“Inner Voyage” (comp./arr. Jeanfrançois Prins)
Jeanfrançois Prins guitar, Sébastien Walnier cello (Sébastien plays all four parts of the string quartet here), Christophe Devisscher bass.
All Strings Attached is the name of a project I started 10 years ago with the help of my friend cellist extraordinaire Sébastien Walnier, who put together a top-notch classical string quartet to perform my original arrangements along with my jazz trio. This is a project that I’ve always kept in my heart and, although we have performed regularly over the years, I still want to do much more with them, and record the whole repertoire one of these days.
As many performing artists nowadays, I found myself kept away from the stage and my audience, with whom I love sharing music so much. When I talked with my friend Sébastien the other day, we shared this frustration and the fact that we actually would have time to do music together, if we could just get together… Well, we found a way to do it! Sébastien proposed to play the entire string quartet parts on the Cello, and Christophe Devisscher who played bass on the original project joined the adventure. So here it is, we played it each at home, “alone together”.
I wrote my composition “Inner Voyage” more than 20 years ago, as part of a lot of original music Judy Niemack and I wrote and sometimes co-wrote, for a documentary series on the Discovery Health Channel.
It was originally written for a capella voices. The piece was meant to support a quite emotional and deeply meditative moment. This piece and its particular atmosphere stayed with me, and when I started making a repertoire for my “All Strings Attached”, it immediately came to my mind. So I re-arranged it for my jazz trio with a classical string quartet, and created a solo form for it, to improvise with. It will eventually become a part of a Mindfulness Suite I wrote.
This particular version here is of course somewhat different: no drums, and the whole quartet parts (violins 1 & 2, alto and cello) are all performed on the cello.
I think we all need to be connected with each other, more than ever before. The entire world is going through such a scary, painful time. We are all more or less stuck and we don’t know exactly until when, or how it is going to stop.
I have always believed it is our mission as musicians, as artists in general to reach out to everyone who wants to listen, and give them our truth, our pure expression of what cannot be said in words. If this music can bring you at least some appeasement, some warmth, some hope, then it is worth it for us to keep on keeping on.
We want to dedicate this to all the courageous and selfless people everywhere who give all they have to heal, care for, and help those in need. You are Angels.