Musicians' Diary

Tradition: freedom of evolution vs. Museum gate keepers

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While searching my pile of lyrics a couple of days ago, I fund that printed copy:


It’s the first version of 1932 I got back in 2004 while I was studying with Erik Marchand.

It’s a messy piece of paper. With notes from various projects I used it for. With rhythm variations. With pronunciation variations.

An time I attended workshops, I always noticed singers had the same kind of messy lyrics. It feels like even when we type them into our text editor, as soon as they get printed, we need to mess them around.

Certainly it has a strong connection with the fear we all have that it would make it “the” ultimate version. For centuries songs have evolved, people would forget about some parts, then re-invent them, or just adapt some parts to the way they would pronounce them, or feel that it would sound even better with some little changes…

Public writer, Italy, ca. 1865

Being able to make mistakes, to forget, admitting that there is never one truth but only individuals, that tradition is not one, but made of many people bringing their own interpretation together, this is also what has made my singing journey so fulfilling and ever-surpriing so far.

§ Simone


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