Black Music Odyssey

In order to extend the Great Black Music exhibition at the Cité de la Musique (March 11 - August 24, 2014), the Atelier 144 created “The Black Music Odyssey”, a new web documentary about the emergence of Pan-African awareness in music.

The Atelier 144 designed and produced this web documentary which offers an original interactive browsing through more than a hundred audio-visual contents (posters, pictures, music titles, video clips, reports, concerts/interviews excerpts, and so on).

In collaboration with

Buzzing Light


Audiovisual production
Web designs

This web documentary shows the emergence of Pan-African awareness ‒ which has often been told in music through time and space, from Africa to America and Europe ‒ through an interactive chronology where each and every historical, intellectual or epic event of this “odyssey” is the subject of a multimedia content. Designed as a time machine, the Black Music Odyssey is a “Spiral that swallows the Worlds & Days” (as Gerard de Nerval wrote in Les Chimères), a chronological, geographical interactive vortex developed in connection with the comparative timeline that was created for the Great Black Music exhibition.

Each historical event is the subject of a short movie, of a tune and its commentary, of sometimes explicit, sometimes offbeat pictures associated with events from the intellectual life of the Black Diaspora. The reason why this “time machine” goes all the way back to Black pharaohs of Ancient Egypt is that since the first trips of Afro-Americans to the pyramids in the 19th century, those stories of ancient civilizations keep on haunting the imagination of contemporary musicians, artists and intellectuals.

This Black Music odyssey is obviously subjective, yet multi-centered like a “multipolar spiral tale” ‒ as the famous Haitian writer Frankétienne says at the beginning of the web documentary.

This web documentary is available on, in partnership with France Ô, Culture Box, Radio Nova, Mondomix and Daily Motion.

Based on an original idea by Marc Benaïche and inspired by the historical thread of the Great Black Music exhibition ‒ Written by Emmanuel Parent and David Brun-Lambert ‒ Produced by Marc Benaïche and Rémi Crépeau ‒ With the voice of Soro Solo ‒ Designed by Guillaume Jacquemin and Guillaume Marais. An Atelier 144 ‒ France Télévisions Coproduction ‒ 2014 ‒ with the participation of the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée).

Watch the web-documentary