Saturday, March 17, 2012

Melody Nelson in Seoul

Birkin is very popular in Korea. I mean the Hermes bag, not the young lady who, following Grace Kelly, lost her last name to the French luxury brand. Note that the Kelly's design recently fell into the public domain, thus the series of 'homage'-knockoffs from all rival manufacturers.

Jane Birkin is very popular in France. As a singer, as an actress, as a mother*, as a very positive character who, even 40 years after crossing the Channel, speaks French with the cutest / most extreme accent, and as Serge Gainsbourg's muse during some of his most ambitious and creative years ('Histoire de Melody Nelson', 'L'Homme a Tete de Chou'...). Who cares if 'her' bag falls into public domain (I guess that would be around the 2030s)?

Serge Gainsbourg is the Picasso of French music: a despicable, abusive womanizer who stole ideas from masters of all horizons and periods, but also a creative genius who set the pace for decades and claimed the XXth century in his field**. Jazz, reggae, rap... Gainsbourg scored massive hits in every single musical genre. But over the past 20 years, he's been chatting with Maupassant or Sartre in Cimetiere de Montparnasse. And last time I saw him, about 3 weeks ago, his place looked as messy as his trademark three day stubble. Only Jim Morrison's tomb could rival for the devotion of fans, but that one's in Pere Lachaise (along with Oscar Wilde's, the constant target of... lipstick kisses).

These days, Jane Birking is singing Serge Gainsbourg across the Asia-Pacific region, and she will perform only one night in Seoul. The opportunity to (re)discover some of Serge's greatest songs, and Jane's unique way of almost wispering them.

Jane Birkin Sings Serge Gainsbourg (concert)
2012/03/22 - 8PM
AX-KOREA ( 319-33 Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul / Tel: +82.2.457.5114
Tickets : Interpark code 12002423

주최: ㈜씨쓰리엔터테인먼트 주관: ㈜아이디어랩 문의: 02-6339-1232

Seoul Village 2012
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*(among others) Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon
** even if, again, I prefer Bacon and Bourgeois to Don Pablo


  1. Salvatore Adamo was very popular in Korea in seventies and eighties, when here and there in Seoul we could hear his songs. Could you believe that those days some Koreans were determined to learn French since they were fascinated by his songs?

    However, the most beloved French musician by Koreans was the deceased legendary Paul Mauriat and
    his orchestra. When I heard he passed away, I felt pain in my heart. How can I forget "Arirang, Love is blue, Toccata, Isadora" by Paul Mauriat and his orchestra?

  2. Merci. Unfortunately, most French people (including yours truly), knew Paul Mauriat's sound better than his name. And if I don't remember noticing his CDs 20 years ago in Korea, that's probably because he was in a different section than the (relatively small) French song department where, indeed, Adamo and Mireille Mathieu were sure bets.

    If Gainsbourg ventured into less peaceful territories, he crafted more than a few lovely melodies.

    Nowadays, image rules, and Japanese fans of Bae Yong-june don't want to learn Korean because of what he thinks or says.

    Yet music remains a unique ambassador, and keeps bringing people together.

    With music, memory reaches much deeper.

    Best regards


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