The Unknown

I had another project planned to usher in the new year, but what with all the recent celebrations it has taken me much longer than I thought and is not yet complete, so that will have to wait for another day. Here, instead, is a piece of music I wrote a while ago called L’Inconnue de la Seine. 

Meaning the unknown (woman) of the Seine, this was the name given to a mysterious young woman whose body was found after she had drowned in the Seine in 19th century Paris.

The legend is that the man tasked with preparing her body in the morgue found her so captivatingly beautiful that he created a death mask of her face, and eventually copies of the mask were sold and were so popular that everyone had one, including many of the great artists of the time.

There has been lots of speculation about who she might have been, and she was apparently even the model for the resusci-annie dolls that we use to practise CPR.

Anyway, I planned to write a grand tale of the life of the inconnue de la Seine set around the great Paris exhibition, in the style of Jean Pierre Jeunet (particularly the visionary City of Lost Children), but the only bit I ever actually did was a tune written on piano but intended for accordion.

So, it has nothing to do with the feel of the tune, but I need some pictures, and through a tenuous death mask link, I have used some sketches I made of ethnographic masks from an exhibition at the museum where I work.

After all, we all wear our masks, and perhaps New Year is the best time of year to consider casting them away, and embracing the Unknown that the future holds in store.

Happy New Year!


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