Jane Birkin, one-time muse of French music legend Serge Gainsbourg, makes her Moscow debut.
Many artists have muses, and for SergeGainsbourg, the Frenchmusician-composer-writer-director of Russian-Jewish extraction, she was British actress and singer JaneBirkin.
Their relationship was a synergy that produced 11 records and left an immense legacy in her personal life as well. Gainsbourg is no longer with us, but Jane remains, and she will visit Moscow on Thursday to perform Gainsbourg`s songs, albeit with a Middle Eastern accent. Arranged by Algerian violinist Djamel Benyelles, these reworkings are featured in the 2002 Birkin release "Arabesque," which has gone gold in the United States, Canada, Britain and Japan. The album forms the focus of Birkin`s tour, which has already reached the former Soviet Union with a stop in Kiev in June.
Birkin, who is now 58, got her start in acting in the late 1960s. In 1966, she achieved notoriety by appearing nude in "Blowup," Michelangelo Antonioni`s time capsule of Swinging London, in a scene where the film`s star, David Hemmings, has a threesome with a couple of would-be models. This caused a major stir in Britain, where the sexual mores of the time were not as open-minded as they are today. Birkin then left for the less-inhibited territory of France. It was there that she met Gainsbourg in 1968 while auditioning for a film role. Together, they ended up pushing the sexual-mores envelope even further.
Gainsbourg`s most recognized song, "Je t`Aime ... Moi Non Plus" (1969), was originally to be recorded with Brigitte Bardot, but it ended up being sung by Birkin. It featured simulated female love sounds performed by Birkin. With her singular gamine looks and delicate voice, she produced a unique, lasting, lusting impression.