Debussy's Paris: Art, Music & Sounds of the City
Debussy's Paris: Art, Music & Sounds of the City

Debussy's Paris: Art, Music & Sounds of the City

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Debussy's Paris commemorates the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of Claude Debussy's birth by examining the larger auditory environment in which the composer lived and worked. The music, sound and noise of turn-of-the-century Paris and the art created during this rich period are reflected in the concept of soundscape, an important critical category of analysis in work that deals with the complex and overlapping sonic phenomena that define modern urban life and the nature of auditory sense experience. Assistant Professor of Art at Smith, Laura Kalba, and Professor of Humanities, Peter Bloom, originally put forth the idea of soundscape as encompassing the "music French men and women heard at the opera, ballet,concert halls and cabarets, as well as the raucous continuous noise that came to characterize modern Paris".

This 80-page catalog is full of color images from the Smith College Museum of Art permanent collection relating to the Belle Epoque Paris period. Posters by Henri deToulouse-Lautrec, prints by Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard and Jacques Villon as well as paintings by Edgar Degas and Claude Monet are all included in full-page images. Essays by Laura Kalba, Juliet Bellow and Jean Michel Nectoux explore the soundscape, dance, art and Debussy's relationship to all these creative forces.


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