Singing (and sometimes dancing) in the Street

Aloe Blacc | A Take Away Show - Part 2 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Back when I lived on rue Madame, my living room windows were directly across from those of a luthier (string instrument maker,) and I would spy on him throughout the day. I admired how clean his workroom was, how straight he stood when receiving clients. What I loved especially was how haunting the music sounded when he was building or repairing an instrument. He would work for a bit, play for a bit, work for a bit, and so on, until his work was complete. Those little snippets of music would drift into my apartment daily, and I would try to guess if the instrument it was coming from was a violin or a viola or a cello (I never figured it out.) Rue Madame, for some reason, was always filled with music. It was there, for example, that I once heard a beautiful song outside, only to run to the window to discover a man strumming a guitar and singing while riding his bicycle down the street. Amazing.

I think one of the reasons that I appreciate La Blogothèque’s series Concerts à Emporter (take-away shows) is that the videos feel true to my own experience of Paris, the way that you’ll turn a corner and suddenly find your perspective completely changed. I guess I’ve always entertained the dream that one day, I’ll get swept up by Gene Kelly as I walk along the Seine ;) La Blogothèque’s videos are great because they give well-known musicians an opportunity to go back to their more humble, busker-esque roots. And they remind us that we should always give sidewalk musicians a second look.