Bourges 2009 !


In 2009, I covered the festival for a couple of newspaper in the United States. My assignment was to investigate  “the new underground trends of French Music”….Litttle did they know about the festival and how eclectic it is.

As I worked with France 3 interviewing Kezia Jones that year, I realised how much this incredible musical event brings to the French Youth.

Eventhought I had photographic assignements, I could not help but carry around my little video camera and when I got back to the office, I decided to share some of these moments with you…

In 2009, for the 33rd anniversary of the festival, the weather was ideal and the variety of musical talent was immense. There were 66,800 tickets sold, 40 shows, 800 professionals, and a global frequentation of 220,000 people.

Along with my camera, my sound recorder and the program of the performances, I started to walk and I gradually became immersed in the ambiance of the festival. I began to feel the subtle nuances, to hear the sounds and stolen discussions. It was a moment in time that had no real imprint. I knew the feeling and it was at the same time familiar and foreign.

The first note of music rang out and signaled the beginning of a Printemps in its new form. Grace, Piers Faccini and Ben Harper opened the festival and 6,000 people attended. Through my experience with large crowds I have learned that a concert can be very different depending on one’s proximity to the stage. I danced and smiled my way through the audience so that I could fully absorb the mood and the feeling of the performances. I searched for the rhythm and the energy and it came over me like a flood.

It is important to keep in mind that music is a very personal matter and everyone experiences the same artist or musical trend differently. This intimate perception depends on one’s personal history, taste and culture. The fact that each individual approaches a performance differently is what makes a live show so unique and special. Since the musical interviews did not happen, I would like to share with you some pieces of my project, sounds and images that I have captured. Hopefully, through the lens of my camera, I can share with you  my own experience of the 33rd Printemps de Bourges.


The performances I attended :

Official Festival :

1- Grace – Pier Faccinni – Ben Harper and relentless7

18- Sammy de Coster – Victor Demé – Matthieu Boogaerts

22 – Mansfield Tya – Emily Loizeau

11 – The Von Bondies – Stuck in the sound  Lucy and the Popsonics

19 – Frida Hyvonen – Larin Grimm – Sophie Hunger

3 – Arthur H – Anais – Ayo – Amadou et Mariam

27 – Misja Fitzgerald Michel – Kyrie Kristmanson – Mélissa Laveau – Jouyaté – Keziah Jones – Toots and the Mayals – Patrice

14 – 80 Kidz – Battant – Shini Osawa

28 – Coeur de Pirate – Luciole – La grande Sophie

21 – Scary Mansion – Susanna Wallumrod – Bonnie Prince Billy

5 – Rock’n Beat Party – Izia – Birdy Nam Nam – Laurent Garnier – Miss Kittin and the Hacker – Solange Lafrange

 

Festival «off» :

Senor Holmes @ “Home”

Carmen Maria Vega @ “la scène des tontons”  in the garden-

Funky town @ “Espace découverte du Printemps” –

L’herbe Folle @ pub des jacobins-

Lenny et l’horchestre Tournée générale @ dans une sombre ruelle –

Dandy Freaks @ Living

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Piers Faccini – “A home away from Home”

I discovered Piers Faccini two years ago…After hearing some of the tracks of his first album “Tearing Sky”, Piers’s voice reminded me of Nick Drake, his poetry, and ballads were the one of an inspired artist and I was looking forward to hear him again in Bourges.

Piers came to the festival with his latest album “Two grains of Sand”, and was kind enough to allow me a filmed interview and a song “A home away from Home”. Filmed in the Palais Jacques Coeur, the small ITV that follows the song reveals a warm soul, and an extremely talented musician.

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Senor Holmes – Harry et Quito @ home

Senor Holmes has been touring for almost 10 years now with their “Roots Caraibean music”… The rythm of Harry’s Jumbe and Quito’s guitar is at the border of many influences from Afro-Latino to Rap, reggae and ballads…

Beautiful melodies and yet undiscovered from the main stream music scene (they auto produced their 2 first albums), Senor Holmes is one of the many jewels that you can run into if you come to Bourges, and if you can find them.

