Violaine Corradi – Composer
“Working for Joy”

With the release of the ZAIA CD (Cirque du Soleil Musique CDSMC-20029, 2009) in the US (and coming up in Canada on October 20), it is our honor and privilege to continue our series on the music of Cirque du Soleil with an exclusive interview with the Musical Composer of ZAIA, Ms. Violaine Corradi.

Violaine Corradi (VEE-oh-len co-RAH-dee, “In Italian they say co-RAAAH-dee.”) was born in 1959 in Trieste, Italy and moved to Montréal at the age of four, the child of a composer/conductor father (who passed away when she was six) and an opera singer mother. She trained in voice, piano, clarinet and flute and was a musical prodigy at an early age.

From 1993 to 1998 she composed music for the radio series “Poesié/musique”, which featured leading Quebec poets reading their works. In 1996 she released her first solo album, “Passages” (Imagine Recors IND-2226). She also composed the musical scores for the IMAX films, “Bears” (Silver Wave SD-930, 2001) and “Great North.”

Her first Cirque assignment, as we all know, resulted in “Dralion” (Cirque du Soleil Musique CDSMC-20016, 1999). This was followed by “Varekai” (Cirque du Soleil Musique CDSMC-20017, 2002). ZAIA (the resident show on the Cotai Strip at the Venetian in Macao) marks her third collaboration with Cirque.

While it was 7am Seattle time and 10am Montréal time (where Corporate PR Manager Chantal Côte facilitated our conversation) when we spoke by phone, it was 10pm the following day in Macao. In a French-tinged accent she first commented on why she was in Macao, “I arrived in the beginning of May [2008]. I was supposed to be here 3 or 4 months [but] I fell in love with the place and I fell in love, period, so that’s why I stayed.”

We started off by talking about working on ZAIA. “This is my third adventure with Cirque; I’ve been with Cirque the past 11 years. I was invited by Gilles Ste-Croix to write the music for the show because they knew what the director, Gilles Maheu, was looking for and it sounded like it would go with my esthetic. And it did! It was a great meeting, a great encounter.”

ZAIA Director/Writer Gilles Maheu has called the stage, “the center of fire, a hurricane, a storm where forces align and dangerously confront each other.” “[Working with him] was like a dream for me,” she continued, “because [he] is very profound, coherent and sensitive. When I hopped on the project in June of 2006 (two years before the premiere) he had the entire outline of the show [ready], with of course some gray areas but the narrative was there. So it was fantastic for me to work with; I work very well when the director outlines exactly what he has in mind for each acrobatic number. The colors and the set design were pretty well advanced when I came in and we pretty much stuck to the narrative. Of course some elements had to change, because the reality is when [you’re] constructing and putting everything together [sometimes you have] to make different choices.”

“But the foundation of what Gilles proposed to me pretty much remained. That was inspiring to me. And the narrative – the story of a young girl who decides to leave Earth, to travel the cosmos and bring back notions of beauty to Earth – is so appropriate to what’s happening right now. So I was very inspired to write the music for
this show.”

How does a composer work with a director on a Cirque project? “It’s a relationship. It’s very personal with each director because they each have their own personal way of bringing a project forward. It’s sort of like asking if it’s the chicken or the egg. Because the director first gives us the outline, then we bring our elements [to the table] and the director or whoever is around them will be inspired by what all of us in the creative team bring. And we nourish each other.”

“A lot of [the music] was inspired by the theme, the narrative itself. Of course as I see the development of the show – the costumes, the lights, the acrobatic sequences – this nourishes a lot of my process. And getting to know the artists – having a beer with them, all of that – you’re creating a personal relationship with all of them. For me this is very crucial and fundamental to my work.”

What’s the process of musical creation, we wondered? “That’s a great question. The first stage I work on is the nucleus, a version of about a minute and a half to two minutes of the essence, the foundation of the piece. And since I’m a singer and musician I can perform and produce it so I do the entire thing.”

Some examples of these “nucleus” recordings can be found in the “Creator’s Notebook” for Varekai, (the first edition of the Varekai program) which included a computer disk with two of Varekai’s songs, “Gitans” and “Icarians.” “On those tracks I’m the one playing everything. The band was [together and] we were rehearsing but they took my pre-production [demo] tracks.”

After she creates the nucleus, “we try it out with the acrobatics, because they are also at the embryo of what they’re doing. And if we along with the Director and the Director of Creation and the Acrobatic Creators, if all of us feel it is right – the tempo, the colors, the feeling of the music is right – then I develop the structure from there. And then it’s back and forth until the last second before the premiere.”

