Daphne, the chiaroscuro Barbara – RFI Music

Daphne, 2023.

©David Desreumaux

Classic and air on it Ten love flowers for Barbara, singer Daphné took over the Lady in Black repertoire for the second time in ten years. Best performance with Gérard Depardieu.

RFI Musique: What sparked the reunion?
An invitation from RTS, Swiss radio, to sing Barbara during a special broadcast at the end of November 2021. My feelings are strong. And it makes me want to dive back into his songs.

It’s rare for a songwriter to dedicate two albums to an existing repertoire. Is it an obsession, Barbara?
Getting back there can be like an obsession, indeed. It was just a story of sensation: there was something very worldly, authentic, that crossed me with his words. And then what’s interesting to me is to deliver. Separated Nantes and Vienna, most of the songs on the disc excluding the most famous ones. When I rummaged through his repertoire again, I found titles that had not reached me. I want this sharing moment, fellowship.

We might even say that you cover it every five years since you were a part of the song Marienbad of all the female cast on this album Them and Barbara
The first time was an invitation from Thierry Lecamp (his former manager) and Bernard Serf (Barbara’s nephew). The second was an invitation from Edith Fambuena and again from Bernard. He knows I love Marienbad, a song I’ve put on stage and haven’t recorded yet. This time, it’s really me who decides when working on my album. Title Ten love flowers from Barbara came to me very quickly with the idea to give gifts to people in this rather troubled and remote time. It was a very spontaneous gesture, even if it coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of his passing. I’m not on tilt and I learned that when the album was so advanced.

Do you then make new discoveries among his repertoire?
Most of the songs here are present, yes. For the first album, I couldn’t sing Nantes. While doing so, the tears often flowed, too hard. On stage, on the other hand, I’m not overwhelmed. Since I’ve tamed this title, I really want it on this disc. For the rest, I go at my own pace. As a child, I didn’t listen to Barbara at all, and neither did my parents. It’s not someone who inhabits my memory. I just heard Black Eagle and Tell me, when will you come back? When Thierry Lecamp asked me to sing it ten years ago, I replied that I knew very little because he was someone who often made me cry. I’ve taken a week to listen to many of his songs. I told myself it was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist.

Have you asked yourself questions about legitimacy and how to take over a song?
From the first album, I didn’t approach it seriously. Barbara has something very theatrical. What I love about him is that we are in the shadows and the light. She has nothing to hide: sadness, death, laughter, love… Barbara takes all of life and all of its facets. This pleases me a lot and reassures me too. There are people who sacredly touch the song. I don’t see anything like that at all. By continuing to interpret the songs of deceased artists, the repertoire lives on. I have no reports of this sacralization or fan, for that matter other than that. I don’t see people in such an iconic way. I did a lot of theater before becoming a singer and we deliver works written by geniuses. Likewise in classical music. No one dared to attack Mozart, Ravel…

Is there really a desire not to upset the inner parts of the songs?
To me, that doesn’t make any sense. Barbara electro? Everyone is free to make it. I don’t feel that way, personally. The text and melody are already very strong. There’s something in the two discs with the strings, the piano and this whole family of instruments like the celesta or really fluty stuff that gives it a lot of sweetness and something really magical.

Why the choice of Thibaud Defever and François Morel, with whom you interpret each Straight line and flower meninges ?
I worked with Thibaud Defever (formerly Almost Yes, editors’ notes) on two tracks from an album I was working on and I’ve heard some of his songs that I really like. There’s a bossa tint to his voice. And then François, I met him for a project around Maxime Le Forestier in 2011. He touched me humanly. I loved our conversation so much that I said to myself, if she wants it too, I will sing with her one day.

flower meninges, Straight line, i swing. Is going through his three songs also a way of celebrating Georges Moustaki, the artist he collaborated with?
The writing, but also the melodic taste. As an example, flower meninges, he worked on the music, but not the text. Georges Moustaki is someone who marked my path. Because it’s a love song and they have a story together, I find it beautiful and touching.

Browse albums by title i can’t say seems like a far from trivial choice. you confirm?
It was clear that I put him first. I like Étienne Champollion’s introduction a bit like Chopin. First, I try not to start the recording right away with the song, but with something that’s musically evocative. Then, also related to everything that was said in the album or on stage. I can’t count how many times I’ve said “I love you” (laughs). Indeed, there is a game of seduction in this song, but there is an evolution, because there are those who dare. At one point the flight came up and he finally said the pleasantries.

See you in ten years?
A priori, there should be no new adventures. But in life, I like the unexpected. I leave the door open to many things.

daphne Ten love flowers for Barbara (EPM) 2022

Daphne Official Website/Facebook/YouTube

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