Listen to the conversation between Daniel Pennac and poet Michael Rosen at the book launch of School Blues.
Aurore at the library compiled this playlist, including keepers such as Lio, Dorothée and Les Musclés.
A lot of the big names in French music are, for some inexplicable reason, forgotten (or all too casually skimmed over) by the British public. Aurore has set it upon herself to defeat this ignorance. Please, feel free to help her in her mission to rediscover the pedastals upon which to place these monuments of French - no, global - music.
P.s Earplugs are adviseable.
Cellist, interpreter of a very broad repertoire reflecting her imaginative world, a designer of projects, and a musician sought after by many contemporary composers, Sonia Wieder-Atherton occupies a special place on today's musical scene.
Prior to her residence at Kings Place on 17, 18 and 19 March 2011, the French cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton introduces three of her creations: Chants Juifs, Vita (Monteverdi's madrigals and Giacinto Scelsi’s Trilogy for cello solo) and D'Est in Music, with images taken from Chantal Akerman's film, D’Est. Sonia will discuss her upcoming programme, perform some extracts from her new CD Vita and talk around some images. This event is a unique occasion to discover the richness of this great musician and the links she creates between art forms and different worlds. There will be a Q&A and CD signing.
Tue 15 Mar 7.00pm | £10, conc. £8 | in English | Institut français du Royaume-Uni
Today, I've been tip-toeing around the internet, finding links for the Culturethèque, because we're like that at Culturethèque – we like sharing.
I am a radio enthusiast, and grew up listening to story tapes. I like downloading stories and putting them onto my mp3 player and listening to them while I travel places. So my instinct was to not only link Culturethèque audiobooks to Culturethèque ebooks, but to stretch further, and make links to non-Culturethèque internet spaces. I've put the links on the individual pages, but for your comfort and ease, here's a list of the best of this morning's pickings.
France Culture podcasts are at times experimental, often extravagantly well-made, but they are very rarely short.
Poème du jour is an exception.
Poème du jour always includes one or two French poems, or foreign poems in translation, and they always ask a Comédie-Française actor to do the reading. They are never more than three minutes long, so remember to take your mp3 player with you next time you need to "just go and get something" or when you'll "be down in a minute, hang on."
There's a secret mailing-list among UK universities' French departments - French culture enthusiasts bounce back and forth about François Hollande, books that they've written, conferences - that sort of thing. It's not really that secret.
Recently, one man had a question about podcasts, and he got plenty of responses and sent a list back round. I asked him if I could put it on this blog and he told me to "spread the word." So here we are, some word-spreading. Of course, he wrote about Culturethèque, but I'm assuming you know about that website already.
(Click on the title of this blogpost to see the full list.)
Can French people be hip? If we accept this possibility, here are some handy links to find out what French hipsters are listening to.
Deezer suggests plenty of songs, it's like an online Spotify but you don't need to download a program.
La Blogothèque is also a very popular source of amusement, at least back when I was trouncing about Paris. It is the equivalent of the Black Cab sessions in that they record videos in an informal environment and artists are forced to perform their songs without studio help.
"The Internet Archive, a non-profit, is a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."
It is a like an enormous Culturethèque, so ... I like it.
The main difference is that all the content is volunteer-based and/or in the public domain.
For today's post, I thought a link to an audiobook of Goethe's Les Souffrances du Jeune Werther, in French translation, would be a nice start to this week of discovering the glories of the Internet Archive.
I spent a while dawdling in the imaginary corridors of The Internet Archive and found yet another free French audiobooks website.
The lay-out of Audiocite is horrific, but the content is the opposite.
And just for the heck of it, I've embedded a player of the reading of Hugo's The Last Day of A Condemned Man. (Click on the title of this blogpost to get to it).
Go to iTunes, go to iTunes store, go to "Podcasts"... do you see all those episodes? Yep, well, they're all free. You can download all or any of them for zero amounts of money, and listen to them anywhere - on a bus perhaps, while you stare out the window.
This is a list of podcasts that the French download the most:
(click on the title of the blog post for the list).
It's far from accurate to translate "runaway" as "Vanina," or "comme d'habitude" as "my way." There have been a number of bizarre transpositions like that in pop history, where a singer from abroad like a song and have just hung their own lyrics on it.
Read on to watch the videos.