While the acrobats are working with these early recordings, “I’m auditioning musicians, and as soon as the musicians come in we have charts written out for them. For this project I had a wonderful Assistant (to the Musical Composer) Thierry Angers. And this was a great encounter for me, now that I know him I can’t live without him! I could concentrate fully on the creation, the creative part of writing the music and arranging the parts, and he and I would take care of passing it on to the musicians. He would take care of writing the charts and preparing all of what was needed for what would be – I don’t like to call them sequences, [but there are] a few sequences. Most of it is played live but with some of the pieces I wanted it to sound a little bit more electro or trip-hop or house. And to do that we needed some samples I created that are triggered by computer. So I did all of that and my assistant would do all the charts. And I would go to the rehearsals and we would integrate the music live. Normally [the musicians] arrive several months before the premiere so we have the opportunity to really work on the music.”

Her composing process started long before premiere night in a situation that proved to be lower-stress than normal. “For [ZAIA I had] two years [to compose]. For Dralion everyone was [brought in about] one year before. On Varekai I had one year also. This time I was lucky, not only did the director have his narrative but two years to create the score was absolutely wonderful. So when we got to the tightest part of the funnel all the music was written, arranged and integrated with the musicians. When we arrived here [in Macao in May to start staging] they were playing it already (performances started in July).”

“This show gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Sound Designer Steve Dubuc and his Assistant (as well as Sound Project Manager and Recorder of the CD) Jason Rouhoff. Every night we would rehearse and put the sound in the house. We have a mega sound system in the theater with surround [sound] and all kinds of goodies that we had such a good time with.” Including 18 subwoofers and 55 surround speakers.

“We had the opportunity to [work] every day, and that was amazing. This [was helped by the fact that I] hopped on this adventure two years prior to premiere. Once I got here I could work day and night in conjunction with Steve and Jason on exactly how I wanted the music to sound. And it took many many hours. This was a big big plus for me on this project.”

“It was a luxury that the team here was kind enough to accept that we would do sound [mixing] at 6 o’clock [in the evening]. With other shows and often other venues that I work in we do sound at night during what we call the graveyard. Everybody goes to bed but you have to stay up and [work] when you’ve already been playing and doing stuff for 12-15 hours. Here it was fantastic; we did it while they were eating. So while the whole [creative] team was eating the musicians, sound engineers and I stayed and didn’t eat. And we preferred that to creating the soundstage in the middle of the night. It was great.”

How the music sounds in the theater is naturally an important consideration to Ms. Corradi. “It’s my philosophy that the sound engineer is a member of the band. Because you might have geniuses playing – let’s say you’re lucky enough as a composer to get fantastic musicians, all at a very high level like what [we have] here – but if at the other end it’s not [properly] translated by the system and whomever is mixing the house – then it can kill it. I always think it’s important to have a clear relationship and bond between the sound engineer [and the band]. Here we have four sound engineers; [on Dralion and Varekai] we had three.” They are Hayden Clark, Roy Cressey, Sebastian Hammond and Chris Pardy. Other parts of the team include Head of Audio Eric Poitevein, Assistant Head of Audio David Finch and Lead Audio Technician Frieda Lee.

“When I go to do some follow-up work on tour I find it important to have these discussions and exchanges. I transmit the concept to the engineer because if it doesn’t get to him or her it can be another universe, it can completely flip around. So to me it’s very important.”

Having the luxury of time also allowed her to take on production of the ZAIA soundtrack CD, a responsibility she hadn’t originally considered. “It was a nice opportunity. [Cirque du Soleil Musical Director] Alain Vinet proposed [that I produce the CD] in spring of 2008. I wasn’t sure because I know that to create a Cirque show [requires] a thousand percent of yourself, and often right [afterwards] there is a little curve downwards where you need to relax. At first I said no, I’d think of somebody [else] to produce, and so we went along that line for a little while. Then once I got here I realized I was nicely enough ahead and I would have the energy plus the inspiration to produce the album.”

“It was very important to Guy [Laliberté] that the original musicians [appear on the album]. The last time that happened was with La Nouba 10 years ago. [With] “O” and La Nouba back-to-back (Composer and CD Co-Producer) Benoit [Jutras] and (CD Co-Producer) Rob Heaney produced albums with the original musicians and they did a fantastic job. For other albums it was mostly session musicians, original musicians of the show were cameoed and sometimes it wasn’t always the original singers.”

