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Friday 03 August 2018

boris vian

The Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature
En Bois Désert 10
1147 Montricher
021 864 01 01
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From 16 June to 2 September 2018 - Now extended to 30 September!

An artist with a rich gift for invention, a spontaneous musician, a protean author of novels, short stories, and translations, as well as newspaper columns, songs, librettos, and shows for the theater and musical reviews, Boris Vian (1920-1959) left his stamp on his age and the heirs to his fanciful, iconoclastic, untrammeled genius.

Although Vian trained as an engineer, his talents steered him to writing and music, both of which were cultivated during a childhood steeped in the arts. Starting in 1933, his first “jazz impression” when he discovered Duke Ellington opened up a new world for the youth to explore regularly and to be intensely experienced throughout his short life, from concerts to the albums he collected in thrall to a passion he shared with his brothers, and from his first surprise parties at his family home to the wild nights in Paris’s hottest venues for swing music. The appropriately named “Prince of Saint-Germain-des-Prés” did not just play the trumpet and the eighteen-turn Hinkle horn, he was an important spokesman and teacher for jazz culture. A man with an excellent ear for spotting new talent and an inexhaustible critic, both erudite and insolent, Vian was a contributor to a range of reviews, including the famous Jazz Hot. And as publisher, artistic director, and impresario, he promoted a number of jazz greats like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bix Beiderbecke, and thrust the avant-garde of Bebop to center stage in France.

This music proved essential to Vian and imprinted its tempo and influences even on his literary works. Following L’écume des jours (in English translation, Froth on a Daydream), when publishing failures arrived with cruel regularity, he wrote songs by the hundreds. Some were performed by their creator, accompanied on the piano by Alain Goraguer, but most were given voice by great performers like Magali Noël, Marcel Mouloudji, Henri Salvador, Juliette Gréco, and Michel Legrand, in Vian’s lifetime, and Serge Reggiani, Jacques Higelin, Renaud, Maurane, Arthur H, Olivia Ruiz, M, and others since his death.

Through numerous archival documents, photographs, recordings, manuscripts, and original editions, Boris Vian: En avant la musique ! (Boris Vian: Hit It!) offers a visual and aural journey that takes in all the facets of Boris Vian the musician, beyond the man of letters, the virtuoso jazz writer and prodigious poet of language and musical licks.

Curator: Nicole Bertolt, representative of the artist’s work and director of the Boris Vian legacy

Document collection: Cohérie Boris Vian

General Opening

Friday 15 June 2018 at 6:30 pm with Alain Goraguer Trio and Jelly Bump !

Free admission


Dates from 16 June to 2 September 2018

Opening hours Tuesday to Friday, 2 – 6 pm ǀ Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm

Admission CHF 5.- (full price) ǀ CHF 3.- (students, groups, retirees, unemployed, disabled persons) ǀ free for children under 18 and residents of Montricher

Guided tours of the show

Sunday 17 June at 3 pm
Saturday 23 June at 3 pm
Saturday 14 July at 3 pm
Sunday 12 August at 3 pm

Free with your admission ticket | No reservations required