Rapper Oxmo Puccino presents his self-portrait “According to Marcel” based on Proust’s famous questionnaire. He will also play Proust at the theater in January 2023. This is a retelling of In Search of Lost Time with Françoise Fabian under the direction of Jérémie Lippmann. In this “Obs” video series, Oxmo reads us selected passages from “Investigation” and explains why they affect him.
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To wrap up this series, we still had to talk music with Oxmo Puccino. We therefore chose an excerpt reminiscent of the Vinteuil sonata, the sound motif following the “Research”.. Well, first of all, beware of Proustians! To read Jerome Bastianelli’s story The True Life of Vinteuil (Grasset, 2019) by Jérôme Bastianelli, president of the Society of Friends of Marcel Proust, one would swear that the composer Vinteuil was indeed this unknown contemporary of Saint-Saëns and Faure… Besides, Vinteuil is 100% fictional. It is true that although the descriptions of Vinteuil’s sonata in the Study are so accurate, especially this “little word” of five notes, “hidden, rustling and divided”, “airy and fragrant”, For Swann, it becomes an anthem of love that gives the impression that one really exists.
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Oxmo Puccino, Proustomaniac Rapper
We all have “our” Vinteuil’s sentence. A musical melody that will be like a refrain throughout our existence. Not necessarily a classic, maybe a little lame: Marcel Proust brilliantly wrote “The Definition of Bad Music” in his essay “Les Plaisirs et les Jours”:
“Like us […] is reading […] with more passion than good, […] it was slowly filled with people’s wishes and tears. »
the “dream” and “Tears” men? We talked about this when Oxmo Puccino remembered his Vinteuil sonata: “Alabama” by John Coltrane.
“Music is a universal message. Frequency code. We are made of water and are sensitive to the vibrations we emit and receive. »
“And music is a vibration that we perceive, that we feel in our body. he admits to the rapper. Melody is easy to remember, it is a universal language that everyone can understand. Chords express emotion […]. »
“I, like Swann, had that effect of Vinteuil’s little expression, the backlash, this piece of Coltrane that I know so well. One day in a certain state of consciousness, […] metaphysics, I heard the melody as he composed it. I went looking for the history of this tune. And I learned that this song is a tribute to the girls who were victims of a church fire in Alabama, a racist fire. I realized that day, in the situation I was in, I understood the message Coltrane wanted to convey to us, in all its intensity. »
- Excerpt read by Oxmo Puccino
“But more than a year had opened to him many treasures of his soul, and the love of music had arisen in him at least for a while, Swann considered musical motives as real ideas, another world, another order. , ideas shrouded in darkness, unknown, impenetrable to intelligence, but no less perfect, unequaled in value and meaning. After Verdurin’s evening, when he read a little phrase over and over to himself, when he tried to understand how it enveloped him, enveloped him like a perfume, a caress, he realized that it was due to the slight gap between the two. the five notes that make it up, and the constant reminder that two of them are the cause of this impression of withdrawn and cold sweetness; but in fact he knew that he was thus judging not of the sentence itself, but of simple values, substituting for the comfort of his intellect the mysterious presence which he had perceived before meeting the Verdurins that evening when he had heard the sonata. first time. »
“On the Swann’s Side,” Volume I of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.
Video series by Cyril Bonnet and Mélody Locard
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Interview by Doan Bui
Marcel Proust by rapper Oxmo Puccino, a series of 7 episodes