“But for ZAIA we reached amazing levels of rendering the music. Alain Vinet was here for the gala in August last year and heard it and was also convinced [this was] the way it should be done.”

The nine ZAIA musicians play a multitude of instruments on the CD (with a little help from members of the string section of the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra as well as Ms. Corradi herself). Surprisingly, the band has none of the Canadian or French Canadian players that usually comprise a large part of Cirque creation bands.

The musicians are:
Maria Karin Andersson – Singer – Sweden
“Chicago” Rose Marie Winnebrenner – Singer – United States
Steven Victor Bach – Keyboards, Bandleader – United States
Conrad Lewis Askland – Keyboards – United States
Oliver Alexandre Vincent Milchberg – Guitars – France
Rachael Cogan – Wind Instruments – Australia
Jay Aaron Elfenbein – Cello – United States
Darrin Eugene Johnson – Drums – United States
Eduard Harutyunyan – Percussion – Armenia

Recording the CD was, “another adventure in itself. At first we were contemplating having the musicians record in a studio here in Macao or in Hong Kong. And we played with that idea and realized it wouldn’t necessarily be the best for the project or for the show. And so we hopped on the adventure of creating a studio [inside the ZAIA Theater at the Venetian Macao]. With the fantastic technology we have now it was possible [to create a control room] within a week. We [already] had sound booths and microphone wiring for the musicians, and it was just a question of [creating] a control booth to do the recording.”

“[It was] recorded during the day and after shows while doing 8 to 10 shows a week. [It took] a month to record and a month to mix.”

“[In the production] I went for a real interpretation. I worked one-on-one with all the musicians to put them in a mood to get a rendering [with] a lot of heart and emotion. Many many days and many many hours of work were put into that album.”

In our interview with Cirque du Soleil Musical Director Alain Vinet (see Fascination! Newsletter #67 – August, 2009) he mentioned that he works closely with soundtrack producers, often supplying comments. What comments did he give about recording ZAIA? “[He was] very encouraging. He is wonderful in the sense that he has a way to inspire. I can’t tell you exactly what his comments were because there were many things that were discussed. What I can tell you is that he has a wonderful way of [giving feedback] and a way of creating that makes us want to surpass ourselves.”

In a post-interview email, Ms. Corradi sent along the track list of the ZAIA CD with the translation of the titles and act they are related to:

01) Noi – (Theme of the show and Finale) – Us
02) Aestus Calor – (Ouverture) – A Flow of Fire
03) Ignis – (ZAIA’s Departure) – Fire
04) Hatahkinn – (Aerial Bamboo) – (This is an invented word)
05) Aquilex – (Globes and Poles, Part1) – The One Who Finds Sources
06) Comissatio – (Globes and Poles, Part 2) – Feast
07) Blue Ales – (Lanterns) – Blue Bird-It’s Flight is an Omen
08) Adrideo – (Old Clown Act with Onofrio + Tom) – Laughters
09) Ardor Oris – (Back-up number + walk arounds) – Ardour
10) Aequor Oris – (Fire Dance) – Ocean of Fire
11) Caelestis – (Aerial Frame) – Celestial
12) Undae – (Time Transition) – A Flow of Water
13) Temperatio – (Jugglers) – Balance
14) Ellâm Onru – (Hand to Hand) – All is One
15) Gaudiumni – (X-Board) – Joy
16) Utinam – (Straps duo) – May the Heaven’s Wish So

“I came up with the titles many months ago. In the reality of everyday I still call them their working titles so I have to get used to calling them the name we call them on the album. If I give the [album] song title to the musicians or the Artistic Director they don’t know what I’m talking about, so I have to use the work titles. Every piece has at least 3 titles, and the [song is] baptized [with last one] when we lay it on the album.”

“You made me realize though that, now that the album has just been released it’s time for me to memorize which musical piece the new titles I found are associated with…Thank you!”

“We actually recorded everything, the music of the entire show, 95 minutes. I knew that I was not going to be able to put everything on, but the songs that we weren’t able to put on the album – and I’ll need to discuss this with Alain – we may be able to put them on iTunes or something like that. But we have them. On the album we put what Alain and I felt would tell the story of ZAIA. The rest exists and we’ll see what we do with it.”

Those unreleased songs include:
“Travelling Cowboy” – (New Clown Introduction)
“Automat Dance” – (Automaton Dance)
“Alobaloro” – (Rola Bola)

And there was one song that, due to the continuing evolution of the show is on the soundtrack but isn’t in the show anymore. “”Adrideo” is the clown act, or should I say, it was our clown act until approximately a month ago. Work in progress… new clown act = new music!”

