Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sounds of the Luxembourg Garden at the British Museum

In April 2013, I was honored to have been asked to participate in a very special series of interviews called Paris – A Personal View. Des Coulam, whose passion is to record the sounds of Paris, is the creative genius behind the series. He recorded my observations of the Luxembourg Garden—my favorite place in Paris—as we took a leisurely walk through it.

Des Coulam and Monique Y. Wells
© Discover Paris!

Des fits Monique with a microphone
© Discover Paris!

I took Des to several of my preferred spots in the garden. Among them were the eastern terrace near the boat basin, where I showed Des an image of Loïs Mailou Jones’ 1948 painting of the Luxembourg Palace and the towers of Saint-Sulpice beyond, and the southernmost point of the parterre where I talked about Gaston Monnerville, brilliant legal mind and President of the French Senate. (A bust of Monnerville stands just outside the garden.)

Bust of Gaston Monnerville
© Discover Paris!

We ended at the gate nearest the rear of the Odéon Theater, where crocuses were in bloom.

Several days ago, Des wrote me to inform me that:

...the recording you made of your personal view of the Jardin de Luxembourg has now been ingested into the British Library Sound & Moving Image Archive in London. The catalogue reference is:

027A-C1540X0003XX-0100M0.WAV - Jardin de Luxembourg: A Personal View by Dr. Monique Y. Wells

Whilst the catalogue reference is available to everyone, the recording itself is only available for scientific, educational or other non-commercial purposes upon request to the British Library. The British Library only provide a listening service so the recording will not be made available for download.

So now your voice and your wonderful exposition of the Jardin de Luxembourg will be available for future generations to explore, to study and to enjoy. Bravo!

For those of you who are so inclined, I hope that you'll ask to listen to the audio when you visit the British Library. For those who'd like to enjoy the audio tour (and the beautiful photos that accompany it) from the comfort of your own home, click here!

Finally, I encourage all of you - whether residents or visitors - to take time to listen to the city at Des' Soundlandscapes' blog. You'll discover Paris from a fascinating new perspective!


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