As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

World Music Day series (1) – French Café Music & Picasso’s Three Musicians

June 21st is World Music Day, also known as Fête de la Musique in France, where it all started. 
The World Music celebration is a great opportunity to educate and expose the public to different genres of music. A world music festival ‘day observance’ is a great time to give musicians a chance to share their kind of music- whether it’s a folk music tradition or an innovative personal style.

This week I bring you a whole variety of music genres. I do this by means of a Putumayo world collection vis-à-vis an artwork that is representative of the featured music genre. 

History of World Music Day
or Fête de la Musique

Info Source

The Fête de la Musique, also known as , is a music festival taking place on June 21.

The idea was first broached in 1976 by American musician Joel Cohen, then employed by the national French radio station France Musique. Cohen proposed an all-night music celebration at the moment of the summer solstice. The idea was taken up by French Music and Dance director Maurice Fleuret for Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1981 and first took place in 1982 in Paris.
Its purpose is to promote music in two ways: Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets. The slogan Faites de la musique (Make music), a homophone of Fête de la Musique, is used to promote this goal. Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. 
Two of the conditions to being approved by the official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris are that all concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free.

Paris has long been an epicenter for café culture, and its countless cafes have always been magnets for bohemians, artists, poets, revolutionaries, laborers and musicians. Indeed, the history of French music is inextricably linked to the cafes and music halls where popular music styles like musette and chanson were originally performed.(Info Source)

I bring you a taste of French Café Music through Putumayo’s compilation and Pablo Picasso’s painting called “The Three Musicians”…

Putumayo’s “French Cafe”

Legends of French chanson join exquisite new voices for an enchanting musical sojourn to the cafes of Paris
Listen to a sampler of the songs on this CD

Putumayo’s “French Café”
French Café is a collection of classic and modern French music that will transport the listener to the romantic streets of Paris. The album features some of the greatest names in the history of French music as well as new artists who are inspired by classic chanson, gypsy jazz and musette.

Pablo Picasso, Three Musicians (1921), Museum of Modern Art Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest
Image Source

Picasso’s “Three Musicians”
(Info Source)

Three Musicians is the title of two similar collage and oil paintings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. They were both completed in 1921 in Fontainebleau near Paris, France, and exemplify the Synthetic Cubist style. One version is currently owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City; the other is found in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Each painting features a Harlequin, a Pierrot, and a monk, who are generally believed to represent Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Max Jacob, respectively. Apollinaire and Jacob, both poets, had been close friends of Picasso during the 1910s. However, Apollinaire died of the Spanish flu in 1918, while Jacob decided to enter a monastery in 1921.
I have chosen to bring you Putumayo’s French Café CD alongside Picasso’s Three Musicians because they come from a distinct time in the history of France wherein the café was a place where great minds congregated. And these 3 friends: painter Pablo, poet Guillaume and artist/writer Jacob are represented in this painting, making music together. Each musician is a different character, representing each  one’s unique personality and life pursuit, and the music they played represents the beautiful friendship they shared that for sure enriched and inspired each other’s life and works.

Check out this picture storybook: 
“Paris in Spring with Picasso”,
Joan Yolleck takes the reader on a trip through the streets of early 20th century Paris to look in upon their friends writer Guillaume Apollinaire and his girlfriend painter Marie Laurencin, writer and painter Max Jacob, and artist Pablo Picasso and his girlfriend model Fernande Olivier.

Learn more about the Life and Works of Pablo Picasso

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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