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July 8, 2012


Carnaval Tropical 2012

by soundlandscapes

LE CARNAVAL TROPICAL DE PARIS winds its way through the streets of the 11th arrondissement every year in July.

And this year was no exception. Yesterday, it took over four hours for the carnival to process from la Place de la Nation to le Boulevard Voltaire, la Place Léon Blum, l’Avenue Parmentier, la Rue du Chemin Vert, le Boulevard de Ménilmontant, l’Avenue Philippe Auguste and back to la Place de la Nation.

Sounds of the Carnaval Tropical:

With the theme of Le sixième continent, the Sixth Continent, some 4,000 people from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, La Réunion, French Polynesia, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, China, Vietnam and other corners of the globe took part. This was a wonderful celebration of cultural diversity.

The carnival is organised by the Fédération du Carnaval Tropical and the Direction Générale à l’Outre-Mer, part of the Paris city authority concerned with supporting the welfare and cultural traditions of Parisians born overseas.

I went to la Place de la Nation to see this spectacle and I can share with you some of the sights and sounds.

More Sounds of the Carnaval Tropical:

More Sounds of the Carnaval Tropical:

The best that can be said about our weather this summer is that it hasn’t been great but even so, we don’t usually expect a sudden tropical storm like the one that descended without warning yesterday afternoon.

Undaunted though, the carnival continued with everyone still in high spirits. Even as the last of the procession was making its soggy way into the distance the sounds of the crowd were as enthusiastic as ever.

More Sounds of the Carnaval Tropical:

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 9 2012

    Ah, a nice way to start a sleepy morning over here in the cold winter of Australia. I’m always impressed at how clear your recordings are in these crowded situations, with volumes rising and falling unexpectedly.

    • Jul 9 2012

      Thanks Jay. I’m pleased that these sights and sounds have brightened up your winter. Capturing sounds amongst crowds like this is always a challenge. The only really useful tool one has is one’s feet! Anticipating where the best sounds will come from is largely a matter of experience and good luck but getting into exactly the right position to capture the best sounds requires a journalistic determination … or, in other words, a judicious use of the elbows!!!


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