Wednesday, March 9, 2011

De Temps Antan trio is French inspiration

Enjoy a Parisian music experience

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present the Quebec trio De Temps Antan at the Sun Valley Opera House on Saturday, March 12.

Sipping wine, speaking French and enjoying the traditional sounds of fiddles, accordion and guitars conjure up a musical experience associated with the Quebec trio De Temps Antan. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present its final concert in the Winter Performing Arts Series on Saturday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Opera House. Tickets are $20 for Center members and $30 for nonmembers. Tickets are available online at, by calling 726-9491 or by stopping by The Center in Ketchum.

"This will be our first time in Sun Valley," said band member André Brunet. "We will play lots of French songs—some we will sing and others are instrumental."

De Temps Antan will perform traditional French music influenced by the band's admiration for Beausoleil and other Cajun music.

Since 2003, Brunet and fellow trio members Eric Beaudry and Pierre-Luc Dupuis, all Quebec natives, have been exploring and performing time-honored melodies from French-speaking Canada. They don't copy old tunes. They research old material and give it new arrangements. Loosely translated, the group's name means "times past," and they like to joke that "it takes a special blend of musical flair to create memorable songs of yesteryear."

"A goal of the band is always to find songs that audiences are not used to hearing," Brunet said. "Lots of French songs are about church, drinking and women. Finding good old songs is nice, but they are rare."

Brunet said De Temps Antan does play songs from Louisiana because it's fun to connect with New Orleans, which shares musical origins with northeastern Canada. The word "Cajun" comes from "Acadia," the name for the French colony in eastern Quebec and the Maritime provinces, many of whose residents later settled in Louisiana.

All three musicians spent time as members of La Bottine Souriante, one of Quebec's best-known traditional music groups. Brunet was Canadian Grand Master fiddler in 2008 and participated in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"We come from families and grew up with the uncles playing fiddles and aunts singing songs," Brunet said. "It's part of us."

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