Ms. Corradi dedicates the album to “Mariposa.” “”Mariposa” means “butterfly” in Spanish. This butterfly I know is an inspiration for me. And the symbol of the butterfly is related to the show. The fact that a butterfly goes through four stages in its cycle before it becomes a butterfly is really related to transformation, to a journey where you have to throw yourself into the void. [The concept of letting] yourself be reborn again is really appropriate for this show. So Mariposa is a person and also a symbol.”

Unlike the soundtrack to Varekai, which was more electronica-influenced and took some liberties with the music, ZAIA seems to be a return to the sound of the music as heard in the show. Much of this is due to recording the album with the shows original creation musicians in the ZAIA Theater. But it was also a philosophical decision. “To tell you the truth I think [soundtrack CDs] should always reflect the show. If there’s going to be other projects inspired by the show music you should [label them] as being inspired from the show. When it’s the show’s soundtrack I feel that it should reflect the music of the show but not necessarily in every detail, you can enrich it. For example for this CD I had to restructure [the music] to put it in a format that was independent from the image, from the visual.”

“For Varekai it was an executive decision to work with [CD Producer Nitin Sawhney]. We had an intimate dinner at Guy’s house in Montréal with Nitin and Bruno Gaez (who was the Musical Director at the time). And Guy felt [there] was a new tone for Cirque du Soleil starting with Varekai, because (Cirque Co-Founder and first Company President) Daniel Gauthier had left and it was the first show that had been created without him. It was Guy’s desire to explore other avenues and he asked me if I would feel comfortable with that. And I said yeah, I approved it. It was great, it was a fantastic encounter and I think it spoke for itself. It [was in] the Top 5 in Billboards World Music section for weeks.

Interesting sounds are one of the hallmarks of Ms. Corradi’s music. Such as a rapid breathing singing sound used in ZAIA on “Undae.” “It’s called “panting” or “throat singing.” It’s a specialty of one of the musicians, Racheal Cogan, the wind instrumentalist. And I integrated it into two of the pieces because I find this sound brings us to the beginning; to me it’s really evocative of the origin of humanity. Hopefully it creates that in the imagination of others. And so far so good, people that have heard it here feel the same. So we’ll see how it echoes back as the album lives its life.”

In a prior interview she mentioned how one of Guy Lalibertés’ favorite instruments was the “bandaneon.” What’s that? “Bandaneon is the name for an accordion, but instead of having a keyboard it has buttons. Guy loves accordion sounds – he used to play it – so I know that he loves the sound. In the last 11 years he would really be turned on when I would come up with an accordion or bandaneon sound.”

“Guy loves very simple melodies and melodies that bring people together. And he loves everything that is rhythmic or percussive or [music that is] very trendy. But he explained to me that he loves music and melodies that bring people together. And to him an accordion is a great instrument to do that.” (This might explain why the bandaneon/accordion shows up in almost every Cirque recording.)

The ZAIA album continues Ms. Corradi’s considered use of strings and woodwinds. “I think they are very warm. [In ZAIA] we don’t have violins per se. [We have] a bow specialist who plays viola da gamba and the ancestor of the cello, the rabab. Sometimes it might sound like a violin but we’re not using a violin. To me these sounds are very real and warm. They have a mode of expression that is strong and close to the human voice.”

“With Dralion’s original instrumentation the first musician I hired was a cellist/violinist, he would play both. And [for ZAIA] the wind instrumentalist [was to] be mainly an oboist but they also play didgeridoo and other wind instruments.”

“I love to put the two together. I think all Cirque shows have bowed or blown into [instruments], I’m not the only one. If I look at Cirque orchestral formations I think we find that you always have keyboard and percussion but you need people who blow into something and people who bow string.”

“First we do it with synthesizers. [But it’s] so expressive when a specialist in an instrument gives a real rendering with a real soul interpreting and with all the mechanics and ornaments you have with a real instrument instead of having a keyboard play it.”

ZAIA Keyboardist Conrad Askland quotes Ms. Corradi as saying musicians are the “soul of the show.” He also called her a “musical shaman.” “I auditioned [and selected] every musician in the show. I’m totally part of the process. The Director of Creation for the Show Neilson Vignola accompanied me through the process.”

“For the other shows normally I am involved, but they will know if I am too busy to hire or audition other people. Normally I am always the one choosing the musicians because it is part of my mandate – Composer, Arranger and Musical Director, that comes along with it.”

