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Interview with Marie-Véronique Bourque
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I am from a musical family. My dad was a flutist who played at some point with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. My mom was a violinist and all of my 8 siblings were playing different muscal instruments. I started on violin, then studied piano prior to falling in love with the flute at the age of eight. Without music in my life, I would have possibly become a nurse or paramedic, helping people when they most need it. In a way, I also accomplished that as music led me to a police career.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love doing all types of renovations in my 100 year old house and finding ways to use what I already have to create new useful items (old skateboard wheels became coat hangers, old cello case became a shelving storage for my DVD’s). I also enjoy very much creating fun videos that can be watched on my Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/MarieVeroniqueBourque
Gardening is also one of my favorites which I find relaxing. It frees my mind from all worries. Getting to meet people around me on a trip over sea or in my hometown, getting to learn more about them is also very inspiring and I also love listening to other artists from different musical genres.
All of these activities and peoples influence the way I see the world, help shaping the person I am today, and allow me to add more colors to the music I create and make it my own.
How long have you been making music?
I am celebrating this year my 50th anniversary of making music!
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I am originally from Quebec and have been living in Regina, Saskatchewan for seventeen years. Moving to Regina was first a career decision to become an instructor at the RCMP Academy. It also quickly became the turning point in my musical career as it gave me my first real opportunity to perform with an orchestra (RSO) and the opportunity to perform on a regular basis with the Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble. It is also in Regina that I met Maurice Drouin, jazz pianist who introduced me to jazz.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
One of my most memorable shows is my very first jazz live performance. I had wanted for a few years to approach Maurice Drouin and ask him if I could one day perform with him as I loved his cabaret and French music repertoire. During the Mosaic Festival, he was performing on stage. During intermission, I asked if one day I could join him. He said ‘why not? Let’s do it now!’’. I went on stage and for the first time, I played my flute without sheet music, improvising and enjoying every single moment of it. We played Que reste-t-il de nos amours/I Wish You Love. That was it, I was hooked on jazz!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
In Saskatchewan, there are three venues I particularly like: The Exchange and The Artesian on 13th in Regina and The Bassment in Saskatoon. I would love to play one day at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto and at the Capitol in Québec City.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The all ladies Ostara Project
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Surround yourself with people who will help you rise, as a musician and as a person. Get in the door that opens up for you, where you are welcome. Work hard and know your stuff. Be humble…just enough. Play with your heart because you have something to say and enjoy the ride!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Entre Québec & Saskatchewan is at the heart of my second album. It gives it its title and all its meaning. Entre Québec et Saskatchewan talks about my double identity, as Saskatchewanian and Quebecer, and the heartbreak that this double identity creates. Time goes by and I allow myself to dream ... Yes, I will create a bridge between the two.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My newest release ‘’The Shovel Shuffle’’ has been received with a lot of enthusiasm. So many people took the time to comment on it, feeling a personnel connection. The Music Video has been a hit on my Youtube Channel. This song makes people smile, laugh and feel good. This is something important to me.
I also love to play Bossa for a Rough Time because it reminds me of one of my best friends Carol who passed away. I find the melody soothing and at the same time quite challenging to play with fast chord changes. Through this song, I feel that I can connect with those going through some difficult times and make them feel a little better.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process is not a template I use. It is different for every song. Sometimes it is just letting my fingers guide me on the keyboard. Other times it is a melody line on my flute that will start the ball to a new creation. Some special events, people and places also inspire me.
For my song The Shovel Shuffle, having lived in Québec City and in Regina, I know the joy of shoveling. I started writing The Shovel Shuffle sitting at the piano in my music room, watching the snow falling and my neighbor shoveling. I was dreading having to do the same. It is at this exact moment that the chorus came to my head.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I compose and play music because I feel a need to do so to express myself to heal my own pain or to celebrate life. I share my music because I believe in its power to make people feel good or at least make them feel better.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
This year will be an exciting one with plans to attend Pro7ect at the Rockfield Studio in the UK and perform with the NFA Jazz Flute Big Band in Arizona, USA. There will also be the release of a new music video possibly in March, some new additions to my Youtube Channel and a collaborative songwriting project with a Canadian jazz artist I appreciate very much.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?