by Oana Vasiliu
There is a new talk of the town: the Romania-France Season which is about to start in Bucharest. This focuses not only on culture and contemporary creation but also on areas such as education, economics, sports and tourism between the two countries. It is the first time in the history of the two countries when a cross-season has been organised so what’s happening?
The Romania – France Season will open on April 18 with the Spotlight International Light Festival in Bucharest and it will feature a series of exhibitions, theatre and film festivals, but also concerts and these will take place in over 30 cities.
“The Romania – France relationship will be continued by the new generations, therefore we relay these ties between the two countries, a connection we renew and transpose to modernity. (…) France rediscovered Romania, its artists and how many personalities were of Romanian origin. (…) We must replace discriminatory attitudes,” said France’s ambassador to Romania Michele Ramis.
The music chapter
In Bucharest, the Romania-France Season beat will be heard in Control Club, in a series of four amazing concerts, as follows.
Theo Lawrance & The Hearts, April 18. The band from Gentilly combinesTheo Lawrence’s remarkable voice with soul & blues influences, dressed in Southern Rock attire a la Black Keys and all precisely and seductively executed. They will also present their debut album Homemade Lemonade, which has attracted attention beyond the Francophone boundaries.
Grand Blanc, April 21. They conquered the internet first with L’amour fou, their most striking single. At the same time, they impressed thanks to the two albums, Mémoires Vives and Image Au Mur: the first, a seductive exercise in the cold wave, the second more organic and expansive in territories like neo-folk or blues.
Malik Djoudi, April 21. The new electro-pop sensation, Malik Djoudi, has convinced everyone with his debut album, Un, which was launched two years ago, elegant and fragile, but especially vibrant. His new disc, Cinq 7, comes out this spring and is mixed by Ash Workmann, who has worked with Metronomy, Christine and the Queens among others.
Guillaume Perret, April 22. One of Europe’s fresh instrumentalists, French saxophonist Guillaume Perret is hard to fit in a single musical genre, his artistic courage takes his audience through unusual territories: Jazz, funk and metal mix in a cinematic universe that engages all the senses of the audience.
TIFF-ing loaded with music
Composer and pianist Jean-Michel Bernard, who was awarded in Cannes in 2007, and legendary French group Les Négresses Vertes will play in Romania for the first time at the 18th edition of the Transilvania International Festival (TIFF).
Award-winning pianist, composer, arranger and producer Jean-Michel Bernard comes to Romania for the first time with his work for films directed by Michel Gondry or Martin Scorsese, as well as with famous film music scores by Lalo Schifrin or Ennio Morricone, featuring special guest Kimiko Ono, Bernard’s collaborator of over two decades. Bernard is well-known for his scores for La science des rêves (2007, r Michel Gondry) and Paris-Manhattan (2012, dir. Sophie Lellouche), Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese), Be Kind Rewind (2008, dir. Michel Gondry), or Madame Bovary (1991, dir. Claude Chabrol), as well as for being one of the most important contemporary musicians. The event is scheduled for June 8, at the Students Culture House in Cluj-Napoca.
Reunited after an 18-year hiatus, the legendary French group Les Négresses Vertes will meet Romanian fans for the first time as part of a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first album. The band is one of the few international successes selling millions of albums without speaking English. In the 1990s, the band explored new territories and collaborated with major artists like Massive Attack and Howie B. Following an 18-year hiatus, Les Négresses Vertes got back together last year for a tour that will include the Romanian leg at TIFF 2019. This event will take place on June 4, at the Students Culture House in Cluj-Napoca.
The entire season was created following Forget the clichés (Romanian: Uitați de clișee / French: Oubliez vos clichés) tagline.