This little clip was shot with Martine Garrel before their concert. The first song comes from Guy Conkuete “Tous ensemble” followed by a short ITV in French of the 2 musicians and a live version of “Jacko” another great song from their second album …
Be tunes and make sure to visit their web site for future performances.

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Carmen Maria Vega – Rock France

2009 was Carmen Marie Vega’s second year in Printemps de Bourges and the launching of their first album. I first saw them perform at the pub “Les trois petits cochons” in 2008 in front of a difficult audience and I thought Maria, the lead singer, was incredibly talented to put up such an impressive show and I knew Iwould certainly see her again.

 

In 2009, She came back to Bourges, at the  “Scène des Tontons” (translate “Uncle’s stage”) for a special evening with Guests. This Bar/restaurant/concert hall, transformed itself during the printemps and builds a stage in its back garden. It’s almost impossible to access to it as it is one of the sweet small intimate stage of the festival where you can confortably get an afordable glass of french wine or a cool beer, listening to the various performances. The bar is always filled with fun people, and the stage is a succession of really fantastic bands of different kinds.

Carmen Maria Vega is a 3 person’s band Max Lavegie, Alain Arnaudet and Carmen Maria Vega. Carmen has an amasing stage presence and a theatrical voice, the lyrics and melodies composed by Max transforms the group into a spectacular venue. Carmen is a liar, she even admits it when she pretends she is “misogyne” 9Woman hater). At the border of “Musette”, she makes fun of the world we live in by making fun of herself, pretending all kind of things. Her voice can not let anyone indifferent.

Here is an improvised video clip and a short interview of the Group :

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Coeur de Pirate – Folk Canada

The one and only, beautiful, extraordinary «melowoman», Béatrice Martin, alias «Coeur de Pirate», signed her first album that year and came to the Printemps with her label. A young and very talented artist, a gifted pianist, a charismatic singer with a fairy voice. To listen without moderation. She recently won the 2009 French music award.

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Bonnie Prince Billy

Printemps de Bourges 2009 – Folk USA –

The legendary Will Oldham alias Bonnie Prince Billy or Palace, has delivered over 20 albums in the past 15 years. Right after “Beware” a beautiful album, the inventor of Post country neo neo folk Psycho blue grass brought us his sublime music to the printemps this year. Here, he is performing with Susanna Wallumrod a Norwegian voice.

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Matthieu Boogaerts
Matthieu Boogaerts and Piers Faccini have both signed with the same music label that I have always admired “Tot ou Tard“. Therefore, I was able to meet Matthieu for a few minutes the day after his great performance in Bourges.

Matthieu came to Bourges with his latest album “I Love you”, hard to describe and not to feel the memory of the intimacy of the new music of words that Matthieu excells in. The brilliant artist plays with words, feelings and melodies like a bee on a flour, he mesures every step and the result is absolutely astonishing. Judge for yourself by going to his latests videos and samples on line.
In the meantime, here is the short stolen interview of Matthieu in between two performances.

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I want to finish this small review mentioning Misja Fitzgerald Michel forits amasing guitar work on Nick Drake, I was blown away by the talent of this great musician.

My last concert of the festival was at the «Living», a small bar with great venues every year. Exhausted and tired of so much music in a short period but theDandy Freaks were just what I needed : costumes, energetic music, vitality with a scenic presence that will blow anyone’s mind.

The beautiful keyboard diva would change costume every 3 songs…

A l’année prochaine !

 

Total views of this article  : 35,836 12th December 2010

 

 

 

 

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Bourges 2010


M – Stadium
In 2010, I only spent a couple of days at the festival for a Photo shoot of musicians. Too short….

So, I stayed up most of time and brought back  some of the magical moments of the 34th Edition of the Festival.

A few snapshots… amongst them you will find the beautiful Jeanne Cherhal, the incredible Daniel Johnston, the mystic Iggy pop, the unbelievable Staff Benda Bilili and a few others…

Come and join the next festival : http://www.printemps-bourges.com/ &    Here is the link to my 2009 Edition

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Senor Holmes, C’est Grave….

