Yann Falquet saw quite a bit of his Genticorum bandmates last year.
Now a Vermont resident, Falquet travelled up to his parents’ home north of Montreal, when they were out of the country, and transformed it into a recording studio.
It was the house that Falquet grew up in, and the trio — with an engineer — used the lakes and trails around the Laurentian Mountains for inspiration to cut 12 songs.
Those tunes will be on an album coming out in April, after their workshop and performances at next weekend’s 34th annual Festival du Bois at Mackin Park in Coquitlam.
And crowds can hear their songs débuted at shows at 2:15 p.m.
“They’re songs that likely no-one has heard before,” Falquet said in an interview from Denver, Col.
“We have a practice of collecting traditional music. We go into the National Archives in Québec and listen to music on CDs and read books from the past 100 years.”
They also pick up songs from older Quebecois musicians at parties and gatherings, and work together on the arrangements to fit Genticorum’s musical style.
With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, Falquet said he and fellow founding member Pascal Gemme, and Nicholas Williams are excited to return to the festival circuit.
It will be their third or fourth time playing at Festival du Bois.
“We would play it every year if we could, but the reality is, for festival committees, there’s a wealth of bands to choose from,” Falquet said. “We say yes to the festivals that we love. We feel lucky to be invited, to get outside Quebec and be with other French speakers.”
Falquet compares Coquitlam’s Festival du Bois with the Festival du Voyageur, which takes place in mid-February in Winnipeg, Man. “It’s a moment where people can celebrate their own culture and other artists. But in B.C., you also have the most amazing sushi!”
Asked what it’s like to perform before a live audience after the hiatus, Falquet said he’s grateful the audience is back and the band is appreciative for the reception.
When the pandemic lockdown hit, “it was comfortable not to go anywhere. Now, there’s a lot of travelling, but when we get to where we want to go, we see the people and all the frustrations about being in an airport and travel are gone. There’s a good energy.”
Produced by the Société francophone de Maillardville and sponsored in part by the Tri-City News, the 34th annual Festival du Bois takes place at Mackin Park (1046 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam) on March 24, 25 and 26. Entry to the Friday night contradance is free. General admission on Saturday and Sunday is $32/$22/$10 per day; the single-day family rate is $75 for two adults and two children (ages five to 12). On Sunday, the pancake breakfast is an extra $10/$5 (admission is not included). For tickets, visit festivaldubois.ca.