Music is an ever-evolving phenomenon that transcends geographical, cultural, and historical boundaries. The following literature showcases unique perspectives and personal histories that paint a vibrant picture of the global music landscape:
Frédéric Deval’s Glimpse into the Musical Experience
In “Petites Géométries de l’expérience musicale” by Frédéric Deval (Créaphis), former artistic programmer at the Royaumont Foundation takes us on a remarkable journey through his musical visions. Serving as a private cultural institution within the confines of an old Cistercian abbey nestled in the heart of Val-d’Oise, the Royaumont Foundation was home to Deval’s experimental music department.
- The department focused on oral and improvised music before evolving further into a space for transcultural musical creation.
- A daring matchmaker of music, Deval constantly strived to push musical boundaries and bring artists and audiences out of their comfort zones.
- This posthumous work offers a condensed view of Deval’s writings, compiled by Ghislaine Glasson Deschaumes, showcasing his thoughts from the 1980s onward.
The Hip-Hop Chronicles: An Anthology by DA COCKROACH
Pierre-Jean Cléraux – co-author of NTM’s “Dans la fièvre du Suprême” – bemoaned the lack of books documenting hip-hop culture in France during the early 2000s. Fast-forward to today, with French rap’s explosion in popularity and widespread media exposure, this is no longer the case. “We Can’t Be Stopped” by Da Cockroach (Life Boom Bap and Death Editions) clears this void with a collection of anecdotes and insights contributed by nearly 150 hip-hop activists including artists, directors, photographers, journalists, radio hosts, and record store owners.
- Each contributor shares their passion for the genre and offers a unique perspective on its evolution and impact in various cultural contexts.
- The book is revered as one of the most vibrant tributes to the world of hip-hop and rap.
An In-Depth Look at Rock Music in France
A comprehensive anthology about rock music in France, entitled “Une Fierté Nationale” (National Pride), casts a light on the country’s distinct contribution to the genre.
- The French history of rock has largely been left undiscussed since Richard Mortaigne’s 1996 book “Les Variations Goldberg.”
- This recently published work aims to rectify the situation with extensive research and analysis of the French rock scene and its distinguishing characteristics from international counterparts.
Intimate Memoirs of François Bréant, Renowned Musician
“Mes années Palace: chronique d’une jeune homme pas désespéré,” an autobiographical piece by François Bréant, explores his life as a struggling young musician within the context of 1970s Paris, before achieving success through his innovative approach to electronic music composition.
- The memoir recounts his journey from humble beginnings to collaborations with legendary artists like Vangelis Papathanassiou, Chris Rea, and Alain Chamfort.
- It provides insight into Bréant’s personal struggles, growth, and eventual triumph in the Parisian music world.
The Curtis Mayfield Story: A Life of Soul and Struggle
Singer Curtis Mayfield’s story is one of overcoming adversity to achieve greatness, a narrative that comes alive in the biography “Curtis: The Life and Genius of Curtis Mayfield” by Travis Atria.
- Mayfield’s life narrates his rise from poverty-stricken beginnings, forced to sleep on a coal heap in a Chicago basement at age eight, to becoming a successful musician credited with defining the sound of Black America during the civil rights movement.
- In spite of suffering paralysis due to a stage accident, Mayfield continued to make music, leaving an indelible mark on modern soul music.
In conclusion, these literary works provide valuable insights into the worlds of different genres, artists, and cultural contexts. They enrich our understanding of music and its role in society, serving as indispensable resources for aficionados and casual fans alike.