Time And Sound – 1 ( Aristide Bruant – 1)

Some time since we looked into the extraordinary trove of Naropa’s audio archive. We thought for the next couple of weeks to bring you this – “Time and Sound” – Allen Ginsberg at Naropa (Kappa Sigma) in 1985 (three classes, the first, July 15, 1985).

AG: Some entertainment – from 1912 – These are old Pathe records of Aristide Bruant A-R-I-S-T-I-D-E  B-R-U-A-N-T.  I think I mentioned it yesterday. You know the Toulouse-Lautrec posters of Paris Moulin Rouge cabaret music hall? –  and you may remember the painting (lithograph) of Yvette Guilbert, the lady with a sort of puckered mouth and extended hands

And then there’s another famous poster by Toulouse Lautrec of a male singer with a big black hat and a big blue-black cloak.  [to Students] How many recall that?   Raise your hand high.. [Students raise hands]. So quite a few do.

So he was a great cabaret singer of his time actually, and, it’s a funny thing, you get both with poets and with singers, like, among.. and American singers..  I think you get some kind of great taste of character.  From Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith and Billie Holidayand you get.. you get it in a little more sophisticated style from Ray Charles… Billie Holiday, say, and Ray Charles, has that and, at least among black singers you get that. But every once (in a while..). (And) Bob Dylan has it, has.. some kind of character, spiritual character, that  makes it really interesting no matter what he does… There’s some kind of implacable immoveable genius in some singers, and some people, and some writers.  And I heard this..  I heard tape from Aristide Bruant a  couple of weeks ago, and it’s been haunting me, so I thought it might be nice to begin with music and with this particular genius (because we’ll get onto sound) – [Allen plays a recording of Aristide Bruant‘s “Dans La Rue”, followed by “Amoreuse” – vintage recordings]

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at the beginning of the tape and concluding approximately two-and-a-half minutes/five minutes in]

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