Music Notes by Louise Pitre


I wanted to make a French CD. Mostly for my mother. She loved Piaf. We did this recording live off the floor at the wonderful Number9 Studio in Toronto. When I listen to this cd I feel it is the real ME singing. Full on, no restraint, no re-touching of vocals.


When I met record producer Fred Mollin through a mutual friend I told him that one of my very favourite cds was “Ten Easy Pieces” which he did with Jimmy Webb. A while later I found myself in a studio at the CBC with Fred Mollin AND Jimmy Webb. I was doing 3 of his songs and Fred asked him to come and play piano on those tracks. I have to admit that still remains one of my most thrilling experiences: Fred Mollin producing and Jimmy Webb at the piano with me singing. It was a labour of love and one of the happiest journeys in my musical life.


Joan Mathers agreed to back the production of this cd. We recorded at the CBC. I was in tears the first day we had the string section. While starring in “Mamma Mia!” we went back into the studio to add “The Winner Takes It All” in French and English and changed the original title from “Love Letter” to “All Of My Life Has Led To This”. It seemed very appropriate.


This was my first recording. Done very economically but with a result that still makes me happy. It sounds like me. No compression or splicing of the vocals. My mother loved to sing and her love of it was instilled in me. This was my homage to her. It is my mom on the cover with me.


Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto asked me to do something in their theatre. I bravely suggested I should write something. A year of my life went into this project. It was a very personal account of my life thus far. The songs are all original: some are collaborations with W. Joseph Matheson, some with Diane Leah, some by me alone. I produced the show as well. It was a mountain to climb and I felt extremely gratified and vaporized to have done it. I owe much to Jen Shuber who dramaturge the piece and to Diane Leah who was half that show.


My husband, W. Joseph Matheson, wrote the script and lyrics to the original songs. Diane Leah and I collaborated with him on the music. It is a touching WWII love story. There are existing songs of the era. This show was in honour of Joe’s Dad who lied about his age to join the navy and came back to find that his fiancée had married someone else. This show gave him a happier ending…


Benny Andersson called me one day to see if I would be free to do this concert. I did not have to hesitate. Some of the music in this show is simply stunning! It was a thrill to sing with that huge wonderful orchestra in the two most famous halls in the world: Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall.


I was the original Fantine in the Toronto production, the Montreal production and then the Paris production. To be in Paris for 9 months doing a show at the Théâtre Mogador was a real honour. Edith Piaf gave concerts at the Mogador and just to think I might be standing at the same spot as that icon was a true high for me.