- Musique

" It was strange to walk out on stage and behold a sea of blue masks before us "

Marie Torres - 30 octobre 2020
American author, composer, singer and musician Elliott Murphy has been living in Paris since 1989. On the occasion of the release of a new album, "The Middle Kingdom", he was kind enough to answer micmag.net's questions.

Your new album, "The Middle Kingdom", is composed of eighteen poems, written by you, that you recite, accompanied by the music of your faithful partner, Olivier Durand. Can you present it?

Elliott Murphy : "The Middle Kingdom" album was born out of a desire for Olivier and I to continue working together in spite of the travel restrictions of the Covid-19 epidemic. Olivier lives in Le Havre an I live in Paris so that was problematic and of course all our concerts over the summer were cancelled. But during this time I had been going into my son Gaspard Murphy’s studio to record an audio book for my memoir JUST A STORY FROM AMERICA and I had the idea of also recording some of my poetry and to ask Olivier to add music to it as he had recently set up his own home studio. So I asked him if this project would interest him and, of course, he said absolutely. So I sent him the original book of my poetry The Middle Kingdom which contains 50 poems and he chose those he could best relate to both poetically and musically and he came back with 18 titles which I then recorded. We sent the voice recordings to Olivier in Le Havre and he started composing and recording music to accompany the words and we worked together to modify his musical approach so that it would best suit each poem. For the poem The Middle Kingdom which is over 9 minutes long Gaspard also contributed musical ideas. And finally, Gaspard mixed the whole album in his studio in Paris.

What can you say about "Like Gérard Depardieu do“ and ”On the death of Prince” ?

E.M. : Well, like all poetry the content of the poem and the relation to the title can exist on many different levels. I’m a big fan of Gérard Depardieu and some time ago I read an interview with him and he must have said something about drinking 14 bottles of fine red wine and not getting drunk and that was the inspiration for the basic poem. But the Depardieu inspiration was only the starting point and then the poem took on a life of it’s own. For some reason, it’s the most popular title on the album on Spotify!

"The Death of Prince" is a kind of Shakespearian tribute to the amazing musician, performer, songwriter and personality known as Prince. I tried to put his untimely death in the context of our times and the insulated world he created for himself in Minneapolis.

Do you have a favorite poem ?

Well that would probably be "The Middle Kingdom" which is the most autobiographical work on the album so it was kind of a catharsis to record it. I wrote that poem while sitting in a cafe in Paris one December afternoon and it’s very long yet the words kept flowing like a river. When that happens its a magically spiritual moment for a writer when you’re transported into another zone.

Recently, you played two concerts in Brittany and one in the suburbs of Paris, what were your impressions in front of a masked audience ?

E. M. : It was strange to walk out on stage and behold a sea of blue masks before us but we kind of got use to it and even got the audience on its feet. I missed seeing the smiles on their faces ...

What music do you like to listen?

E. M. : Lately I’ve been listening to Keith Jarret’s “The Köln Concerts which is a monumental work on total improvisation and the best-selling solo jazz record in history. And, of course, I’ve been listening to my friend Bruce Springsteen’s new album “Letter to you” which is just wonderful and powerful and comforting in so many ways.

Have you a few projects in mind... for a future confinement?

E.M. : Actually, I’m co-writing a novel with my Spanish translator Peter Redwhite that shifts between time and space of our current Covid era and Columbus’ discovery of America. The next musical project will hopefully be a new album released in time for my March New Morning shows in Paris. And maybe another poetry with music project with the added contribution of my very talented violinist Melissa Cox. Since I’m not going out on the road and playing shows - this is the longest vacation I’ve had in over 40 years - it’s very important to me to have structure to my days. During the confinement I performed 56 “Corona Couch Concerts” on Instagram/Facebook and it was incredible the reaction of the fans. We had over 1000 viewers on many nights. So, like everybody else on the planet, I’m just trying to keep busy and wait for this dark age to pass …

Read it in french, here

Propos recueillis par Marie Torres www.micmag.net
Check out The Middle Kingdom on Spotify and iTunes. CDs will be available around November 1st and you can place a pre-order now in the store

  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • linkedin
  • Mixx
  • MySpace
  • netvibes
  • Twitter


Combats Plasticiens : L'humanisme en héritage, trois peintres expressionnistes

Combats Plasticiens : L'humanisme en héritage, trois peintres expressionnistes

Juliette, Victor Hugo, mon fol amour

Du 7 au 30 juillet 2022 au théâtre des Corps Saints (Avignon).

Alô !!! Tudo bem??? Brésil-La culture en déliquescence ! Un film de 1h08 mn

Photo extraite du film de Mario Grave - S'abonner sur notre canal Youtube  pour avoir accès à nos films :

The new novel- You can get it in Amazon or Fnac. Here is the link

Au cœur de la meseta du Nouveau-Mexique au sud des Etats-Unis, Mink un photographe français partage sa vie av...

Reportage en Arménie - Micmag 2018 sur les routes du monde - Notre film

A la découverte des cultures de pays méconnus de la planète. Micmag a fait ses valises pour se rendre entre Asie et Eur...


Comment écrire une critique musicale
comme un pro

Journaliste en herbe, influenceur ou juste fan de musique... Vous aimeriez écrire une critique musicale mais vous ne savez pas par où commercer... Le guide "Comment écrire une critique musicale comme un pro", disponible gratuitement sur le Web, vous sera d'un grand secours... Lire la suite, ici.


Paris - Jusqu'au 12 juillet 2022

Le musée d’Orsay accueille la première grande exposition consacrée à Antoni Gaudí organisée en France à Paris depuis cinquante ans. Elle offre une nouvelle vision de l’artiste en tant que figure unique et singulière, un génie non isolé ayant exercé dans une Catalogne en plein bouleversements sociaux, politiques et urbanistiques. Pour en savoir plus, ici.

Musée d'Orsay
1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur Paris 7e


Des sommes colossales pour Basquiat
Jean-Michel BASQUIAT pèse à lui seul 14% du Marché de l’Art Contemporain mondial. Trois toiles remarquables de cet artiste ont dépassé cette année à Hong Kong les 35m$ chacune. Nouvelle place forte pour la vente des plus beaux Basquiat, Hong Kong fait désormais le bonheur des collectionneurs asiatiques,
Le Saint-Pétersbourg Festival Ballet contre la guerre

En tournée en France, le Saint-Petersbourg Festival Ballet observe, avant chaque représentation, une minute de silence avant de lancer le spectacle avec l'hymne national ukrainien.

Guerre en Ukraine
La statue de Vladimir Poutine retirée du musée Grévin. C'est la première fois que le musée retire un personnage en lien avec des événements historiques.
Un dessin de Dürer vendu 26 euros dans un vide-greniers

Estimée à plus de 8 millions d'euros, la « Vierge à l’enfant » d'Albrecht Dürer a été acquise en 2017, lors d'un vide-greniers, pour la modique somme de… 26 euros. Aujourd'hui, elle se trouve dans une galerie londonienne.

Journée nationale contre le harcèlement scolaire

Depuis le 1er janvier 18 enfants se sont suicidés en France et, chaque année, plus de 700 000 élèves sont victimes de harcèlement scolaire soit près d'un enfant sur dix. En savoir plus, ici.