'Paris Musette...The Story of the Sound of Paris'
A Film by Jean-Pierre Beaurenaut Presented by Films du Village and Planet Group Entertainment 52 Minutes
In the late 19th Century, Paris was a melting pot of poor peasants from the provinces, all scrapping it out over jobs and better living conditions. The people from the Auvergne region took control of the valuable charcoal trade which fueled the industries and furnaces of every business and home. Now with a tiny bit of prosperity and more free time, these country-people-turned-city-dwellers could enjoy their dancing and their music. The Musette, their country bag pipe, played nightly in the hundreds of new cafés, also controlled by the Auvergnes. Their instrument was also called the cabrette (goat skin), note the origin of the word “cabarét”, and dancing to the music was ‘bal musette’, a kind of pay-per-dance with the women of the cabaréts.
Along came the Italians, whose wood-working skills were admired and finding a place in the Parisian economy. They brought with them the accordion, and on the ever of W.W.I there was a marriage of sorts as accordion players were invited to join in at the bistros and cabaréts. By the end of the War, the marriage was cemented and the musette/cabrette sound was incorporated into the accordion....violà, Emile Vacher-an uneducated, self-taught musician from Brittany bought himself an accordion in a flea market and started to play. The Sound of Paris was born.
‘Paris Musette’ brings us all of the color of the origins of the sound against montage archives, along with beautifully performed renditions of famous Paris melodies danced by professional re-enactors in the old clubs of the Bastille and on the floating dance-hall “guinguettes” along the river Marne. The film presents 100 years of life in Paris, classic film clips, archive musical material and re-enactment’s...all exquisitely mixed with traditional music and dance.
One instrument, many sounds...one place, many people, all folded into fifty-eight enchanting minutes. “The Sound of Paris” continues to keep the soul of the city alive! Director Jean-Pierre Beaurenaut received the Prix Bella Bartok and the Prix de la Musique Populaire for ‘Paris Musette’.
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Purchase Paris Musette $250 Includes all campus streaming and classroom screening rights.