Lennie and Patricia's dream: Duo to release debut album
Partners in life and music Lennie Gallant and Patricia Richard plan to release their debut album as the duo Sirène et Matelot this summer.
The new francophone album, under the Moncton, N.B., label Le Grenier musique, isn't the only project the two musicians have worked on together.
Although, they say the songs on the album are the result of their personal and professional collaboration.
"To actually be able to sit down in the evening and say 'Hey let's write a song and explore that together,' I think it's been really good for us to be able to share something so profound," said Richard.
"I guess songwriting is quite an intimate thing. So for us to be able to share that and be really happy and to be able to present this to the public in that way … I think we're really enjoying it."
I guess songwriting is quite an intimate thing.— Patricia Richard
They say they complement each other really well when writing in French, and the album just seemed to fall into place.
The name of the group — and the title of the recently released single — Sirène et Matelot translates to the siren and the sailor.
'It was kind of an adventure for us'
Gallant explains a siren is somewhere between a selkie and a mermaid, and the album does touch on some mystical concepts.
"It was kind of an adventure for us," Gallant said.
"Some of the songs seemed to have a bit of a theme that dealt not just with living in this part of the world but also … from our personal perspective."
Gallant has done some co-writing in the past, but has mainly worked on his own. He said Richard has a much stronger sense of the French language than he does.
"I didn't start speaking French until I was almost in my 20s and even though I'm of Acadian heritage and I grew up in an Acadian village, unfortunately the language took a bit of a beating in that part of the world," he said.
"I do have a decent grasp, but she is much more stronger in that area."
Richard said she's learned a lot from Gallant through the songwriting process as well.
"To have the privilege to write with someone with Lennie's talent and skill, it's been quite the experience and I'm really learning a lot," she said.
"I'm just learning so much about the creative process and where he goes in his mind to think about the images and what he wants to portray in a song and it's been a really wonderful journey."
The duo hopes to play venues in Canada as well as Europe, and they're excited about playing at the Acadian World Congress being held in P.E.I. and New Brunswick this summer.
Meanwhile, they will also be part of Searching for Abegweit, being put on this summer at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside, after a one-year hiatus from doing the show.
'I think the show is the best it's ever been'
"I have to say I really enjoyed all the venues we've done in the past but Harbourfront is the cream in terms of if you really want to see the show, the lighting and the sound there is tremendous — we love working there so much," Gallant said.
"And I think the show is the best it's ever been."
Richard said the show is a very good representation of P.E.I. and the different cultures across the province.
"For people that live here it's a great way to come and have a laugh and have emotional moments but also for tourists, they seem to really like to get a little feel of what P.E.I. is."
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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.