Paris, a multicultural city where music reigns

This Carrousel des Arts program dedicated to music invites you to discover different ways of making and listening to music in the French capital.

Our journey took us to visit exclusively the garden of the Hotel Matignon, to speak with the king of the Cuban son, Eliades Ochoa, to discover the French-Algerian diva, Souad Massi. We also got to know one of the temples of the French music scene, Les Bains de Paris.

A concert of birds in Matignon

Once a year the Ministry of Culture organizes events in the gardens of monuments, unusual places and properties of the French State. “Rendez-vous aux jardins” is an initiative that takes place throughout France during the spring.

This year the theme is music and on this occasion, the Prime Minister, Elizabeth Borne, opened the doors of the garden of the Hotel de Matignon, her official residence, to discover the singing of the birds. There are a total of 40 species that sing and make up what is called the “Morning Choir of Birds”.

A phenomenon studied by engineers in environmental acoustics installed in the Prime Minister’s garden and who observe the changes in the song of the birds. Jerôme Sueur, a member of the team of scientists from the Natural History Museum in Paris present for a month in the garden explains that “the recordings they made in the Matignon garden serve to quantify noise pollution and its impact on the life of birds”.

Jerôme Sueur detects each species thanks to the sound of the birds and the objective of receiving the public is to explain how important it is to preserve the species that reside in the city and learn to recognize the different songs. For him “It’s like recognizing the different instruments in a symphony orchestra.” So you can hear “the song of the birds as we listen to a musical theme”.

Eliades Ochoa on tour in Paris

The king of Cuban son presented his latest and most intimate album, Guajiro, at the Trianon in Paris, and received us at the Cuba Compagnie café to talk about his work. His most relevant musical memories go back to his childhood when he learned to play the Cuatro with his parents in the mountains of southern Cuba.

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Eliades Ochoa gave his album the name Guajiro, in homage to the farm workers in Cuba, and to the town where he was born and where his love for music grew.

As Eliades Ochoa tells it, another of his most precious memories is his experience within the Buena Vista Social Club band where he learned from what he calls the “true teachers” of Cuban music. Despite being considered one of the best guitarists of his generation and enjoying the nickname “the Johnny cash of Cuban music”, Eliades Ocho says he continues to be a music apprentice.

Souad Massi seeks to heal the spirits with his album Sequana

The Franco-Algerian poet pays homage to the daisies, the resistance and the Chilean singer-songwriter Víctor Jara in her new album Sequana. Sequana, the name of a character from Gallic mythology associated with the Seine River, also called “goddess of healing”.

Souad Massi explains that his album refers to that legendary character who had the task of protecting the spring and healing the minds: people made pilgrimages along the Seine to receive a miracle. The singer-songwriter searched through the texts of her and her music “bring a little peace” and “relieve people” you need it.

Visit to the mythical Les Bains Guerbois

This Les Bains Paris hotel, located in the Le Marais district of Paris, (Paris Marsh) is a temple of well-being and, above all, of nightlife. It highlights the names of the French music scene. Its owner, Jean Pierre Marois, offered us a tour of this 19th century building that he transformed into a spa hotel and nightclub.

This place is a true private cultural center and its strong point is its cultural history and its notorious and eclectic music. Outstanding artists such as Marcel Proust, Claude Monet, Joy Division, Andy Warhol, Prince or the Rolling Stones passed through there.

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