Sunday, March 11, 2012

Paris en chansons

Paris en Chansons
The City of Light has been the inspiration for countless songs. Probably more than any other city in the world.   Mention Paris in a song and you might hum "April in Paris", or "Sous le Ciel de Paris or "Last Time I saw Paris".   Paris is associated with love and romance,  being it burgeoning or sadly ended; its urban beauty is elegized, its colorful quartiers and the people are lovingly evoked. Themes in the songs about Paris range from its sky, the seasons, day and night, La Seine, the bridges, the metro, work life. While the loss of old Paris is often lamented, many expatriates sing the love they have for their adopted city like Josephine baker  in "J' ai Deux Amours"- Mon Pays et Paris.  Many streets, squares, landmarks and neighborhoods are evoked in songs such as St Germain des Pres , La Tour Eiffel, Montmartre, Bastille , Belleville, rue Saint Denis, place Pigalle and many others.

For the first time, a unique exhibit prepared jointly by two specialized city libraries - la Mediateque Musicale de la Ville de Paris and the Historical Library will feature the rich musical landscape of Paris as a subject in songs. This is an  interactive exhibit arranged in two journeys-- audio and visual.  The audio journey invites visitors to discover the major and recurring themes that feature Paris in songs by listening to a selection of more than 400 songs.  Quintessentially French singers like Edith Piaf, Maurice chevalier, Charles Trenet, Serge Ginsbourg, Juliette Greco, Yves Montand, Jacques Dutronc are featured among 200 artists and using an interactive map of Paris you are able to localize a song for a street and neighborhood.

 The visual component of the exhibit is provided by the Historical Library and features old records and record jackets, photos, posters, books, manuscripts, music partitions and video clips.

Did you know Paname is an endearing slang term referring to Paris?. The word was popularized in the early 20th century and was sung by the likes of  Montand,  Piaf and  Josephine Baker.

Paris  En Chansons-  March 8 to July  29  at Galleries des Biblioteques- 22 rue Mahler Paris 4 

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