Okay, I'm Romanian.

And your name?

My name? Radu.

What is music to you?

The music of Paris, the waltzes of Paris, the tangos of Paris.

So older music?

Yes. I worked in music in Romania now I work in music in Paris.

And how did you start playing the accordion?

I have been playing for 10 years, since school.

Who’s your favourite musician?

[Radu starts to play the accordion again]


Scroll down to see Radu serenading passers by and take a listen to other musicians in the centre of Paris.

Music fills the streets of Paris, whether it’s the sounds spilling out from a bustling bar or a celebration taking to the streets, there’s something to tune into around every corner. Often reality meets expectation and you’ll be greeted by an accordionist of exemplary skill, waltzing through the French classics to the delight of a crowd of tourists.

This accordionist set up in the middle of Pont d’Arcole. His tunes flooded the street without a break but his temperament didn’t wain, a twinkle always clear in his eyes. Musicians are scattered around the monuments of Paris, serenading swathes of tourists with recognizable tunes.

The undeniable influence of the classics is still very apparent in France. Songwriters like Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferré and Serge Gainsbourg would delight in the popularity their compositions enjoy in Paris today. If you were to read into the affection the people of Paris have for Edith Piaf's Je ne Regrette Rien you might think regret was a rare phenomenon in this city.

As the musicians play in the streets above, the Métro rumbles on beneath the streets of the French capital. Sometimes the two worlds collide with impromptu underground concerts.

The sounds and textures of the Paris Métro play an important role in safeguarding the identity of Paris. The familiar clunking of metal doors, art déco entrances and echoing tiled tunnels ring true of a city rooted in its heritage. To some people the affection for tradition is the real magic of Paris, to others it reflects a darker attachment to times gone by; a city held back from moving towards a brighter future.