Artwork by Lissi Erwin
A beautiful CD printed on Kraft paper with a 24 page booklet featuring original illustrations by seven different artists.
Watch Pierre and Brassens' original guitarist live at 92Y this past December.
"Ever since I was a child, my father, who is now a French professor living in Los Angeles, was a fan of Brassens.
I grew up hearing his music around the house constantly. Growing up in California with a French father and an American mother, I was always stuck between two
cultures, and striving to understand what it meant to be French. To a large extent, the music and philosophy of Brassens defined “Frenchness” for me. As I get older,
I realize that these ideals have informed and guided me throughout life. The idea for this translation came to me
when my father sent me a translation of one of Brassens’
texts and asked me to put it to music."
Pierre de Gaillande
""He [Brassens] is both a national outcast and hero in France, yet most of us don't know him on this side of the Channel. His lyrics were more subversive than Dylan or
the Sex Pistols and he wrote better tunes than either."
Alex Kapranos, of Franz Ferdinand.
PIerre de Gaillande
Sings Georges Brassens
From the1950’s through the late 70’s, the late George Brassens redefined French Chanson. He was an anarchist bard whose songs were sometimes raunchy, sometimes polemic, often poignant, and always steeped in classic French poetry - from Françcois Villon to Appolinaire and Aragon.
George Brassens went on to become one the most emblematic French singer of the 20th century, setting a new standard for every French songwriter that came after him, indlucing Serge Gainsbourg and of course, Jacques Brel, his peer and close friend. Unlike Brel or Gainsbourg however, his songs never became known outside of France, mostly because of the literary aspect of his lyrics.
PIERRE DE GAILLANDE
Franco-American singer and composer Pierre de Gaillande grew up in Paris and Southern California, listening, among other things, to his dad's extensive Brassens collection. Pierre went on to play in american indie bands - He moved to NY and played bass with the Morning Glories, played guitar with Vic Chestnut and toured Russia with his own band, Melomane. He has also worked as a film composer.
In the past couple of years, Pierre also rediscovered his dad's record collection and developed a mild obsession with George Brassens. He has taken on the impossible task of translating Brassens' songs, to pretty astonishing results. He has stuck to the rhyming scheme and verse length of the original songs, thus matching the melodies perfectly. He has re-arranged the music with a cinematic sensibility, using a combination of guitars, clarinets, lapsteel and charango.
What he has come up with sounds nothing like a translated work. He has managed the impossible - to translate not only the style, content and wit of the original, but he has also managed to somehow translate the musicality of the original recordings with completely different arrangements. The best way to describe the project would be to compare it to the perfect movie adaptation of a book classic. Think Stanley Kubrick or Raoul Ruiz.
Along with the CD, a book of his translations will be published by Ugly Duckling Presse.