Paris Obscur is a French singer / composer who classifies his genre of music as dark romance. He sings with enormous power and deep passion to bring stories from his life, not only a few of which are tragic but nevertheless are extraordinarily beautiful. These are not simply stories of his personal woes but rather of the life all around him and in the telling he sings of the life around us all.
If you are not sure of the picture of musical sensuality in Second Life, here's one:
Paris Obscur sang at Cat's Art MusikCircus tonight and perhaps you see the power in his eyes. Perhaps it's threatening to you and perhaps it is exciting at the same time. So it is with Paris as he sings with immense power but it's not to overwhelm. He sings to release the passion he feels for something which has affected him deeply.
My favorite example of the darkness of his passion is in singing about getting into the mind of a rapist. Raping an unwilling woman is abhorrent and yet a dark fantasy but Paris doesn't shy away from addressing things directly. In part the song helped a woman Paris knew understand what was motivating the rapist. At first she was horrified but then she found peace from it. At the same time, the song sings toward the darkest fantasy of some unknown number of men.
The head-on approach of Paris' lyrics is what makes them so sensual and passionate. His lyrics are directly provocative but not in any sensational way. He addresses things that have happened in his life either to him or people he knows and these things affect his soul. It's not so much that he sings a song but the pain in his voice is so sometimes so obviously deeply-felt that it seems he tries to exorcise it.
There are multiple sides to Paris Obscur and he's also thoughtful and gentle.
Here it looks like perhaps he questions why is it this way or he calls out please don't forget me. He portrays the most elemental aspects of human desire and his directness bring a brutal sexuality which can also be gentle and loving. The dichotomy in all of us on exactly this is what makes his music so compelling. How much of your own darkness will you reveal and how much could you reveal.
The orchestration Paris uses is fascinating as he must experiment with a tremendous number of voices. His primary instrument is a piano but he gives it special nuances of sound that may bring honky tonk or a Circus in a scene from a Fellini movie. I even heard a harp at one point as Paris will experiment with many types orchestration to find whatever exactly tells the story he wants. He's very much a perfectionist on this and will go off to a retreat for months when he mixes his songs.
A remarkable thing is that he can make a standard rock band orchestration (i.e. keys, guitar, bass, and drums) sound innovative as it's divergent from his other songs which may not even use any guitar. When he does bring one, it's large as his chords are highly aggressive and he plays with a lot of power that's heavily-metallic or grunge, if you like. He doesn't play virtuoso leads as keyboard players usually don't but he knows exactly what he wants from the guitar and he plays it.
One measure of a set is when people keep coming to the show and they don't leave. When people can teleport out of a place in a millisecond, it's great success in Second Life when they don't. The next measure is when you play for the hour of set but keep going and they still don't leave. That's rare but that's what happens with Paris. He sings until it is time not to sing and he won't stop before. His audience stays with him until the last note.
Paris doesn't screw around so neither will I. This is where you can buy his music and I strongly recommend you do: Buy Paris Obscur's latest CD (another is on the way)
The reasons for the strong recommendation are his songs are incredible and he is a perfectionist for mastering the CD to bring out the best sound possible from them.