1) Barbara was a popular French female singer born as Monique Andr?e Serf (9th June 1930 - 25th November 1997) best known under her stage name. "Barbara" had been the title of a famous song in the fifties, whose text comes from Pr?vert. Monique Serf, born in Paris, France, into a Jewish family, was ten years old when she had to go into hiding during the German occupation of France in World War II.
Monique Serf, born in Paris, France, into a Jewish family, was ten years old when she had to go into hiding during the German occupation of France in World War II. After the war ended, a neighbourhood music teacher heard her sing and took an interest in helping her develop her talents. She was given vocal lessons and taught to play the piano, and eventually she enrolled at the Ecole Sup?rieure de Musique. However, money was a problem and she gave up her musical studies to sing at "La Fontaine des Quatre Saisons", a popular cabaret at the time in Paris.
A sensitive girl, she was deeply scarred by the war and her family's plight. Her inner feelings of emptiness showed in her appearance and in her songs.Serf wrote in her autobiography, Il etait un piano noir, that her father sexually abused her when she was ten. He later left the family, never to return; Serf went to his funeral in Nantes, which gave rise to one of her most popular songs, "Nantes". A tall person, she dressed in black, accentuating her raven hair, as she sang melancholic songs of lost love. From 1950 to 1952, after running away following her father's desertion of her family, she lived in Brussels, Belgium, where she became part of an active artistic community. Her painter and writer friends took over an old house, converting it into workshops and a concert hall with a piano where Monique performed the songs of ?dith Piaf, Juliette Gr?co and Germaine Mont?ro. However, her career developed slowly and she struggled constantly to eke out a living. In October 1953, she married Claude John Luc Sluys, a Belgian law student, but they separated in 1956. Later in life she wrote about her relationships with men in a song saying: "They walk proudly, my men/ I in the front/ them just behind."
Returning to Paris, she met Jacques Brel and become a lifelong friend, singing many of his songs. Later, she met Georges Brassens whose songs she would eventually begin to use in her act and to record her first album. In the 1950s, she obtained singing engagements at some of the smaller clubs but began building a fan base, particularly with the young students from the Latin Quarter. In 1957 she went back to Brussels to make her first record single but it was not until 1961 that she got a real break when she was engaged to perform at the famous Bobino Music-Hall in Montparnasse. Dressed in a long black robe, she gave a haunting performance but the tough Parisian critics were not kind, saying she lacked naturalness and was stiff and formal in her presentation. She continued to perform at small clubs and two years later at the Th??tre des Capucines, she captured the imagination of the audience and critics alike with an astonishingly powerful performance with new material she had penned herself. From that point on, her career blossomed and she signed a major recording contract in 1964 with Philips Records.
Although influenced by songwriters Mireille and Charles Trenet, two of the biggest stars of the day, she nonetheless developed her own style and the writing of her own songs transformed her image into that of a unique singer-song writer. Her intensely poetic lyrics, her dramatic on-stage performances, and the depth of emotion in her voice, all garnered her a huge following that lasted for more than thirty years. In the 1960s she wrote her landmark song, "My most beautiful story of love is you," and others for which she remains famous such as "L'aigle noir", " Il pleut sur Nantes", "La Solitude", and "Une Petite Cantate".
She made a triumphant return to Bobino in 1964 and returned to sold out audiences several more times. She performed at the Paris Olympia and all the important venues in France, becoming one of her country's most beloved stars. In 1965, she released the album "Barbara chante Barbara" that became an enormous critical and financial success, winning the Grand Prix du Disque of the Charles Cros Academy. At the award ceremony, an emotional Monique Serf ripped her award into several parts, giving a piece to each of her technicians as a sign of her gratitude. Having achieved fame, Monique Serf began using her money and celebrity to do charitable work in aid of impoverished children.
In 1969, she announced that she would limit her concert singing and in 1970 she made her acting d?but in the stage play "Madame" that proved to be a commercial flop. In 1971 she co-starred with Jacques Brel in a film he directed titled Franz for which she wrote the theme song. Two years later she starred in L'Oiseau rare directed by Jean-Claude Brialy. Her final film role came in 1977 in Je suis n? ? Venise directed by the dancer and choreographer Maurice B?jart.
Her career remained extremely active in the 1970s, appearing on television variety shows with stars such as Johnny Hallyday as well as embarking on a tour of Japan, Canada, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Through the 1980s, she continued to tour and to write songs, her album "Seule" was one of France's top grossing releases of 1981. The next year she was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque in recognition of her contribution to French culture. She developed a close working relationship with rising film star, G?rard Depardieu and his wife ?lisabeth, collaborating on songs for film and records. In 1982 she went to New York City to perform on piano at the Metropolitan Opera with Mikhail Baryshnikov in a song and dance ballet presentation. She co-wrote the music for the stage play "Lily Passion" with Luc Plamondon in which she co-starred with G?rard Depardieu.
In the latter part of the 1980s she became an active participant in the fight against AIDS. In 1988 the government of France awarded her the Legion of Honour. By the 1990s, the sixty year-old "Barbara" was a virtual tour de force in the French entertainment world. Health problems impeded her performing and she began to devote time to the writing of her memoirs. However, she recorded another very successful album in 1996 before respiratory problems took her life in Neuilly-sur-Seine, in November of the following year. She was buried near other members of her family in the Cimeti?re de Bagneux in Montrouge, just south of Paris.
Considered an icon of French musical history, Barbara has been honoured with her image on a French postage stamp. A number of books have been written about her life and her records still sell in large numbers to this day.
Barbara and her music are almost completely unknown in the English-speaking world, unlike Edith Piaf, arguably the only other comparable great French female singer, who is a household name around the world and has had several U.K. and American hits. One of the few English-speaking artists to cover her work is Marc Almond, whose version of "amours incestueuses" ('incestuous love") was released on his 1996 album Absinthe.
2) Experimental Doom band from Israel
Re-em H. Bass / Vocals
David Opp Drums / Vocals
3) A sound experience from North America. First cultivated in 2012.
4) Barbara is a creation/side project from the mind of enigmatic and legendary Tyler Semrick-Palmateer (formerly of Mare, Hydra Head Records) and his brother Raynor Semrick-Palmateer.
"Have you ever wondered what kind of music R. Kelly, Cannibal Corpse, and J.S. Bach would produce, if locked in a room and forced to create?
We are Barbara!
We are a Toronto based musical group featuring Tyler Semrick-Palmateer (formerly of Mare, Hydra Head Records) and Raynor Semrick-Palmateer.
Barbara is dead set on warping your musical perceptions. We create with the sole purpose of exciting you, disgusting you, seducing you, confronting you, and making you laugh."