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interview

Hedwige Dhenain

Canadian Cultural Center, Paris

Hedwige is a programmer at the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris after having been a producer of music videos and the co-founder of the Aurores Montreal festival in Paris.

The Canadian Cultural Centre is at the heart of Canadian cultural diplomacy in France, and aims to promote the most innovative contemporary Canadian artforms through public and private institutional partnerships, and collaborations with various French festivals and events.

Hedwige Dhenain

Where are you based?

In Paris, France.

Where do you work? What do you do?

I work at the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris where I am a programmer. I program for our venue, I set up partnerships with events all over France that program artists from Canada and I advise Canadian artists and their teams who wish to develop the French market. I only work with Canada (yes the whole country)  but mainly the French-speaking Canadian market.

What are you listening to?

Lately I was listening a lot to Bonnie Prince Billy, Childish Gambino, Metals by Feist, The Jungle by Plants and Animals, Room with a View by Rone, Einstürzende Neubauten, Louis-Jean Cormier and daily dose of WHY ?, Erik Satie, Chilly Gonzales or Claude Debussy.

How do you discover new music?

I like to use Spotify’s random playlists, I like to listen to what my network shares on Facebook, I listen to the radio (FIP radio), I share a lot of things in private with my friends and my network of programmers in France or Canada. For my work I have to do old-fashioned sourcing on musical and regional network sites.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

I mainly listen to digital music and like having CDs in my car. I also have a few vinyl LPs  that I don’t listen to enough 🙂

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I listen to music everywhere and all day long for work. At home, for my own pleasure, I listen using a small SONOS speaker, at the office and in the street I use headphones, live shows (arte concert) are on my TV, even in the shower on my phone! I admit that I do take a break on holidays when I listen to a lot less music because I also appreciate a little silence sometimes.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

I often get links to new albums from artists, labels or publishers, it always feels like a Christmas present! Sometimes I get unmixed projects, work-in-progress, and sometimes even rough pre-production tracks. It’s exciting but it can be frustrating when the final result is not exactly what you expected. So I would rather just have the final version and not numerous links which I end up stumbling back on.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I like to listen to music on a good sound system or on headphones, at the very least not on a computer or phone without headphones. Production quality is as important (if not more) than the artistry for me, so digital is great if you have good devices. It’s been a long time since I discovered an album on vinyl or CD, I miss it.

“Production quality is as important (if not more) than the artistry for me.”

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

As soon as I have a song-crush on Spotify, I “like” it right away and then listen to all my “liked” songs over the next few weeks. Often I will end up “liking” both the artist and the album.

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Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

I share on social networks or I make playlists that I will share in public or private with my network.

Anything you want to “promote”?

I am very interested in the Canadian Francophone scene outside of Quebec and I have had a few crushes on some of them like Pierre Guitard, P’tit Belliveau, Rayannah, Shawn Jobin, Ponteix, Geneviève Toupin, Mehdi Cayenne, the Hay Babies. The Quebec music scene in Canada is, of course, also extremely rich like Louis-Jean Cormier, Elisapie, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Pascale Picard, Ariane Moffatt, Hubert Lenoir or Pierre Lapointe who do very well here in France and even end up inspiring a lot of artists here as well.   By far my latest Quebec favorites are Laurence-Anne and Mat Vezio!

"I would rather just have the final version and not numerous links which I end up stumbling back on."

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