“With singers, because they are characters in the show, once I make my choices we [show them to] the director for him to see what they look like, because he would have to work with them. We would have to reach a consensus. He was very happy with the people I found.”

ZAIA incorporates two women singers, was that her choice? “These ideas always come from the director. [For the other shows] the director saw a man and a woman but for this show Gilles wanted two female singers. I was happy to get the request and work with it, and I make the best of it I can.”

Listening to her Cirque albums one wonders if vocalists have difficulty with some of the more tongue-twisting aspects of Cirque’s made-up language. “On the contrary, I get more positive comments that it’s interesting and challenging. Because they perform 8 to 10 shows a week and – let me put it this way – I make sure they don’t fall asleep! They have enough challenges [with] the difficulty of the melodies and the way to interpret it, what I’m looking for in dynamics and sensitivity, rendering, interpretation. I make sure the mountain is high enough they have a nice climb. And to be able to have [their souls] open at every show. Maybe they’ve thought it was hard but nobody’s ever told me.”

Creation musicians are “crucial, absolutely crucial” to a shows final musical sound, Ms. Corradi insists. “These musicians are choices that I made very meticulously, of what kind of interpretation I’m looking for. In this show I was looking for multi-disciplinary musicians, especially [with] regards to plucked strings, bowed strings, and winds, so we get all kinds of textures. It’s also like a journey in time, in contemporary sounds as well as ancient, like the rabab and the aoud.”

“So I made sure that I found the [right] musicians. Of course this is crucial, because [they create] the foundation of [how future] musicians will be asked to interpret the music unless I’m lucky enough that the original members of the band stay forever. Which happened [with] both Dralion and Varekai, most of the team is the same.”

“So it’s absolutely crucial, they lay down the foundation of the score. Because I may lay down a line of aoud that I will play myself with a very good sample, but it’s never [the same as] when it’s the instrument interpreting it itself.”

For the “Solarium/Delirium” and “Delirium” arena show CDs Cirque utilized several of Ms. Corradi’s compositions. In fact her songs alone make up 40% of both projects! Songs utilized include: From Dralion: Ombra, Aborigenes Jam and Spiritual Spiral. From Varekai: Lubia Dobarstan, Emballa, Oscillum, Patzivota, Le Reveur and El Pendulo.

How does it feel to hear her music in such a context? “It’s exciting, it’s inspiring. I like [hearing where] inspired arrangers and producers bring [the music]. [On Solarium/Delirium] there’s “Ombra” where we have two completely different universes being expressed on the same album; one is more Latin and the other really trip-hop. I love it.”

“If I would write a piece [for a show] and it was really new and I offered it to the musicians and they would start playing it like [the remixes] I wouldn’t agree because I have an architecture, an esthetic that I ask them to respect. Because the architecture and esthetic have meaning in conjunction with all my other colleagues and creators. We create an esthetic together and if they were to change the [musical] style I wouldn’t agree. But when it comes to doing remixes I find it very exciting and inspiring and I’m happy that people are doing it.”

“I saw [Delirium] once when it premiered in Montréal. I was open and just received it. (Music Producer and Arranger) Francis Collard did a great job. Sometimes it sounded like a homeopathic [dose] of what we created. He had a big mandate to take all those [songs] and make something for this mega production but he did his job well, I think he did a great job.”

How would she populate a Violaine Corradi “Best of”? “That’s a very hard question. I have no idea. It’s the type of question I can’t answer because I have to sit down and listen to everything and make it work together. And I’d probably ask my friend Alain Vinet what he thinks. I don’t know, I would have to do it then tell you.”

Whatever songs end up on that mixtape, they would all reflect the Violaine Corradi style which she defines as, “a juxtaposition of different styles and different cultures. I find a lot of inspiration in what I call “root music.” I don’t like saying “folkloric” music, but original music that has been played for hundreds or thousands of years from every country. That’s what I listen to when I write music, and I try to bring in a contemporary approach. I also like to juxtapose diverse styles, like classical with trip-hop, or house with Latin and whatever. I’ve always written like that, and I guess that’s why Guy invited me to be part of the team 11 years ago.”

So what’s currently in her MP3 player? “These days I’m listening to “Tuck & Patti” (vocalist Patti Cathcart and guitarist Tuck Andress). It was released in the 80’s and I haven’t listened to it in ages, I downloaded it maybe a week ago. It’s just voice and guitars and it’s just great, it’s amazing. It felt so good to listen to that again. They write their own songs and do some covers. Just beautiful to hear a human voice with a very simple recording, very transparent. Tuck is the guitar player and he plays amazingly, with so much feeling. That’s what I’m listening to [along with] so many other things. But that one is first on my list these days.”

