Folias Duo Celebrates 20 Years
Heartdance Due Out May 5 via Folias Music
Folias Music is pleased to announce the 2023 release of Heartdance, a celebration of the twenty-year artistic and life partnership of flutist Carmen Maret and guitarist Andrew Bergeron, the Michigan-based performer-composer collaboration known as Folias Duo. Asked to explain the album’s title, Andrew Bergeron says: “How else can we live together as artists and as a couple but with a kind of heart dance?”
Throughout the nine tracks on the album, Bergeron and Maret engage in conversational chamber music, exploring the sonic possibilities for flute and guitar within their modern classical music background, experimenting with Argentine folk, jazz, and world music, engaging both ecological and existential themes. This is the vibe in the opening piece “Dragonfly,” a dextrous four-movement embodiment of this ancient organism’s lifecycle from its birth as an aquatic insect to the final mating formation it makes in the shape of a heart, a kind of flying valentine. Guitar grooves in odd meters such as 5/8, 7/8, and 11/16, metric modulations, and fragmented interlocking dance hooks derived from the Argentine chacarera and the Basque zortziko, this is music that bubbles and floats and spirals. Bergeron adds, “everyone seems to have a story or experience with dragonflies, so this musical visualization helps audiences connect to the act of listening to instrumental music.”
Inspiration for the album came from the couple’s long history of summer touring together and assembling in rustic cabins along the way to write down their compositions. The intense experience of shuffling a rigorous performing schedule with weeks of creative-minded self-isolation might explain the piece “Meadow Dream” a whimsical take on modern classical music inspired by the late 19th-century composer Alexander Scriabin. Heady atonal references to Scriabin’s “mystic chord” are fused with recurring melodic quotes from the song “Pure Imagination.” Maret explains, “borrowing from the spirit of Willy Wonka with his candy garden and Scriabin with his Color Piano gives the music a certain charm and magic; both inspirations offer serious messages about creativity and the power we all have to transform ourselves.”
Throughout, Heartdance aims for a kind of new-fashioned classical music soiree, using the intricate flute and guitar choreography as a launchpad for inventiveness. The alto flute pops and zips aloft the guitar pizzicato in “Nighthawk” and the two melodies sway in varying time signatures culminating in a groove-based improvisation in seven. While there are raucous moments, much of the mood is ruminative, suited to twilight frolics in the woods. The couple admits the piece was inspired by a pair of nighthawks who visited them one summer outside a rustic cabin in northeast Oregon’s Blue Mountains. With its steady syncopated bass line and quena-inspired melody for the piccolo, “Looking Glass” is the most overtly Argentine folk piece on the album as it twirls ambivalently between joy and melancholy an association that runs deep through tango, chacarera, and chamamé.
The album concludes with two pieces featuring the tambin (west African flute from Guinea) inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s last film “Dreams.” Guitar harmonics, percussion, and tremolo on “Procession of the Foxes” and “Forgotten Peach Blossoms” spring forth a juxtaposition of silence and perpetual motion layered with haunting flute melodies. The music flows through an imaginary paranormal world of shapeshifting foxes and orchards filled with spirit-possessed Japanese dolls who have the ability to bring peach trees back to life.
At once virtuosic and spacey, intellectual and groovy, Heartdance, shows two relentless musicians breathing new life into classical music, a passionate collaboration.
All compositions by Bergeron and Maret published by Folias Music ASCAP
Carmen Maret: flute, alto flute, piccolo, tambin
Andrew Bergeron: guitar
Recorded January 3 – 5, 2023 at Sono Luminus Studio in the 110-year-old former Emmanuel Episcopal Chapel in rural Boyce, VA
Cover, photos and design by Carmen Maret
Artwork commissioned by Folias Music:
“Dragonfly” by David McKie, “Cabin” by Gregg Bruff, “Nighthawk” by Alina Poroshina
Thanks to everyone who continues to listen to our music. This album is a musical expression of living life to the fullest every day, right next to the people we love.
Folias Duo – Heartdance
- Aquatic 4:22
- Molting 4:02
- Flying 6:27
- Heartdance 6:19
- Meadow Dream 7:00
- Nighthawk 7:41
- Looking Glass 4:36
- Procession of the Foxes 6:41
- Forgotten Peach Blossoms 6:46