Christ Church Cathedral
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Artists: Suzie LeBlanc, soprano; Vincent Lauzer, recorder; Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, violin; Sylvain Bergeron, archlute and baroque guitar
There is no doubt that the majority of traditional Acadian songs come from France, their origins can even be traced back to certain regions. Songs, just like people, are nomadic: they have no borders! The lyrics, like the melodies, often change as they travel. Songs also varied, not only from one Acadian region to another, but also from one performer to another, with each artist lending their own version.
Here, we juxtapose Acadian folk songs from Shippagan with 17th century ‘airs de cour’ from France and the court of Louis the XIV. The folksongs from Shippagan were collected by Dr. Joseph Dominique Gauthier between 1950 and 1957 who, after receiving a visit from two folklorists from Laval University, embarked on his own quest to find songs. Doctor Gauthier, a physician in Shippagan, said that getting songs and stories from his informants was the best way to do geriatrics!
The songs collected by Dr. Gauthier have melismas that are reminiscent of the ornamentation found in French ‘air de cour’ and this reveals the presence of certain archaisms in this isolated northeastern region of New Brunswick.