It's been a long time since I had such an unusual and memorable experience and it happened while we were looking at the cathedral in Strasbourg. A guy sitting on a stool started playing an instrument (called a bouzouki) and singing. He is pretty large guy and has several tattoos on each arm. You look at him and expect a real husky voice. To begin with his voice was pretty low and slowly started crescendo. What was astonishing was the power and pitch of his voice. He is labelled as a "Countertenor mezzo-soprano". For myself and maybe others this means he got to really high notes and was able to hold them at great ease ! I didn't have anything I could use to record him and although a friend recorded the voice on a phone, the quality isn't good. To describe the overall style I suppose I would say medieval or Shakespearian, a really beautiful moment and after searching on the Internet I can only tell you that the disc is not yet available on the Internet anywhere. The guy is called Luc Arbogast and from what I understand he also plays with his wife MÃ©lusine who wasn't there on this occasion. The name that appears on the CD cover is 'Domus' and the album is called "Fjall D'Yr Vinur" as you can see here :
Before he started singing there were maybe five or six people in front of the cathedral and when he finished I would guess there were over fifty in a semi-circle around him. He switched from German to French with great ease after singing, talking to people wanting to buy his CD. He has a French father (from Strasbourg) and German mother. If you happened to hear him like I did and missed the opportunity to buy his CD (silly me) you can most probably get one by contacting him at [email protected] although many say that they have had no responses.
I would love to be able to post twenty or thirty seconds of the song I heard in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral at Strasbourg or a link to such an extract so if you hear of anything (or a place that is selling the CD) please post a comment 🙂
Edit : Well you will see in the comments that there is a great link to an extract of the guy singing : Luc Arbogast singing at Strasbourg thanks to "Pumpkin". Do take a look and enjoy the extract while you're waiting to meet the guy in the flesh ! 🙂
Click on the image below to see Pumpkin's video
Addition : I just came across this video of Luc in the church of Savigny, again a wonderful experience :
Go to this web adr.
Thanks for the link I had seen a similar post where Luc posted a comment about being able to reach him via email for CD requests but those that had tried to reach him had no response. Although the need to keep things localised in this way, only selling CDs to people that come to see him sing may give him a sense of authenticity I think that the fact it is available on a CD is the first step towards the new age for Luc Arbogast. Personally I feel that he is depriving the world of some beautiful music regardless of the fact that he can do what he wants obviously !
[...] To purchase Luc Arbogast’s CD - Domus (fr) Le petit monde de H - “In love with Strasbourg 4″ (fr) AccroFolk.net (fr) A post about Luc Arbogast on a blog that I found (en) Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]
I was with a schooclass today in Strabourg and other meeting point was near there catheadral (sorry for my bad english I'm german =)) and .... omg ... I stand over a half hour there and just listen!!! This guy is just amazing!! Not only the voice but maybe evrything ... geez I'm on the best way to be a groupie XD. But I also missed the opertunity to buy his album ;______;, his voice is just magiical! Soo .. can't thank you enough for posting that video!!!
I saw him last June, playing and singing on a little chair in front of the Cathedral. Pure magic! Afterwards I felt stupid not having bought his CD and only having a little video of him I made with my camera. Few weeks ago, I had to go back to Strasbourg, so I went looking for him and he was not there! But then, in the middle of the Christmasmarket crowd, I heard him singing, so I immediately bought his CD. I will be happy to see him live again, next time I'll be in Strasbourg. It's really so beautiful it gives you shivers....
I was last week in Strasbourg and heard Luc Arbogast singing (though I didn't know his name then). Unfortunately I had a cold and felt bad therefore I just stopped for some minutes to listen to this beautiful music in front of the cathedral. About one day later I started to regret that I didn't buy a CD and now back in the US I can only search the internet (thanks Milos now I know his name)... But I am lucky, I have to go to Munich in a week and I will find the time to visit Strasbourg again... 🙂
This man travels a lot. I have a signed copy of his album, which I bought after speaking to him outside of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. I also met his wife, and another performer, as there was a full scale celebration of gypsies and street performers at the time. He's a truly interesting and kind person.
We were travelling with friends in France the last week of April 2007 and found Luc at the base of the Palais de Papes in Avignon. We joined the small crowd to listen which quickly swelled to 50 or so people. We bought a CD and he continued to play throughout our meal at one of the outdoor restaurants. It was the most magical moment of our trip.... to be enjoying a fabulous meal in the shadows of the Palais with Luc's music echoing across the plaza.
Just got a reply to an email I sent to Luc ([email protected]). He's now taking orders via Paypal, at EUR 23 for CD and postage. It took him about a week to get back to me.
