Ou est Serge Fiori?
And listen I did, read voraciously as to absorb myself in the day and the culture and this resurgence I felt going on in Quebec.
I had already become somewhat politically aware at a young age with the October Crisis. I listened to music with my youngest uncle on what was then called CKGM-FM, who played not only american music, but british and quebecois as well. Harmonium's music touched a chord with alot of my generation and seemed to be the equivalent of the protest and deeply moving songs coming out of the US and the rest of Canada.A time of political and also personal and spiritual renewal was taking place and it was reflected in the music we listened to. This music not only informed us, but it also Inspired us. It foretold of a world where, if we took good care of it, denounced the powers that were at the time who sought to plunder it for profit, then we would (or could) live in peace.
Imaginez cet homme musicien, Serge Fiori.....
Imagine the weight of a generation of young Quebecers on his shoulders, some fans camping on his lawn, just to see him get up in the morning and open his door to get the newspaper. Imagine that such a kind and gentle soul was co-opted by the record company, so that regardless of Harmonium's huge popularity, he ended up broke, in a 1 room appartment with a borrowed piano.
Imagine that one moment you are treated like a god by legions of adoring fans, then are left with nothing. Almost prophetic without wanting to be a prophet, many of his songs foretold this ultimate exile. (Pour un instant j'ai oublie mon nom... et l'attente qui m'avais si bien predit, tout est mort et presque rien n'est dit) ...
He still actualizes hope in the song "Attends-moi" with the following words.. and again encourages us to wait.. the writer for the song to come, for the departed lover, for a better day and perhaps for his return
Quand ce jour arrivera
Ce matin plein d'horizons
Le soleil te parlera
Et tu perdra la raison.
Ca sera enfin pour toi
How many people have felt that joy of creating, what one writer called "working in the Flow state", where the hours do actually seem to dissolve one into the other until you come up for air and realize what you have actually accomplished.
The writing of Fiori seems to suggest this flow state, especially in the line "L'encre s'est mis a couler dans ma tete et sur un vieux papier.."
How fortunate the writer or songwriter whose music and words can flow from his pen and instrument in such a way. The choice of the title of the group and debut album has always been of interest to me. The harmonium, a musical instrument composed of reeds and pipes, somewhat like an organ, had been imported to India by early missionaries.The harmonium remains a staple of Indian music and can be found in many homes. In the seventies, how many young people, Quebecois and others, made their own so-called pilgrimages to find themselves or whatever else they were looking for in Nepal and India. Enlightenment they sought, and perhaps when they returned home, they found the same enlightenment in the words and music of Harmonium.
Harmonium and Fiori don't only sing about high and lofty ideals, but the day-to-day, as heard in a very poignant and touching way in the song, De la chambre au salon :
"Dis-moi ou je suis, qui je suis et viens-ici je te pose une question... repond-moi?
Je te pose une question... reponds.."