Jimmy Brière

Montreal, Canada

Surface Reflections


Behind the Music

While I wanted listeners to take away their own feelings and thoughts from my tracks, there are certain sentiments and tones I hope people can hear in the music. There’s an otherworldly sense of space that permeates throughout the whole piece, as well as expressions of torment, tragedy, sadness and helplessness that are ingrained within the fabric of these tales. I broke all of this up into three parts, or themes, unified through small details and motives, which in turn mirror my organic reactions to these stories.

Overall I wanted my music to express the contradictory outlook I held between what the sea evokes for me — vastness, beauty and liberty — and the horrific tales Ian tells in The Outlaw Ocean. Prior to reading Ian’s reporting, I had no idea how interconnected all these issues were, and found myself struck by the web of illicitness and scope of impact. All of it was almost a reflection of the human condition, which inspired the title of my album, “Surface Reflections.”

Jimmy Brière
About Jimmy Brière

Recognized as a brilliant musician who is both authentic and versatile, Jimmy Brière leads a remarkable career as a pianist and pedagogue. He is regularly invited as a soloist or chamber musician throughout Canada and abroad.

Jimmy Brière has been a guest soloist of numerous orchestras including the l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the I Musici de Montréal chamber orchestra, the Orchestra Classica of Porto, the Pleven Philharmonic and the Ruse Philharmonic, among others. He has also been heard in many venues in the USA, China, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria and Israel. In Canada, he is a regular guest at major festivals and music organisations such as the Festival de Lanaudière, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Orford Festival. A sought-after chamber musician, he has performed with renowned musicians and ensembles. Since 2017, he has been a member of Trio Hochelaga. He has also recorded for the labels Analekta, XXI-21 and, more recently, for Atma Classique.

Prize winner of many international competitions, Jimmy Brière is currently an Associate Professor of Piano at the Music Faculty of the Université de Montréal. A guest professor at Orford Musique Academy for more than a decade, he has given master classes in numerous important institutions such as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon, the Haute Ecole de musique de Lausanne and the Glenn Gould School of Toronto. He has also frequently served as a jury member for many national and international competitions.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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