This is not about online poker; this is not about online dating. This is about online web radios. The other day, I was busy checking out books in the children's library, when I noticed that Anissa had left two windows up in the web browser. Anissa, you should know, listens to a lot of French radio. These were the two windows:
The France Culture live radio player and the France Inter live radio player. It's not like in England where there are plenty of stations grouped in iPlayer. France goes by individual stations to send out the live feed.
I used to be able to rely on Deezer. I two-timed for a while, with Spotify. I would put all my favourite tracks into their little search boxes and add them to my playlists. It's just not the same anymore. They've changed; they're not so generous, they want my unwavering loyalty, they want money. They don't want me as I am, and I don't want them. I've uninstalled Spotify's stupid program, and deleted my account on Deezer. A nice, clean break. In short, it's over.
I've started looking around for other options. It's the 21st century; I looked online. Thank the past for print journalism, because Le Point has told me where to go to fill the vacuum: Grooveshark, Musicme, radionomy and Jamendo. I'll tell you how it goes with each of them once I've tried them out.
Having been brought up to the roars of the Libertines and the riffs of Led Zeppelin, rock music conjugated to the language of Molière has always had difficulties finding its place on my mp3 player.
However, one person, equipped with a pink guitar, managed to place himself, unsually, in the hearts of both rock lovers and admirers of French words.
When I was spending a lot of time at ResonanceFM, a volunteer-run arts radio station based in London Bridge, I'd sometimes bump into a girl with a French accent. It turned out that that she was manning a show on French culture in the UK, cunningly called Rockfort, (that's their blog ... I write "their" because Rockfort is in fact a duo). Here is a link to their back catalog (until 2009, on the Internet Archive website), and here is a link to the ResonanceFM blog.
For your listening pleasure, on the Bibliothèque Nationale de France's online library, Gallica, listen to the Cinquième Pièce de clavecin en concert, Jean-Philippe Rameau. I prefer the A-side.
For more links like this, have a look at this very early blogpost. Give me points for consistency, at least.
Perhaps you noticed some recordings on Culturethèque from the “Maison Française d'Oxford”. A moustachioed philosopher talking about the human language or a chef and a chemist arguing about eggs in a glass of acid may already have caught your attention!
I thought I hated Sebastien Tellier. I thought he was lame trashy europop whose pinnacle was France's entry to Eurovision a few years back. And I saw him on a radio show once, pot-bellied and - I assumed - from the spaced out movements his limbs made - stoned. He wore his trademark sunglasses and creepy beard and his weird combover, weird, in anycase, for someone with such long hair.
But it turns out I'm either an idiot or a hypocrite, because I can't stop listening to this song I came across on Air's Late Night Tales compilation.
Whilst on my morning commute this morning, this jazzy cabaret tune whirled me into a little daydream of being a 1920s flapper girl strutting my stuff in Montmartre. So, I simply just wanted to share (or perhaps remind you) of this gem of a chanson by Pink Martini!
Whilst the lyrics themselves may not have much of an encouraging meaning ("I don't want to work, I don't want to eat, I only want to forget, and so I smoke") (English translation from French lyrics) its melody of dainty piano notes, percussion and brass will no doubt leave you in a swinging mood!
I like the feel of paper. I'm no glue-sniffer but I'll always appreciate the smell of a new binding. Not that I'm against musty books. I love musty books. But I remember the days, not so long ago, when at quarter to three in the morning, I would get home, realise I had an essay to hand in within the next half day and knuckle down to some last minute reading, analysing and extensive quoting. That's when I really love ebooks.
Culturethèque is not the only repository of French books online, these are my top four websites (other than Culturethèque).
My flatmates told me about this hilarious video by the Franco-American rock group produced in France called Hold Your Horses. The song's title is 70 Million.
A little game: how many paintings can you identify? Just the name of the artists will do, but you get brownie points if you know the title of the paintings, too.
Watch the music video on this blogpost, then leave your guesses in the comment box below.
There is, perhaps, a contradiction here: I like hearing that crinkly noise over the top of recordings, and I like my music to be digitalised. Some say that it's "new age fun" with a "vintage feel." So be it, I'm a hipster. And I should tell you about those French bands that add the vinyl crinkle-crinkle sound to what could be a crisp little studiorecording, about musician-engineers who like their sound to be special and old, like a boot-legged Brel track, or like rust paint on stainless steel.
But in this post, I want to explore vinyl versions of classical music online.
I've been building up the music section on Culturethèque with the help of some brilliant videos from the French Archives. I wanted to mention three things to do with Françoise Hardy, but couldn't fit them gracefully on to the page.
