Barbara at the Philharmonie de Paris

A friend of Jacques Brel, Georges Moustaki, Maurice Béjart, an independent and courageous woman who in the 50s went for her dreams following the female examples she admired and sacrificing much along the way to become one of the most important singer songwriters of her time.

A unique voice and a striking presence. For those who don’t know her, please head for the exhibition organised by  Philharmonie de Paris in its new Jean Nouvel building.All the exhibitions that I have seen there have been instructive but also very pleasant to visit. The Philharmonie’s curators know the art of combining information with moments contemplation where you sit or even sometimes lie down and stay as long as you like to dive in the world of sounds and images.

If you are touched by her, this is the place that will help you understand why. We meet a woman born in 1930 in the Batignolles area of the 17th arrondissement of Paris. As a Jewish child WWII was a road trip throughout from hiding place to hiding place. She launches her career in Belgium but really starts making it in the most exiting period of the left bank night life of the 50s and 60s.

This is the woman who accepted the invitation of a passionate German fan to come and give a concert in Germany in 1964. She took some convincing but ended up going and being extremely touched by the warm welcome that awaited her in the small town of Göttingen. So much so that she wrote a song for them there and then. A mutual gesture of friendship and desire for peace in postwar Europe.

​If you are too far to come in person, sit down tonight with a glass of wine in a warm living room (dog on your feet and fire place lit are good optionals) and listen to these. Let a bit of le Paris of the 60s enter your house…

Flavia Claes