One of the joys of Paris in the summer is the ubiquity of street music. Well, depending on your tolerance levels for a soundtracked city experience.
The city serves as a muse to countless artists who respond to their creative impulses, breaking out in song, dance and other forms of artistic expression in several of the cities public spaces. It is an interesting use of such spaces which perhaps somewhat reflects what Greco-Roman urban planners had in mind in conscptualising the use of public spaces as places to meet for various reasons. With television, internet, youtube, et al.. the purpose of public squares has become somewhat progressively problematic. In Paris, however, it seems as though artists have claimed a bit of the right to use free spaces to entertain.
Admittedly, not all of the streetside acts are entertaining and pleasant to everyone, but they usually are quite well made and of a god standard. I”ve been to a few European towns were the standard of street entertainment could be improved upon.
The city of Paris also runs several initiatives to motivate artists to showcase their music in many of the metro stations. Also, for a few weeks during the summer the ‘Play me I”m yours’ initiative posts several vacant pianos across the city for inspired pianists to give impromptu performances. I was lucky to catch one performance (video below) among the buzz and bustle of Le Marais.
Paris has successfully managed to create and sustain her image as a muse for artists and thinkers, the city of light, love, romance— If there ever was an example of successful city branding this city would be a prime case.
Here are a few glimpses of some of the morsels of music that I’ve gathered over the past few days of summer sunshine – and a youtube video containing a contemporary ode to Paris, one of the most beautiful and faithful of all muses 🙂
Street Jazz in the Marais
Play Me I’m Yours
“Paris” by Ben1