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A.P.C. Canada: songs of memory by Jean Touitou

21 March 2024

A trip to his hometown of Tunis in December 2022 inspired Jean Touitou to release the mini EP Canada, two tracks he wrote and composed, then recorded in the A.P.C. studio. Fascinated "for as long as he can remember" by the surnames of his friends and family members, he embarked on an amusing inventory, rather like Nino Ferrer's diatribes. This Canada is the code name for some other place that Jean Touitou imagined would be miraculous. "When I wrote this song, I was plunged back into my adolescence, and at the time I didn't understand what it meant," he recalls. Maybe they were talking about an afterlife that I didn't know about, an Eden that their parents had discovered."

Canada’s Dub version, recorded with an Echoplex (an echo machine), is set in the Jamaican tradition of the 1970s, but with the sounds of the Tunisian street.

Introduced by an excerpt from Reynaldo Hahn sung by Claudine Levy, Jean Touitou's aunt, Ode au Cimetière du Borgel is an exercise in Proustian memory triggered by a visit to places of family memories, including the cemetery where his grandparents are buried — and where he had never set foot. The cemetery is located on unstable ground, which lifts the graves, making the site resemble, according to Jean Touitou, a kind of Boltanski installation as if the dead were revolting. Evoking a suddenly interrupted fishing trip, an unexpected communion and a rite of passage to adulthood from another time, the song is composed like a trance accompanying the story of this flashback against a backdrop of twelve-string guitar.

The mini EP Canada, featuring the tracks Canada, Canada Dub and Ode au Cimétière du Borgel, is available digitally on all music streaming platforms and on vynil (available in all A.P.C. Stores and online).

Canada: songs of memory by Jean Touitou

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