Richard, Zachary: J'aime la Vie

Zachary Richard: J&
Title: J'aime la Vie
Label: Spectra Musique

In July 2010, when he was 10 year old, my grandson Émile, announced to me that he wanted to record an album. I told him that to do so, we would have to write songs. I asked him what he liked, thinking that this was a good place to start. "J'aime la vie," he replied: I love life. We were on the Gaspé peninsula at Cap Chat when this adventure began. The first song was written there in a process that we would develop over the next year: an idea would blossom in his heart and filter through his imagination. I was standing by to push, and dig, exploring the concept, encouraging Émile to go deeper in his reflection, looking for the missing word, the right turn of phrase. What we did is exactly what I do with all of my song writing collaborators: collaborate. When co-writing a song, there is only one rule: the song is not finished until everyone is satisfied. In the writing of this album, we followed the rule. As usual, some songs were easy, while others were more difficult, more laborious. Through it all, I was constantly floored by Émile's insight, by the authenticity of his vision and the purity of his ideas. Émile is handicapped, neuro-motor, an accident at birth making it hard for signals to get from his brain to his muscles. But as his says himself, "I am handicapped, but only a little". This attitude, filled with light, is his gift to me, a gift that I treasure. It remains that life has dealt him a rough hand, but I am constantly walloped by the way he sees things: with a disarming simplicity and unblemished sincerity, and most importantly a fearless heart. These qualities pervade his life, his writing and these songs. Some might believe that Émile was merely an accessory in this process, an annex to my creative process. The truth is that these songs would never have existed were it not for Émile. He is the heart and soul of this album. He was the one who lit the spark. Like the time that he called me from Paris to tell me that he had an idea for a new song: mon jardin, my garden. He continued: "je vais voir mon figuier, j'y vais à tous les jours, voir si les fruits sont murs". (I go to see my fig tree, I go every day to see if the figs are ripe). This project started in the simplest way possible. It began with the curiosity of a child and his desire to create something beautiful to enhance the world. It began with the light that always shines brightly in his eyes. As he says: "J'aime la vie et toutes les creatures". (I love life and all it's creatures).

1.1 J'aime la Vie
1.2 Tigre en Ville
1.3 La Mer
1.4 Je Voudrais Me Promener
1.5 Dans Mon Jardin
1.6 Hou Da Da
1.7 Mon Cheval Napoleon
1.8 L'avion
1.9 L'espoir Est Dans Le Coeur
1.10 L'univers

Richard, Zachary: J'aime la Vie

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