Brigitte Fontaine & Areski - Theatre Musical LP
Label: Monster Melodies
Release Date: February 19th, 2021
Color vinyl edition of 1,000.
Monster Mélodies presents Concert Théâtral, an unpublished public recording by Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem dating from 1973. Areski Belkacem and Brigitte Fontaine, major artists of the French counterculture, were often be censored or deliberately ignored by the media due to their libertarian positions. Obtaining success at a late stage, it was not until the album Kékéland in 2001 and Rue Saint Louis en l'Ile in 2004, for Brigitte Fontaine to earn gold records. At the turn of Brigitte Fontaine's career, when breaking away from the Jacques Canetti team she made new encounters. After collaboration with Jacques Higelin, she meets Areski Belkacem. She then met Pierre Barouh who supported the Fontaine/Areski duo, by producing a handful of cult albums on his label, Saravah. As well as meeting Jean Karakos, boss of the BYG label. They became the first musicians in France blending free jazz with their own musical production in recording with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Their free music accompanies the free inventive and provocative poetry of Brigitte Fontaine. Theater remains the first passion of Brigitte, who began to perform on stage at the age of twelve in a play by Marivaux before continuing with classical repertoires Audiberti, Molière, Giono, Vian, Genet. Constantly active, Areski and Fontaine went on the most improbable tours scouring small provincial theaters, playing in prisons and psychiatric hospitals, losing themselves in confidential and financially catastrophic tours, including in Canada and in Algeria in 1970 only ten years after the conflict.
The record Concert Théâtral was recorded in 1973. A year which was a turning point in the career of the duo, the two artists decided to perform on stage without musicians to accompany them and in a stripped-down staging. The songs here are all filled with the inventive and offbeat poetry of Brigitte Fontaine, accompanied by atypical music created by Areski, they appear on their various albums published between 1971 and 1973 but are here interpreted in their simpler expression, on stage, without the help of other musicians, the duo accompanying themselves on guitar, percussion, and accordion. A recital taking as much of the singing as of the theater, or happening such as the two artists produced between 1973 and 1979, in a unique way and of which it remains here the only testimony. The recording of this concert at studio 102 of the Maison de la Radio dating May 21st 1973, had been broadcasted on "France Culture" on November 2nd 1973 but remained unpublished until now.