 
I met Harry and Quito 5 years ago at the music festival I attend every year : Le printemps de Bourges. Quito is a hard working musician and Harry an amasing drummer; together they have created 2 wonderful albums that should be in everyone’s musical library. Their music is based on “Gwo Ka”, originaly played by African slaves in Guadaloupe, it is composed of seven distinct rythms. Harry uses 2 of them “Toumblack”, that calls for revolution, and “Kaladja” that can be assimilated to Blues. Hard to describe and incredibly energetic.
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Web Links !

Perusing the web is the last thing you should do…Go take a walk…But if you have to, you can check some of these links..

Jim Wilson | God’s Chorus of Crickets | crickets audio recording slowed way down

Tom Waits (on Jim Wilson): “Wilson, he’s always playing with time. I heard a recording recently of crickets slowed way down. It sounds like a choir, it sounds like angel music. Something sparkling, celestial with full harmony and bass parts – you wouldn’t believe it. It’s like a sweeping chorus of heaven, and it’s just slowed down, they didn’t manipulate the tape at all. So I think when Wilson slows people down, it gives you a chance to watch them moving through space. And there’s something to be said for slowing down the world.”

Source: “Woyzeck to run at Freud Playhouse”. Daily Bruin (USA), by Andrew Lee. December 3, 2002
Find more on the recording on this link: www.democraticunderground.com/10023815586

Borrowing journalistic postures they smash formats with humour or with poetry. Playing with oxymoron and manipulating images, they bend and move points of view reclaiming their subjectivity … What are the strategies of these contemporary artists who in gathering up information melt and remap the world? source : http://www.orevo.com/2011/10/05/vimeo-html5-test/

. The Arctic Light by : TSO Photography

Theo Jansen : Dutch artist and kinetic sculptor. He builds large works which resemble skeletons of animals that are able to walk using the wind on the beaches of the Netherlands. His animated works are a fusion of art andengineering; in a car company television commercial Jansen says: “The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.” He strives at equipping his creations with their own intelligence to manage avoiding obstacles, by changing their course when one is detected, such as the sea itself.

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. Women…. :

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.

. Evolution :  Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes – The joy of Stats – BBC four

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. Rutt-Etra-Izer: l’art vidéo en application web

 

. Battleship Island – Japan’s Rotting Metropolis


. Edouard Salier – 3D Clip Director

He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died

. BDM pour le magazine du bout du monde : http://www.boutsdumonde.com/

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. http://www.europeana.eu/portal/

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Dean Stevens – Old Man in his garden

 

On the beautiful coast of Maine, Dean Stevens sings “Old Man in his Garden”, a very precious tune. And as Daniel, Jackson and Matice, are listening and waving at us from their young ages, I dream about “when they grow old, they want to stand out in this garden, may they rest assure that the fruit of this is the bounty of this land, may they give more than they take..and I’ll be thinking rain, I’ll be hoping sun, I’ll be dreaming greener gardens when this is my last one, you can see it glowing, slower…”

Dean has a new CD, very, very small edition…find it at http://www.deanstevens.com, and meet Monsieur Stevens.

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And if you want more, Salmon River :

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Merci Dean !

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Marie Laveau, Voodoo Story


Frederic Park is not only an wonderful story teller, an accomplished musician, and a dance collector, he is also one of the finest and most passionate photographer and an enlightened Human being. This short sequence was shot in Maine one early morning after a canoe ride on the lake. The story of that woman called Marie Laveau, a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo renowned in New Orleans. She was born free in Louisiana and is properly described as a ‘Voodoo priestess’.  Once you have met him Marie Laveau, just like Frederic, you shall never forget the stories. Here is a little bit of his own magic :(More about Mr F. Park there : http://www.apalache.com/)
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Sweet Chariot – A Folkloric family

For almost 20 years now, I attended The Sweet Chariot Music and Art Festival. The same group of musicians have gathered on a secret little island on the Coast of Maine every summer to share Music, Art, Love and Food. I started documenting the festival every year, 18 years ago,  and the story goes on…

You can find a few Video Clips of these various films on youtube. Here are a few of these talented musician, that have a presence online, for you to enjoy.

