Photo : Lionel Coste
We’re currently at the Dutch Harp Festival, which looks both back to the harp’s earliest beginnings in the hands of story-telling bards, and ahead to our instrument’s future. It’s apposite that our Camac Voice for March is also a fusion of old and new: Maestral, a new Celto-jazz combo from Brittany.
Maestral consists of Anne Postic (lever harp), Pierre-Antoine Colas (trumpet), Stéphane Goasguen (bass) and Herri Loquet (rhythm/percussion). Based on jazz and Breton traditional music, their quartet also brings other Celtic, Latin, Arab, classical and contemporary sounds into the mix. The effect is like a bustling musical harbour, always with different ships in port or setting sail.
“We all live in Brittany now, in Brest and in Landerneau, but we have all pursued different paths, and come from very diverse musical backgrounds”, Anne explains. “Pierre-Antoinne Colas (trumpet) is originally from Charente-Maritime. He’s classically-trained, has played with many rock groups – Merzhin, for example – and has been particularly interested in jazz and Latin music for a long time. Stéphane Goasguen (double bass) comes from Brest, but was long based in Paris. He also has a classical background, working with well-known orchestras such as the Paris opera and the Orchestre de Paris/Wolfgang Sawallish, the Orchestre de Lille/Jean-Claude Casadesus, Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de Bretagne, etc. He is also an active chamber musician, most notably with the Matheus ensemble. Herri Loquet (percussion, drums) is also from Brest, and studied snare drum in Scotland. He performs and teaches traditional music, and leads a snare drum ensemble. He also plays in rock groups, and in French chanson bands. As for me, I’m from the Breton east coast and I’ve long been passionate about traditional music, especially Breton, Scottish and Irish music. Nonetheless, I have always been interested in other musical styles, such as classical music, contemporary music, and jazz. Maestral is a human encounter first. From this fact, our music is a meeting of our worlds and our backgrounds.