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     Helena Noguerra
 
 

Helena has grown up, and now it's her turn to sing; she's released singular, seductive albums, among them Azul, with a good deal of bossa, often in Portuguese, her native language; there was Nee dans la nature, hypnotic jazz, a clear smile and patches of shadow; and Bang!, a folk-soul record on the run to Tucson together with Federico Pellegrini When she's not a singer, Helena is a writer: two novels already (L'ennemi est a l'interieur, Et je me suis mise a table), one with a schizophrenic heroine, the other a cannibal. When it's not a novel she's writing, it's a play - in which she performed: Et apres, or Snow White's real destiny

And when she's neither singing, nor writing, nor acting Helena is a reader. One day, she read author Serge Rezvani's Le Testament amoureux. She fell in love with it, and the reader sent a letter to the writer. There was a nonchalant exchange, but nothing more. At least, not right away

Last October, at the "Maison de la Poesie" in Paris, Helena (together with Marie Rose, from the Librairie des Abbesses bookshop), organised a surprise-soiree in tribute to Rezvani. The songs of Bassiak (the Russian word for 'vagabond'), resounded again; Bassiak was the pseudonym that Serge Rezvani had taken when he was a painter, at the time when his games for voice and guitar - conceived for the wife he loved, and known only to their friends: Boris Vian, Francois Truffaut, Francesca Solleville, Jeanne Moreau - left the privacy of their circle to reach the film-world. In Truffaut's Jules et Jim, Jeanne Moreau sang Le Tourbillon. Anna Karina sang Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerai toujours in Godard's Pierrot le fou. And later, Francesca Solleville sang them onstage and Jeanne Moreau sang them in the studio.

For that October evening in Paris, Helena had invited Mona Heftre, who brought these Bassiak songs back to light in recent years; she also invited Anna Karina, who sang a duet with Philippe Katerine, as they had done once before at a festival. In turn, Philippe Katerine and his partner Helena then shared a song, and Helena sang some of them alone. By the end of the evening, author Rezvani had jumped onstage and become a singer, too (as for the complete recorded-works he undertook in 2004)

Rezvani had just discovered a new performer; with this came the discovery that Helena was also his secret correspondent. She already knew that he was Bassiak, the author of the childhood-delights hummed by her mother's voice; it was he who had written "Fraise vanille" (the way her ear had heard it, pronounced by a friend listening to the songs with her) Helena was behind this album; it was her idea, her project, which brought these two creators together. The former an artist who refuses to be "definite" or "defined", preferring the use of several forms of expression, even if it means being called a dilettante; and the latter a 'multi-indisciplinary' creator, to use his own phrase, that of a composer-playwright-writer-poet. This freedom of language was just another of their connivances, yet it manifests itself even in the mischievous title of the album, Fraise vanilla, not to mention the title of the brand-new song written specially for this project: Caresse-moi.

Helena sings Rezvani. Smiles, melancholy, dreams, and taking flight, all these vibrate in her voice. Confessions, lies, loving pavanas contain their enchantment again. Here and there, there are other voices around that of Helena: Marie-France, Philippe Katerine, Vincent Delerm And of course, Rezvani. Like gourmets, fond of sharing.

Wrapping the voice of Helena is the clear line with which she and Seb Martel have dressed, or undressed, rather, these luminous demoiselles. A few trills from a birdlike piano (played by Benoit Delbecq, an accomplice from the Azul days, and by Julien Baer on La Memoire qui flanche); a vibraphone-player named Bertrand Burgalat (the Tricatel boss who produced Azul); a clarinet for Tourbillon; a banjo, a cello and a comb (played by Helena's father), acoustic and electric guitars, Franck Monnet a conspirator in the chorus all are weightless sounds, sculpting the silence around the words, words of love. Passion/love or fickle love.

www.french-music.org/scr_artist.php?artist_id=22606


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 Helena Noguerra - 'Nee Dans La Nature' - 2004, EmArcy
 


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  13/10/2015 23:39:53


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