Jennifer Armstrong is a fascinating woman that travels through Art and time. She is a storyteller, bagpiper, fiddle virtuoso, poet and a songwriter coming from several generations of talented performers.
If you have the chance to see her perform, do not miss the opportunity for any reason. More on http://www.jenniferarmstrong.com/

 

Bill Burnet is a world class songwriter, an award-winning wordsmith and a storyteller. He writes funny songs, love songs, kids’ songs, theme songs, ballads and jingles. Lately, he started a weekly show on-line with a new song/video every week.

http://www.billburnettsongmine.com/

 

Dillon Bustin is a folklorist, singer/songwriter, filmmaker and playwright. After obtaining a degree in Folklore and Anthropology at Indiana University, he returned to his native Massachusetts with a wealth of great songs from the Ohio River area, including the oft-recorded “Shawneetown,” “Bayou Sara,” and “Cranberry Bogs.” Dillon is also known for his theatrical musicals which include “Walden Pond Revisited,” “Come Life, Shaker Life: The Spiritual Quest of Isaacar Bates” and a number of productions based on characters from the history of Martha’s Vineyard.

The latter form a trilogy called “Tidebook: an Island Rhapsody” which is comprised of “Tallman at the Dock,” “The Captain’s Daughters” and “The Journeys of Joshua Slocum.”

Amongst other activities, Dillon is also a film director. Unfortunately, his work is extremely hard to find. His latest CD is out of stock, his films are not available anywhere and his books are out of print…Where can you find his work ?

If you are lucky, you could try writing to him after perusing his new web site and order the new release of “Almanach”, one of my very favourite Dillon’s album, and music you need to have in your Itunes library.

Here is a little Video I shot during Sweet Chariot Music festival some years ago :

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Liza Constable sails and sings for a living. As a woman of many talents, she can do it all. She has mastered the fiddle, composes beautiful songs, is the mother of two beautiful souls, speaks French, cooks, writes and has an amazing sense of humor.

You can sense all of this in her music and poetry.

On her web site, you will find Rumblestrip, her latest album and a CD store to order after you have listened to her pretty voice. http://www.lizaconstable.com

 

Douglas Day is the captain of many boats. Not only he sails a beautiful schooner on the coast of Maine from his house on Swans Island, not only he his the happy father of 3 beautiful kids, but he is also the fantastic founder and director of the Sweet Chariot Music and Art Festival. Of course he is a song writer amongst being a cartoonist, and a pirate. Here is a little performance I shot some years ago with my old Sony Hi8 camera, Douglas Day and David Dodson performing on of my favourite Doug Day Song “What I see”… Unfortunately the quality of video and sound is poor…But still..it’s there…

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David Dodson is one of my favorite musician in Maine. And Maine is probably the most gifted State when it comes to musicians…That says it all doesn’t it ? 

David

More on David here http://www.daviddodsonmusic.com 

Ritt Henn has played bass for all sorts of famous folks. Among these are Chuck Berry, Buddy Rich, Tom Jones and Margaret Whiting. When I first met him, I was jealous because he was an inch taller than me, then I was jealous because he could play the bass like a master, then I was jealous because he had the coolest friends in the world and everyone wanted him in his band, then I was jealous because he wrote the funniest tunes and he could sing in rhythm. I could go on about the guy and why I love him. Go and check him out for yourself.

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Bob Lucas is a genius.

There is no better word to describe this musician. Mr. Lucas is not only a beautiful poet, a fantastic musician, but a soul that commands respect when you are lucky enough to cross his path, hear his fiddle tunes, his banjo rhythm or his guitar melodies.

If you are lucky, you might listen to him master theses instruments with Chloe Manor, his fabulous daughter or Austin, his over talented son.
Bob plays original songs, old time music, and writes musical plays for his theatre company, Mad River Company. (more on mad river by clicking here).

To listen without moderation. This important song was recorded in 2008 on the coast of Maine :

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Austin Lucas. The son of Bob Lucas is no exception. Here you have the same blood, the same talent. It is as simple as that. Austin is a guitar virtuoso, a talented musician and a fun guy! Both he and his father create sticky tunes, melodies that once heard, do not go away. These are songs that stay with you and that you find yourself humming in the street. This is the album that was recorded at Bob’s house in Ohio. It is a masterpiece created by Austin Lucas, his father and Chuck Ragan.

