Siobhan Wilson ‘Paris Est Blanche’
I love studying foreign languages. I always have – from leafing through my parents dog-eared Italian phrasebook as a kid to studying French, German, and later Italian as a teenager, language has fascinated me. Not just modern foreign languages either; few things can captivate my attention like trawling through Wikipedia pages about the origin of language and articles on ancient tongues – Welsh, Old English, ancient Norse languages particularly grab my attention. I love the way that languages evolve and adapt, varying so much between small geographical regions, yet retaining common root words as Indo-European gives way to Romance, Celtic, Germanic, and more – not to mention the even vaster variety of languages belonging to the Niger-Congo and Austronesian families. I am also fascinated by the way foreign languages are assimilated into our culture due to the movement of people; for example, a common insult where I’m from in Hampshire is ‘dinlo’, a Romany word meaning ‘stupid’ that was brought to the area by Romany Gypsies and sailors. An affinity with language is apparently very common amongst musicians, which makes sense when you consider the similarities between learning notation and learning a language (or even just chord progressions for those who are not classically trained), as well as the propensity for Italian, French, and German musical directions in classical score. One musician who knows this all too well is Scottish singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson, whose move to Paris inspired her to release her new track ‘Paris Est Blanche’ which is sung completely in French. Featuring understated beats and moody piano chords, the track was written about her time in Paris, where she lived with her ‘ex-boyfriend and cat in a tiny studio apartment’ in the heart of the city. Oozing with Gallic sophistication, you don’t need to speak French to get an idea of the quiet emotional power behind this track. Enjoy, and je vous souhaite une bonne journée.