L’Homme orchestre

One of the things I love about Paris is all the musicians in the street and the metro, many of whom are really terrific. Recently, I was strolling through the Marais, checking out one of my favorite bookstores, Monalisait, when I heard music coming my way. It was a l’homme orchestre (lum or-kes-truh), or one-man band – always cool – but this performer was dressed like a giraffe. At first, I just noticed the costume and musical contraption, but then I realized that Gyraf, as he calls himself, was really darn good. Rather than just tossing a few coins in the hat suspended from a tennis racket, I took a chance on his CD, Gyrafrique, and I’m glad I did.

The CD is studio produced and far more polished than the live recordings that you can sample here (Tic Tac, Dans le métro). The music is heavily influenced by African instruments and rhythms, which is appropriate since the troubadour has spent the last five years there. The lyrics are witty and remind me a lot of Benabar. I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time when the giraffe came strolling through the Marais.



About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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2 Responses to L’Homme orchestre

  1. Chris Cain says:

    We were staying on Rue de St.Andre des Arts for two weeks and on early evening I heard what sounded like a rock band on the street below. From our 3rd floor balcony, I peered down and had my first sighting of the Giraffe. Made my day. Made my trip. Ten minutes later went down the street to see if he was still there and he was playing to a crowd.
    Did you take the photo of him in your YouTube comment? Could I use it in an article I am writing on my trip? I have written several books on resort property and vacation homes, and actually sell homes in the attraction (Disney, Universal Studios, SeaWorld) area of Orlando.
    Thanks for your comments on YouTube.
    Christopher Cain

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