Playful! If you had to pick a single word to describe Louis Babin’s approach to composing music, ‘playful’ would be the one. Because for this composer creation is a form of play. Indeed, Babin’s early works are associated with the world of story and theatre: Les filles de l’amour divin, as performed at Montréal’s Salle Fred-Barry, the intimate character of L’amiral blanc at Les fleurs du mal cafe theatre, and in larger productions, such as his contributions to Le bossu de Notre-Dame, presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and La légende du roi Arthus at Usine C in Montréal.
Louis Babin’s 30 years of creating music are intrinsically linked to his career as a working instrumentalist and first on the viola in his early twenties, then forty years as a trumpeter. Result: a seasoned artist who puts an emphasis on instrumental play. Thanks to his vast experience on stage, Babin is at home with all styles of music: classical, jazz, contemporary, experimental and popular. He has played in New York, Paris, Basel, Zurich and Toronto.
Louis Babin’s musical palette is rich in eclectic vocabulary, providing him with all the tools he needs to compose colourful cinematic scores for short, feature length, documentary and animated productions. His score for the short film Zie 37e Stagen was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award in the Best Original Music category. A brief stint in the world of advertizing and corporate public relations saw him creating music for such prestigious names as Arthur Andersen, Hydro-Québec, Kodak and several others.
Babin’s abiding interest in concert music pushed him to return to academia, where he sourced the talents and knowledge of Michel Longtin and Alan Belkin at the University of Montreal. Following this return to musical study, he received several important commissions. He composed a piece for brass quintet celebrating the 40th anniversary of Expo 67. His creation L’Homme exposé was presented by the musicians of l’Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal under the direction of Yannick Nėzet-Sėguin in 2007. In 2010 Babin was appointed Composer in Residence at Montréal’s FACE School for its 35th anniversary year.
Babin’s musical vocabulary was honed and refined in his works for piano – Qui suis-je?, Vains sont les jours and finally Duel, which garnered a Special Mention at the BLA Grand Prize World Music Competition, held in Italy in the summer of 2010. La suite du promeneur, his suite for string orchestra created under the direction of Boris Brott in 1992, was presented by the FACE School string orchestra at the Eurochestries Festival in Vienne, France in the summer of 2009, and reprised by the Montréal Chamber Orchestra in 2010.
For the last few years Babin’s involvement in musical creation in schools in the Montreal region has been a priority, teaching students at FACE School, Pointe-de-l’ile school board and St. Dorothy elementary school. He has published in Musique et pédagogie and Canadian Music Educator reviews. His articles may also be found at the French website L’é’ducation musicale. Louis Babin is currently working with the Molinari Quartet and is involved with the Fédération des Festivals Eurochestries.