 

Dean Stevens. Along with the other musicians of this list, Dean has a special place in the heart of everyone who has been fortunate enough to meet him. Not only is he a wonderful songwriter and an overtalented guitar player, but he is also a missionary of love.Dean spends part of his time in Guatemala helping the people of his community to live a better life and writes beautiful hymns to simple life stories. The release of his latest album «At Last» is a beautiful collection of songs that I could only advise the reader to acquire as soon as possible. More on Dean : http://www.deanstevens.com

This song I recorded on Swans Island a couple of years ago is one of my favourite song from Dean Stevens, “Old Man in his garden” :

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Teresa Tudury

“Part chanteuse, part comedian, part bona fide pop artist…and a voice that could stop a war”. Teresa Tudury is an absolute original. From her San Francisco roots to the Greek Islands to New York and LA, she wakes up the music scene. Teresa creates a loyal following and rave reviews wherever she performs. If you are lucky enough to go and see her perform, do not miss the opportunity. http://www.teresatudury.net 

Alan Thornhill. Alan’s album was nominated Album of the Year in 2008 and received the Mavric Music award. This is a well deserved prize for one of the most beautiful guitar players that one can have the pleasure of listening to.

“Guitarpenter’s dream” captures the warmth and melody of Alan’s playing along with occasional crackle of the fireplace of his house in Ojai.

When Alan plays and you close your eyes, some say that you can share his dreams.

The one and unique Suzy williams performing on Sweet Chariot stage.

http://alanthornhill.com/music/

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Mr Bob Willougby.

Not to be mistaken with the famous homonym photographer, Mr. Bob Willougby is his equivalent in the music world. Accomplished fiddler and piano player Mr. Willoughby can play anything from Jazz to soul to folklorist music. He plays guitar and piano and has a voice that is deep and unique

Here is a short, unprofessional little video of him so you can enjoy some of his talent as well.

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Photo credits : Group picture – Marti Stone http://www.martistonephotography.com – Photo Burning desire street Band and Mr Willoughby : Frederic Park , http://www.apalache.com/ –

 

 

 

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Piers Faccini – A home Away From Home

From the album “Two grains of Sand” this song of Piers Faccini was recorded during the printemps de Bourges 2009 in the Palais Jacques Coeur.
For all information and tour dates just click here : http://www.piersfaccini.com/

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Bonnie Prince Billy

Printemps de Bourges 2009 – Folk USA –

Will Oldham is an American musician, a brilliant poet from Kentucky. His first album appeared in 1993, published by Drag City : “There is no one that will take care of you”, an acoustic country album. Will has been performing under the name of “Palace or “Palace Music”.  He published “I see a darkness” under his real name in 1999, celebrated by Johnny Cash in, Solitary Man, in 2000. Since then he’s been using a pseudo ‘Bonnie Prince Billy’  and has produced numerous albums.
Through his music I discovered the extraordinary harpist, Joanna Newsom. I  had the good fortune to attend one his performances during the 2010 Printemps de Bourges Music Festival, and my expectations were far surpassed after experiencing his live concert. I remember his quote regarding music festivals « they are like a Library with lots of shelves and the musicians are the books sitting on them ». In this badly captured video, he is performing with Susanna Wallumrod his Norwegian musical partner on stage.
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Children of Abraham

 

 Swans Island,  Bob LUCAS sings “Children of Abraham”

Bob Lucas is a fascinating character : a fiddle virtuoso, a banjo picker, a guitar master, a poet, singer, Composer, an art director…
and not only he excels in all these domains…not only he is the kindest soul…but on top of that, he has a magical power, as every soul pirate should have, when your ear his voice, you never forget it.
I am convinced he is not human.
This song “Children of Abraham” resonates ever more as we witness the actual revolutions in the Middle East. It was shot by Jim Whitney in 2007.
If you are discovering Mr Lucas, I invite you to visit his web site :  www.boblucasmusic.com
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