Through the cheeky bat of an eyelid or by the lift of her foot in exuberant joy, it’s clear that Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire delights in captivating her audience. She has the peculiar quality of being both inviting and provoking.
When she first hit the music scene, Ariane Mahrÿke had a beautiful youthful giddiness. It has matured over the years, and is now grounded by a strong presence and a voice with a subtle melodious alto-richness. Her ability to move between English and French never leaves the listener behind. She deftly leads you to an understanding that music really does transcend perceived barriers of language.
Filling the time between songs with precise and equally poetic stories and anecdotes, Ariane wraps you in her intimate world. In the end, you are left with the feeling that she sang just for you, and you long to follow blindly to wherever she may lead you next. Hailing from Edmonton Alberta, hollow-bodied electric guitar in hand, Ariane Mahrÿke delivers her songs with humour, candor, vulnerability and strength. She flirts with folk, jazz, blues, and electroacoustics while effortlessly moving from French to English. Lemire perfectly reflects the diversity of Canadian culture. She offers dynamic performances and takes her listeners through expansive musical journeys sewn together by witty banter.
Through her participation in events such as the Festival en chanson de Petite Vallée in Gaspésie, the Coup de coeur francophone in Montreal, the Rencontres d’Astaffort in France and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, she has become a seasoned musician.
Her first album, Double Entendre, was crowned Outstanding Francophone Recording at the 2008 WCMAs, her second album, Décousue, was nominated in the same category in 2010, and her third album, Wrecked Tangles and Love Knots, was released in the fall of 2012. Her new album, Je deviens le loup, is now available online and at www.apcm.
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Barefoot behind an electric-blue electric guitar Ariane wants to dance. But she is in the middle of a song. The moment within the music would lift her up and carry her across the room but duty calls at the microphone. Will she make it back in time for the down beat and the next lyric? Perhaps.
And where are you in this scene. You the audience. Are you part of the energy that would carry her away. Are you pulling her back to the mic with the desire to know where the story of the song may be going. Are you like most of us, standing on that uncertain musical edge between duty and fantasy. Either way you are likely mesmerized. Fixated on that slender naked foot that can not reach the floor before another gust of guitar rhythm picks it up and sets it floating on a vocal melody.
Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire is art as much as she is an artist. Lyric, music, motion, pantomime. As easily as she manipulates images on a video screen from nine to five so she does with your heart when the night falls. She is the music that she plays. Creates.
Rather fitting that words such as ingenue and chanteuse have been adopted from the French. She slips so effortlessly between the two official languages. Is there a favored tongue? Unlikely. With her first release, Double Entendre, Ariane Mahrÿke declares there are no solitudes. A disc in French and a disc in English can live in harmony within a single package. Life, love and laughter are lyric devices regardless of the accent. With lilt, inflection, playfulness there is no need for fluency. The adage stands and the language is universal.
Accolades will fall upon a talent such as this. The need to create art moves powerfully in such a heart. The all French CD, Décousue was released early in 2010. The companion release, Wrecked Tangles and Love Knots comes in 2011. And the music has indeed lifted her up, carried her across the country and around the world. When you are a captivating talent in the middle of the prairies there is nowhere to look but up.
As her guitar subtly wells up inside you and a wink between words completes the meaning of the verse you'll be torn. Should she abandon all propriety and let the music carry her away. Should she hold her ground and bring it all home. It doesn't matter which. As long as you are there. Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire is an artist. She is art. Her music is not hanging on a gallery wall. It is in the air and you are allowed to touch it.