In 1998, in his song woman words, Laurence Jalbert proclaimed that he never wanted to hear “And then after? when one of her sisters denounced an injustice. A year after having upset Quebec herself with a letter in which she confided that she had been the victim of domestic violence, the singer-songwriter continues on her way with the acute awareness of what remains to be accomplished.
Posted at 8:00 a.m.
Yes, Laurence Jalbert received the Luc-Plamondon prize from the Professional Society of Authors and Composers of Quebec in November 2020, crowning his entire work. But perhaps it is worth repeating: the singer signed or co-signed the vast majority of her unforgettable songs.
“It was Diane Juster who called me to tell me the news, and Diane Juster, I worship her, you understand? “Says the 62-year-old veteran, joined by videoconference a few days before her show at the Francos. “Diane and I talk about everything and nothing, and then I say to her: “You give me the author prize, but you know that I also compose? There was a silence. She did not know. »
It sucks, but that’s it: from Marjo to Diane Tell via Francine Raymond, the most outstanding singer-songwriters have to say again and again that their choruses belong to them.
I often find myself in front of people who are surprised: “Hey, you wrote that?” Well yes, it happens that in my free time, I write small sentences. It’s still in people’s minds that a woman is going to be a performer, if it’s not emphasized that she’s an author and composer.
But that tends to change, rejoices the one who will soon be a grandmother for the seventh time. “Take Marjo! Finally, we start to see her everywhere again, “she says about her” great boyfriend “, with whom she regularly exchanges text messages.
And what does it look like, a conversation between La Jalbert – Laurence will often refer to herself during our interview by her surname alone – and La Morin? ” It’s crazy ! We are two Lions ascending Leo, two covered, two hyperactive, two volunteers. Marjo is a person of great purity, great humility, and that’s where we connect together. We know why we find ourselves in front of the world. It’s not because we are better or more beautiful than the others. It is because there is a truth inside of us. Not THE truth. We have humble truths within us that we want to share with others. And like Marjo, when I’m on stage, I belong entirely to the present moment. »
In April 2021, Laurence Jalbert published a poignant letter on social networks entitled “Spoons in the freezer”, an account of the decade of domestic violence she suffered. This confidence took all of Quebec by surprise, both the creator of Corridor has always had this image of a woman who does not allow herself to be stepped on. Among its many salutary impacts, this testimony will have had the merit of recalling that there is no archetype of the victim.
Coming out of a pandemic which will have seen the number of feminicides explode, Laurence Jalbert not only multiplies the shows – her summer promises to be one of the busiest of her career – but also the conferences on the subject. Her songs themselves have long been about what women have to endure with pressures to speak softly.
This is the case of woman wordshis folk pamphlet taken frombefore the squall (1998). “I had already been through so many dreadful affairs in those days,” says the one who rode bars for 15 years before winning the Empire of Future Stars with her band, Volt, in 1987. Enough time to survive some horrors.
When I wrote woman words, I was fed up. But do you think I didn’t have to worry about it, big eyes, when I released that song? [Elle prend la voix d’un enquiquineur.] “But, Laurence Jalbert, what is this feminist discourse?”
Again and again
It was in 1990, without exactly realizing it, that she wrote her first text evoking the issue of violence against women. At the dawn of the tour inspired by her first album, her musical director asks her if she has in her drawers any starters for songs that could expand her repertoire.
Among these sketches was a melody accompanied by a single phrase: “Encore et encore”. Despite her overloaded schedule, Laurence Jalbert squats in the corner of the rehearsal room, with her pencil, while her group plays the new piece, still without text. “The fourth or fifth time I got up and sang it, but I had no idea why I wrote all that stuff. »
A few days later, in Abitibi, there is talk everywhere in the local media of the murder of Sandra Gaudet, a 14-year-old teenager abandoned by the side of the road, a crime that has still not been solved.
“And there, during the sound check, I think of my daughter and I think of how this child, Sandra, left. I decided to dedicate this song to him in which I sing: “I saw it in their eyes, the mad desire to hurt you, to hurt you / I saw them snatch what was left of your soul and of your dolls.” It’s the plain and simple truth: I had never understood what I had written before that evening. »
Sandra Gaudet’s mother, whom Laurence had asked to keep her informed of developments in the trial, will send her an envelope a few weeks later containing the first page of the child’s diary.
“And you know what his diary was called?” Long silence. “It was called Again and again. » Longer silence. “I’m not telling you that I’m the Blessed Virgin, I’m just telling you that sometimes artists have antennae. And every time I sing it today, I see in my head the faces of all the women who die because they are women. And I think I should never have called it Again and again because it will never stop. »
On the Loto-Québec stage – The floor on June 13 at 8 p.m.