If you have the possibility and the desire, stay at home this Saturday September 16 and, at 9 p.m. sharp, tune into France Culture. It is then very likely that you will have an experience like no other. That of having the impression that Charlotte Gainsbourg is opening, just for you and a few days before their official opening (Wednesday September 20), the historic house of Serge Gainsbourg, located 5 bis rue de Verneuil, and the museum dedicated to her father , at 14 of the same street.

And it’s wonderful – even if you’re not an ex-fan of the sixties. Wonderful what sound produces. What sound allows. Its magical power to make us travel through space and time. To make us imagine, to be as close as possible, without ever imposing anything. This is what Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stephan Crasneanscki achieved. This sound lover, who we perhaps know for his work with Patti Smith (recently the “Evidence” exhibition at the Center Pompidou), has been collaborating with the actress and singer for more than ten years.

For the design of the sound system at Maison Gainsbourg (equipped with geolocated headsets, visitors, depending on their route, will hear an archive here, a song there), Stephan Crasneanscki tells us how, and “often at night”, they go there. are found with Charlotte Gainsbourg: “We spent many hours there. Enough to make Charlotte let moments, memories, even fragments of memories, come to the surface. Not rushing, even hanging around, made it possible to record without thinking about recording and thus be able to go back in time. »

Céline Ters, director at Radio France, then worked on this material, “airy” so that “it breathes”. And he adds: “The imagination needs time to unfold and create images. And that’s what’s magical about radio: the ability to create images without seeing any. »

Archive magic

But let’s listen instead, because we have arrived at rue de Verneuil. Number 5 bis. “Come, I’ll accompany you, I have the keys,” whispers Charlotte Gainsbourg in her wildly hypnotic voice and with a modesty which, without it being contradictory, goes hand in hand with an overwhelming generosity. Thirty-two years after the death of the singer-songwriter, we are on the threshold of his legendary house and his forever beloved daughter has the extreme elegance to invite us on the journey. To tell us that her father erased the insults and graffiti (sometimes of an anti-Semitic nature) which may have disfigured the facade: “He only kept the nice ones, the kind words,” she remembers before entering.

Door on the right, that’s the living room. And we can then hear, magic from the archives, a cigarette burning, the sound of glasses, the voice of Serge Gainsbourg and “the sound of music played excessively loud because he only listened if it was at full volume.” In bulk, memories come back to the sight of an object – his armchair – or a book. She remembers their one-on-ones: “We often watched TV, even while eating. » She remembers the fork – “stolen from Maxim’s, I think” – with which he ate and which she in turn stole.

Further, under the stairs, this photo of her mother, Jane Birkin (died Sunday July 16), shirtless, coming out of a swim: “And I think she told me that it was at that moment- where I was conceived. » She still remembers the packet of Gitanes – which he made her buy, and in cartridges. In front of his closet, she also remembers that “he had two shirts, four t-shirts, four pairs of pumps, two jeans and that’s it. He didn’t need anything actually.”

Still travels

And then comes this moment, in “her bathroom decorated like a boat cabin”, where she opens a bottle. That of his aftershave lotion. And there, she capsizes and us with her. Because we feel that, like Proust with his madeleine, a whole world suddenly resurfaces.

“The smells are crazy,” she will say. The sounds are crazy, you could say. What they allow. What they open. What they offer of still and yet so profound journeys. Not to mention these moments of absolute grace when a silence, a breath, a breath slips into our ears and says so much.

Moreover, and in order not to deflower the rest of this “Experience” which is oh so sensitive, organic as well as aesthetic, we will not reveal anything more. Let us just point out that it is strictly speaking exceptional because, for the moment, its distribution will be unique. Let us also add that, to experience it fully, it is not forbidden to listen to it with headphones and even in the dark.