NUMBER ONE: The series of videos with Françoise Hardy in London, all on Youtube.
NUMBER TWO: Tous les Garçons et Les Filles - a lovely yéyé song. I should also balance that out with Sylvie Vartan's Pour Aller Danser, and France Gall's Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son (written by Gainsbourg, no less).
NUMBER THREE: This shockingly awesome picture of Hardy:
There are a number of clues that indicate that fashionable Parisians like Japan. It is more debateable whether or not hipsters exist in Paris (according to various sources, hipsters do not exist in Paris, at least not in the typical "we all play synth" way).
The first indication came from my sister, who told me a friend of hers was on this website called Konbini. I was showing my friends this, and a Japanese-speaking friend told me Konbini meant "convenience store." Click on the title on this blogpost to see the video embedded.
A moment ago (and this is the second indication), I received an email from a friend suggesting I blog about a song, "the band are manged by Kitsune which is a French record label/ fashion house. Although I don't know if Culturetheque readers would be into it. I think the animation is excellent."
The video is the second one embedded below.
Songs from Camille's first two albums were among my University staple listening tracks, back in the day when I had this iPod. I had just left Paris, so this song was relevant. Now that I have an office job (sort of), I find the line in this song very apt: "C'est quand même triste d'être vissée sur sa chaise à mon âge, comme une vieille anglaise."
Anyhow, she has brought out a new album, and tonight she's playing in London at the Hackney Empire.
This is Camille's website, this is a six minute video of the time I interviewed her, and here is her Culturethèque page.
Have you heard of French Radio London (FRL)?
The slogan speaks for itself: “The French Voice in London”.
FRL is known as the French expats' radio but fortunately it is also aimed at anyone with an interest in French culture.
It covers various subjects from daily news to sports, to art, health and music.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Mr. Ziggy and Monsieur Chou!…dig out your glam-rock glitter lycra and pair it with une chemise bien taillée, we are heading in disguise to the land of the eccentric! Follow this week’s comic strip with the superheroes of our time…
Do you know the French musician M? We have blogged about him before.
Also known as Mathieu Chedid, the grand son of French poet and writer Andrée Chedid and French musician Louis Chedid, M has been making his own melodies and albums for more than 15 years.
Ex-Stooges leader is releasing an album entitled “Après” ("afterwards").
On this album, Iggy Pop re-interprets some of the most great figures of “La Chanson française” including Serge Gainsbourg, Georges Brassens, Edith Piaf, Joe Dassin, Henri Salvador. Despite offering another version of French classics songs, Iggy Pop also covers Frank Sinatra and The Beatles.
I've been working here over a year now, and blogging for the same amount of time. This blogpost is a little summing up of my favourite rivals to Culturethèque.
1) Free books: Project Gutenberg.
Tip: browse by language.
2) Free books, audiobooks and copyright free downloadable films: The Internet Archive.
Tip: search by number of downloads - it'll give you the free items first.
3) Free audiobooks online: librivox.
Volunteer read public domain books.
4) Streaming music: Grooveshark.
No audio adverts, just years worth of music.
5) Free texts online: Wikisource.
Calling all Anglophones: you may not have heard of the name, or the music, but Mr Johnny Hallyday is the symbol of a musical evolution. Calling all Francophones: I hear your ‘pffft’ when it comes to this name, but just you wait, this blog may change that…
Olivier Poivre d’Arvor (the director of France Culture Plus who has also been the director of the French Institute of the United Kingdom from 1994 to 1999) used the occasion of the summer programme season to announce the launch of a new web radio “France Culture Plus”. This station will be specifically aimed at students and will be available for the beginning of October 2012.
There's a 2009 documentary about Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno.
You can read the Guardian article about the documentary about the film, you can listen or read the Leftfield cinema blog or you can have a peek at this incredible extract from Clouzot's footage.
This blogpost was made to celebrate the uploading of Geoff Dyer's talk on Albert Camus on to Culturethèque.
This is the blogpost:
This week I will be writing just one blogpost - this one - and adding a new Camus link to it daily.
Contents: Camus' entire oeuvre in free, downloadable ebook form / In Our Time radio show on Camus / audioplay adaptations of two of Camus' works / a thematically linked song.
SKUNK ANANSIE and SHAKA PONK will tear up the O2 Brixton Academy this December, but how will two sides of the channel interpret the chameleon-type genre of 'rock'?