounds. I had listened to a bunch of doom, drone and noise in the past but something about this particular record felt like a new wave of magic.
It wasn’t until I saw them perform their world premiere for White Light Festival in New York, that I really understood how much that record would influence my decision to start composing my own music. That show led to a series of personal and professional connections that played an integral part of the beginning stages of Flying Hórses and my intimate experience with Iceland.
Chilly Gonzales – Solo Piano II
When I first started composing on piano (well, it was a Wurlitzer 200a at the time), I struggled a lot with trying to combine my knowledge and experience of music (Metal bands and vocals; no classical training whatsoever), and the stories I wanted to tell. I was very familiar with neoclassical projects, like Rachel’s and Yann Tiersen, but found that the style of piano that they played didn’t really reach me on a level that evoked the depth of emotion I was looking for while I was experimenting with combining metal and classical music.
I can’t remember how I discovered Chilly Gonzales’ Solo Piano I, I think it must have been while obsessing over Feist’s Let It Die which was a guilty pleasure of mine, at the time. So I guess my discovery of Gonzo, was accidental. Needless to say, it is one of the best accidents in musical discoveries of my career. Chilly Gonzales’ music was a gateway into neoclassical piano, Solo Piano I was like nothing I had heard before in the piano world. A combination of pop and jazz melodies with the kind of nostalgia and melancholy found in films from like the ’20s. It was a sort of melange of different styles of piano playing and each song on the record spoke directly to me.
When Solo Piano II came out it trumped Solo Piano I, without a doubt, in terms of emotional maturity, and it became my most favourite piano record of all time. The record became my musical bible on how to incorporate different styles of piano in the most minimalistic way possible. I studied the record in a way that taught me how to develop my own, unique techniques and blending skills. It’s pretty surreal that he has become and a friend and mentor over the last few years and that he continues to encourage and inspire me as I grow with my project. Hands down, in my top 3 records.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
In my earlier Montreal days of playing in really bad hardcore/metal bands and singing at super cheesy, alternative singing competitions, I became pretty over-saturated with heavy music. I began listening to more post-metal and post-rock music as I found the melodies and progressions were far more technically and mathematically interesting. I started really enjoying the slow builds and empty spaces that post-rock bands were leaving for listeners to sort of get lost in. I had been introduced to Godspeed really early on but hadn’t taken the time to really understand what the band was trying to say.
Fast forward to 2010 – My partner at the time, had a vast collection of albums ranging from death and black metal to prog rock, post-rock and even neofolk and neoclassical and I spent a good chunk of my time broadening my musical library when I wasn’t at work. This was before I started writing and composing, and 4 years before Flying Hórses was even ‘born’. It sadly wasn’t until that year that I truly appreciated and understood what Godspeed was about. It’s possible that my political views had shifted and I was more aware of what was happening in the world at the time, and the record was meant to reach me at that moment in time.
The record is without a doubt, one of the most cinematic, evocative, wonderfully-heavy, progressive, off-the-floor albums I’ve ever heard and I continue to listen to it regularly. ‘Storm’ is actually my ‘pump up’ song before I go on stage. I was fortunate enough to work with Efrim on ‘Sorg Sea’ for the short film that we shot in Iceland. I’m so grateful that he was willing to add his magic to the track.
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven was a record that sort of gave me the courage I needed to finally share my music with people. It’s a transformative record and it’s still out there changing and saving lives.