I was also in Salzburg recently. Standing in a store near the cathedral, and my first reflex when I heard his voice was to drop everything and run outside. I expected to see an angel, or at least a woman. I was really surprised to see him singing, because earlier on I had made a comment that he probably threatens people for a living. I did buy his CD, and it puts me to sleep almost every night. By the way I'm not the Elena that wrote the other reply. Though I am from Germany, which I thought was a pretty cool coincidence. I'm glad I speak German, because he actually talked to me when I bought it.
[...] The cheese was interrupted by a very unexpected sound from next door: Luc Arbogast. Quite the most unlikely, but blazingly good, high counter-tenor; take a look at the video I recorded, which doesn’t begin to approach the volume and quality he musters in real life. As a quick look at those two blogs proves, he’s got a lot of fans, but only sells his CDs in person, which is rather frustrating. EDIT: he’s now selling them for EUR 23, and accepts Paypal payments. Email him. [...]
My wife and I heard Luc in Avignon in May. We had just come down from visiting the Cathedral when he started singing Stella Splendens from the Llibre Vermell. The power of his voice was amazing. The square in front of the Palais des Papes came to a standstill as people were transfixed by his singing. We're both musicians specialising in medieval music so we stayed to hear his whole performance and then bought his Hortus Dei CD. We were in France again in August in Aigues-Mortes at the time of the St Louis FÃªte and it was with great pleasure that we heard Luc's voice in the distance. We headed towards it but unfortunately he was just finishing. He is a great admirer of Alfred Deller and his voice is of a comparable quality - he deserves to be really famous.
I saw Luc 4-5 years ago in Strabourg, bought the CD. I loved his stuff, I would not have fully appreciated it unless I saw him and heard in person, at night in front of the beautifully lit cathedral. Even when back the next night and met his wife. He says he plays for her!
Hi there, all you Luc fans! I am definitely another, at the tender age of 68.....rather old to be a groupie, but I think that is what I may turn out to be. I saw, or rather heard, Luc while I was on holiday in Strasbourg last week. I first of all heard this beautiful high soprano voice when I was a long way away, doing some shopping, and I rushed up the street to the cathedral to see who this gorgeous woman could be. To my utter amazement, I saw what appeared to be a Hell's Angel, sitting on a stool, tattoos on his arms, bovver boots and bells on his feet, skinhead, long skirt, everything that would normally send me running in the opposite direction! Half an hour later I was still there, mesmerised by the beauty of what he was producing. I went over to buy his CD and we talked for a few minutes. Later that evening my friend and I were on our way back to our hotel after dinner when we heard him again and stopped to listen. To my amazement (and joy, this at 68 years old!) he remembered me from the afternoon, and asked how I was! I am certainly a fan now, and am enjoying his CD very much. although it is so lovely it makes me want to cry!
attttttttttttttttttttttttttttappreciated it unless I saw him and heard in person, at night in front of the beautifully lit cathedral. Even when back the next night and met his wife. He says he plays for her!
I have just come back rom Reims where i heard Luc singing outside the Cathedeal, i must say it was magic and i did buy a CD of his.
I have not stop playing it yet as it is so good
Yeah, OK, so I am also a big fan ......! Was in Strasbourg 2 weeks ago, and was drawn like a magnet when I heard his voice. A large crowd soon gathered outside the cathederal and stood there spellbound while he sang and played. Unfortunately I won't be able to join the 'groupies' as I live in South Africa and don't venture that way too often. Bought his CD and chatted to him. He also does a couple of songs in a more conventional tenor voice on the CD I have (different cover from the ones mentioned above), but I must say its the mezzosoprano that is so special.
Yep, so there are more people around who just run into this musician and got hooked ;-).
First met him on a windy, cold day in front of the cathedral in Strassbourg. My friend and I had heard the music from afar and made a detour to find out more about it. I bought the CD at once, but at home, it didn't feel "right", something was missing (the special place, the guy, just the atmosphere).
Two weeks ago, I was on a folk festival in Lautenbach, Alsace, and very happy to see that he came on a short notice because another concert was cancelled. I wish I'd know more French, because he had a good time entertaining the audience.
The church was packed and the concert ended with long standing ovations.
I bought another CD 😉 although in doubt that again at home that special atmosphere wouldn't be there. Well, I've been listening to the CD almost every day since then and I am so happy to have two. I like very much when he uses his bariton and his counter tenor voice in the same song.
First time in Europe (American)...felt so fortunate to hear this interesting man's magical voice. Like a siren, he lured me out of my warm, dry Hotel Cardinal de Rohan in Strasbourg, on a cold, wet evening, just to listen to his melodic voice. In person, he was so charming and expressed much passion for his medieval musical art! I'll never forget him, and am so happy to have purchased his CD to share with others back in the states.
I am looking to get a copy of some of his work. I have seen him in the past when I was in France and did not buy a CD due to a lack of extra cash at the time. I would love to be able to buy one now!! Does anyone out there know how I can get a hold of one?!?!