About Jean-Michel Blais
Jean-Michel Blais is a Canadian pianist. His work, while primarily improvised, recalls the influence of composers such as Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel, as well as minimalists such as the young Philip Glass. Blais' works sound spontaneous and emotional as evidenced by "Dada" from his 2016 debut offering Il, rather than clinical and technically precise, and he often incorporates experimental production techniques into his recordings.
Blais grew up in Quebec and started playing organ and piano as a child. He began training as a classical pianist at the Trois-Rivieres Music Conservatory, but was more interested in pursuing his own path. After spending time in Berlin and South America, during which he sporadically created music, he moved to Montreal and began taking music-making seriously again. Arts & Crafts released Blais' debut album Il in 2016. This was followed by Cascades, a collaboration with CFCF, in 2017. Blais' third project, Eviction Sessions released through Arts & Crafts in November of 2018. Blais got inspired to record it after being informed he would be evicted from his apartment (after living there seven years) due to neighborhood gentrification. This was the same apartment in which he recorded his debut album and his response was deeply emotional.
In October 2019, Blais released the soundtrack to the Canadian film Matthias & Maxime. He received a special mention for the work at the Cannes Soundtrack Awards. ~ Paul Simpson