Is there something about composing music that the public doesn’t realize that she’d like them to know? “That’s such a good question! I don’t think I want them to know because [it’s] a lot of work. I think the general audience [doesn’t] have one hundredth of an idea of all the work that [has been done] when they listen to an album or listen to any kind of show. Of all the human effort and inspiration and generosity and talent, everything that it takes to put it all together.”

“Let’s just take ZAIA. We have nine musicians. All of them [have put in] how many hours and years of work just to get there? And then to put the soundtrack together?”

“How can I put it? I don’t think an audience that aren’t musicians can envision everything it takes to put all this together, so I think I’d rather they didn’t know. Just enjoy it! On our side we have so much joy doing it.”

“It’s work and joy at the same time. I’d rather the audience just keeps the joy of listening. The joy of listening is equivalent to the joy we have of giving it to them. Because if we didn’t have joy all this work would mean nothing.”

“In my life [I’ve known] people that couldn’t understand what I was doing. They would wonder why I put so much energy on a note or a measure or on 8 bars or 100 bars of music. These people are not in my life anymore.”

Her work ethic was imprinted on her early in life, “[by] my parents, but especially my mother. My mother was my music master; she studied at the Pittsburgh School of Music in Philadelphia. She was an opera singer and music whiz and she passed it on to me. My father was also but he passed away when I was six so my main master was my mother. She taught me everything about music but especially how to materialize and actualize my ideas and bring [them out].”

“I remember in Quebec when I was nine years old I started to do television. They would come to see the kid that could compose music at nine years old, so they would put me on TV and stuff like that. She would have me write out charts for the musicians or to be able to [copyright] the piece at BMI. And she told me, “What you start you
have to finish.” And at nine years old to write a chart for musicians was a big big endeavor. And I would cry, “No, why don’t you do it?” “No! You started it, you finish it!” So I think that was the [development] of my courage and endurance and stamina.”

“You need inspiration and talent but you [also] need courage to put forward and actualize and materialize your ideas. And you have to have the courage to keep going until it becomes complete. That is my philosophy.”

What can we expect to hear from her in the future? “For the moment we’re still doing a lot of changes [to ZAIA] so I’m busy doing that. I also have some album projects [in mind]. And of course (Vice-President of Creation) Pierre Phaneuf at Cirque told me the last time I spoke to him that they had projects for me. So we’ll see. I think they’re letting me finish [ZAIA] and then we’ll see what my new collaboration with Cirque will be. So coming up – music music music music!”

As our time together was running out we had one final question, one of our favorites. What words of wisdom does she have for young artists to encourage or make them aware of the challenge of Art as a career? “Hmm. That’s a very good question, and a hard one because there are so many things I want to say. Maybe I’ll write it to you [later].”

Later she wrote, “To be an artist… to be a true artist means to be totally engaged, totally dedicated to your craft; in fact, you can’t even imagine living or breathing for a millisecond without Art in your life! If this is the way you deeply feel then there are chances you will have enough willpower and inner strength to carry you through.”

“As the famous French star Georges Brassens liked to say, “Talent without technique is just a bad habit.” Knowing this first-hand and also knowing what my peers and I have to put in to realize our dreams and visions, I can confirm that the artistic adventure will challenge and test you to the bone; to the marrow of your soul; it will carve you like the sculptor carves marble in order to reveal your true nature; your beauty and your full rainbow potential.”

“If you feel you have the talent and hear this “Call” to passionately live the artistic odyssey (and what I just told you didn’t make you want to run in the opposite direction…), then jump right in without any second thought. Because it means that your dedication to your art and to the world and what will be requested of you to succeed won’t be “work” for you…. your long hours, days, months, and years will be total “play”; full, total “joy”!”

And as she signed off Violaine Corradi had some kind words for us at the Fascination! Newsletter. “I think it’s precious that you take time to speak with me and to speak with us. You’ve done some great work and every element counts. It’s very precious and I thank you.”

Likewise, Ms. Corradi.

My sincere thanks go to: Ms. Violaine Corradi, for so graciously
spending time with us, Lise Dubois, Corporate Alliances Coordinator,
Chantal Côte, Corporate PR Manager, and my wife LouAnna for putting
up with my sometimes obsessive hobby.