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The title of the album is invariably the same for its four sides, even mimicking the cover art: “repertoire de chants populaires de Mlle. Tatie En Cirque”; in English, “list of popular folk songs by Mlle. Tati En Cirque.” This was presumably a tape made for Mlle. Tati En Cirque, but judging by the copy of the recording provided to me on Discogs, the music was actually intended for her—the name of the woman on the switchboard is revealed on the disc’s sleeve: “TATIEN CIRQUET.” For all its simplicity, it is remarkably rich, a collection of extremely popular songs, recorded with what appears to be an old portable tape recorder. The first song is “Bella Bella,” a celebratory song about two lovers who are going to be married. There’s harmonies and catchy pentatonic scale melodies here and there, and the atmosphere leans very much toward light music, perhaps keeping with the type of mildly popular music that would appeal to the growing middle class families vying for radio airtime. The music is gorgeous: lots of string sounds, a little oompah oompah strings. The final song, “la bonne fille,” features an excellent performance by a group of female singers, including Tatien, while a brass band supports. At the end of most of the songs, Tatien’s character is addressed in song just once more, calling out the singers with a collectivity. It concludes with a male choir. —M.U. Taylor
This collection of folk songs, which bears a striking resemblance to The Voice of the Heart by M. T. Vasudevan Nair, was recorded in Varanasi by C. (anonymized for commercial purposes), a female musicologist interested in folklore and the practice of folk music in India. As Nair, she was responsible for gathering musicians as well as recording their music, lending a measure of credibility to the project. d2c66b5586