Huguette Lavigne seems right at home On Cloud 9 on her soaring new single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“In this piece, it’s a natural high,” says the Ottawa pianist. “You’re floating on air, happy, uplifted by the clouds and all is well with the world. The blue of the sky is also a constant and calming influence … A feeling of contentment carries us to the end, to reach the highest note of On Cloud 9.”
Indeed, Lavigne’s joyous, ascending piano melody in On Cloud 9 steadily rises up into the blue to give us a soft, fluffy landing. “There is a certain earnestness or intensity felt in the playing, reflecting the forces of nature, strong and powerful but at times serene, with moments of tranquility — a dichotomy at play,” describes Lavigne. “Believe it or not, there are over 300 words and phrases to describe the phrase On Cloud 9. Take what you will from this!”
On Cloud 9 is the opening track from Lavigne’s second album Yin and Yang, originally released in 2018. Her debut album Black Tie Affair came out in 2015; she also released Free and Easy in 2019, while her latest collection Five O’Clock Somewhere appeared during the early months of 2020.
Having written and released 40 piano pieces on five albums in as many years, Lavigne’s approach and influences are as diverse as her listeners. Her composition style is spontaneous, stream-of-consciousness magic. She forgoes the tradition of meticulously notating her songs in favour of relying on a shorthand of her own to facilitate recall for future performances. Her final compositions are stored entirely in her head and fingers. Once they’re recorded, she moves on to the next piece.
“There is something about breaking the rules that can be terribly satisfying,” she notes. “My fingers sometimes go where they want to on the keyboard and, at times, I sort of have to take them back home or rein them in.”
Lavigne was raised in a milieu of three Canadian cultures — Franco Ontarian, Quebecois and English Canadian — and studied composition at McGill University and piano at Université de Montréal. As such, a mélange of influences from neo-classicism and neo-romanticism to jazz, folk and Indian classical music have found their way into her songs.