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Jardin Musical: Cai Thomas & Julien Brocal

Pianist Julien Brocal and treble Cai Thomas collaborate on a new video of Pärt’s Vater Unser, recording their respective piano and vocal parts 250 miles apart, without ever having even met.

Julien discovered the voice of 13-year-old Cai Thomas in March and was immediately struck by the purity and clarity of tone he heard. With plans already in place to record Pärt’s Vater Unser as part of an album set for a 2021 release, Julien felt strongly that Cai’s voice was the perfect vehicle for the piece, so evocative of hope as it traverses from the heart-breaking B minor melody to the D major release of tension at its conclusion. With the help of the label Rubicon, Julien and Cai were able to collaborate from afar, recording a video of this track at their respective homes in Brussels in Belgium and Farnham in the U.K.

A prayer which asks for peace, something that we can all hope for regardless of faith at this most challenging of times, Julien and Cai hope their music can offer a few moments of solidarity and hope for all of us at home around the world. Julien says: “Cai’s voice appeared as light shining through darkness, and I couldn’t see a better moment to create together this uplifting music.”

A brilliant pianist and composer whose musicianship is celebrated around the world, Julien Brocal is known as much in this region for his warmth and openheartedness as he is for his music. He has performed at Tippet Rise and been an artist-in-residence here, composing and recording, walking the land, and reaching out to our neighbors in multiple ways.

Julien had planned to return to Tippet Rise in 2020, but like so many of us, he has been sheltering at home. Rather than allow these uncertain times to silence him, Julien is turning difficulty into art by creating Jardin Musical, a nonprofit organization that produces concerts in his Brussels atelier, and in other artists’ homes, and streams them online for the world to enjoy. We are honored to be partnering with Julien in this wonderful enterprise.

To read more about Julien Brocal, click here.