WHERE ARE YOU ?
Lyrics: original poem in French and
Innu by Josephine Bacon, translated and adapted by Robin-Joël Cool
Music: Robin-Joël Cool
Performe by Mentana
You’re going to the city
Believing in a better life
In your evasion,
You evade yourself
You’re going from meetings to meetings
You tell a story that resembles yours
You’re going so far
Away from your birth
Your escape doesn’t dance no more
Music has lost its rhythm
You stagger toward the light
Like a mayfly that burns its wings
Where are you in your unfinished life – please
Where are you so I won’t loose you - please
Where are you so I won’t forget you - please
Where are you in your nowhere
A scarlet sun greets you
You’re somewhere else
You’re a frightened little girl
Who’s lost her own language
You’re out there
Where you’ve lost yourself
Your cry for help flew away
To the worried northern wind
You pray to be heard so hard
But your cry just keeps on quiet
Returns home with your people
After a few creative years, collaborations as varied as they were inspiring, an Eastern tour and even forays into movie music (which even earned a Jutra award!), the folk band Mentana will launch its first EP this fall.
Western Soil is about exodus, travel, uprooting—five songs, from personal to universal, that track the east-to-west black-gold rush (Shutdown, Western Soil), that plumb the depths of addiction (Gamblin’ Man), and that root around the lonely heart of the traveller (Islands and Rupees).
Western Soil is also a musical exploration that pushes boundaries, weaving from the nostalgia of the Wurlitzer’s whine to unshakeable First-Nations rhythms, from tight harmonies to flights of musical fancy. Mentana is also completely current: the album notably includes Where Are You, based on a poem by the Innu writer Joséphine Bacon that deals with the disappearances of native women.
Mentana is the rusty voice of a New Brunswick kid from a working-class family (Robin-Joël Cool), an unbridled pianist from the Gaspé coast (Viviane Audet), an Argentine borrowed from the Mile-End tango clique (Pablo Seib), a guitarist who pours concrete by day (Jo Fournier) and a stray cat from Granby that lets loose on Vietnamese drums (Yannick Parent). Onstage, the complicity among the five musicians is obvious, and their energy is contagious. Mentana’s audiences are already singing along to those words that slip so easily beneath the skin.