Much like its name, “Pixie Dust,” the new song from Ottawa-based pianist and composer Huguette Lavigne, is shimmering and transfixing, putting the listener under a hypnotic spell.
A wholly instrumental piano piece from her new album Jazzed Up Dreams, “Pixie Dust” manages to be both bright and haunting at the same time, evoking both optimism and an ache for bygone days.
When she wrote it, Lavigne imagined an enchanted forest, a mental or spiritual place to retreat from the many difficult demands on our time, resources, and attention in today’s increasingly difficult epoch.
“First, you find yourself on a mysterious path as you enter a strange, lush, and hypnotic green forest,” Lavigne invites us to imagine. “Then, you let yourself slip into enchantment, illusion, and the supernatural. With a sprinkling of golden, glitter-like fairy dust, you are mesmerized. Keep your eyes open for the green-goddess fairy at the end, you may even think that anything is possible.”
The corresponding video guides us on this journey, using beautiful animation to take us on a tour of a mossy forest alive with glittering fireflies, electric trees, shimmering milkweed, glowing mushrooms, moths, and butterflies, and, yes, plenty of fairies.
Lavigne came to the song via improvisation, sitting at her piano and just playfully experimenting until the entire work unfolded rather quickly. As part of her process, Lavigne does not fully write down her music, rather, she relies on her shorthand to summon her memory recall for future performances. The final piece is then impressively stored entirely in her head and fingers. Once her composition is recorded, she then moves onto the next score.
“Given the world’s seemingly precarious future, the social challenges, and other dire predictions, I’m happy to have created a theme that digs in to find the child in us, and the video delivers this to us splendidly,” she says. “Beautiful ethereal scenes unfold. The child escapes to a world of fairies and golden-sprinkled pixie dust.”
Huguette Lavigne was brought up in a milieu of three Canadian cultures – Franco Ontarian, Quebecois, and English Canadian. She has recorded three albums prior to her current one: Five O’clock Somewhere, Yin and Yang, and Free and Easy. Lavigne studied composition at McGill University and piano at l’universite de Montreal. Her music is influenced by elements of Neo-Classicism, Neo-Romanticism, Minimalism, Jazz, Folk, and Classical music from India. In effect, she creates a modern fusion of styles.