Tickets go on sale this Saturday at noon.
Exclusive pre-sale for Spectra Newsletter subscribers: starts today!
Montreal, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - It’s a Francofact: Les FrancoFolies de Montréal have always offered artists the ideal opportunity to take artistic risks, try out new things, offer the unexpected and previously unseen, to dive right into the unknown… and take a willing and thrilled audience right along with them on that voyage of discovery! This 24th edition, presented in collaboration with Ford of Canada, once again offers the proof… and plenty of it! Where else can you experience a premiere from Marc Déry and a comeback for Corneille? This is where Vincent Vallières pumps up with a brass section, and the Chercher Noise project expands into an unprecedented maximized format; and this is where we applaud the return of musical fresco Les Filles de Caleb in an even more captivating and dynamic version, and experience (or re-experience) Douze hommes rapaillés, winner of the 2010 Félix for Show of the Year - Performance, in an very special presentation in the TNM the following weekend; there are concept evenings, including the poems of Jean Narrache in hip hop form, Doc Weld and Urbain Desbois, and the hip hop label Abuzive Muzik; Julien Clerc in a symphonic format, and Claude Dubois returning with his very own spectacle after a 15-year absence from the Francos; an all-female Tournée des Francos (a crew of ladies who don’t mince words!); and a changing of the artistic guard here and in Europe, starring young guns causing a sensation, or getting ready to-Salomé Leclerc, L, Aurélie Cabrel, Jimmy Hunt, Claire Denamur… Let’s also highlight an impressive European presence with Aufray, Maurane, Bénabar, 1995, Cali, Murat, Fugain and Twin Twin, to name a few. Finally, this year the Francos roll out a popular panoply of return engagements, shows that caused such a sensation that we absolutely had to add them to the program by popular demand: Catherine Major, Cœur de pirate, Philippe B, Ariane Moffatt… Yes, Diversity, Quality and Pleasure are the very special guest stars of the largest music event in the francophone world, from June 7 to 16. Tickets for the indoor shows go on sale this Saturday, April 14 at noon… although Infolettre Spectra subscribers can buy them starting today upon reception of their latest issue of the newsletter, and exclusively until Friday at 6 p.m.
A sparkling opening concert
Catherine Major - June 8, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands spectacles series) - After two sold-out and critically-acclaimed performances during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, luminous singer-pianist Catherine Major-nominated for a 2012 JUNO in the Francophone Album of the Year category (Le désert des solitudes) and a Jutra nomination for Best Original Music (for the film L’amour de Dieu)-comes to the Francos for her first headline show in Théâtre Maisonneuve, a venue equal to her talent. It’s a new opportunity to discover her magnificent album in a live format, along with her other hits, delivered with rare sensibility and astonishing passion.
5 special events celebrating musical diversity
The Francos wouldn’t be what they are without their must-see special events. Once again this year, 5 exceptional special events will thrill fans with surprises and serve up a delectable musical cocktail blending creativity, originality and daring!
Les Filles de Caleb - June 9 and 10, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands spectacles series) - After its blockbuster success in Montreal and throughout the province, the folk opera based on Arlette Cousture’s novel rolls into the Francos. Featuring lyrics, music and musical direction by Michel Rivard, the show is illuminated by a star-studded cast: Daniel Boucher, Luce Dufault, Bruno Pelletier, Marie Michèle Desrosiers, Yves Lambert, Pascale Montreuil, Catherine Sénart, Yves Soutière, Carolanne D’Astous Paquet and Jean‑François Poulin. It’s the Montreal curtain call for this high-level production, in a refreshing new version that you simply must see-or see again.
La Tournée des Francos with GiedRé, Labiur and Lisa LeBlanc - June 10, 11 p.m., Les Katacombes (Les Folles nuits SiriusXM series) - Three artists from three countries performing in the three cities presenting the three Francos: that’s La Tournée des Francos! The tour welcomes GiedRé (France), Labiur (Belgium) and new Acadian sensation Lisa Leblanc (Canada). Delicate sensibilities, be forewarned: these gals won’t be holding anything back!
Maurane and Friends - June 13, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands spectacles series) - Following the immense success of her last album, a tribute to Claude Nougaro, Maurane pivots in a decidedly jazzier vein, amply illustrated by her latest album, Fais-moi une fleur, the 14th in a 25-year career. Onstage, joined by friends including Isabelle Boulay and Roch Voisine, she’ll once again treat us to the pleasures of her deep, warm voice, one of the most beautiful in all of French chanson.
Douze hommes rapaillés - June 14, 15 and 16, 8 p.m., Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (L’Événement Air Transat series) - The show has quite simply gone into the history books: a fabulous musical rendering of the masterpieces of Gaston Miron, created at the Francos in 2008 and winner of the 2011 Félix for Show of the Year - Performance, returns to enthrall us all again. Recreating the songs from its two volumes-which have sold over 70,000 copies-the touching tribute is offered by an exceptional cadre of artists: Yann Perreau, Martin Léon, Jim Corcoran, Michel Rivard, Pierre Flynn, Vincent Vallières, David Marin, Daniel Lavoie, Louis-Jean Cormier Richard Séguin, Yves Lambert and Gilles Bélanger.
Julien Clerc symphonique. Opening act: Philippe Uminski - Closing Show - June 16, 8 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Les Grands spectacles series) - After a 14-year absence from the Francos, the French singer makes his grand return with the musicians of the OSM. Get ready for a ravishing surprise: Clerc songs specially rearranged for orchestral accompaniment. Expect music from his latest album, Fou, peut-être (featuring collaborations with legends Aznavour and Forestier alongside new-generation reps Alex Beaupain and Julien Doré), along with some of the innumerable classics from the past 40 years-Ma préférence, Femmes je vous aime, Fais-moi une place, This Melody, Cœur de rocker… Opening the evening, Philippe Uminski, the man behind the symphonic arrangements of Julien Clerc’s album and concert, presents his own new album, Mon premier amour.
The indoor program, series by series
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier and Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA, 8 p.m.
Les Grands spectacles series presented in collaboration with La Presse, 98,5 FM, Rouge 107,3 Montréal, BOOM FM and MusiMax
Along with Les Filles de Caleb and shows by Maurane and Julien Clerc, the Grands spectacles series presents:
Hugues Aufray. Opening act: Alexis HK solo - June 12, Théâtre Maisonneuve - He helped introduce us to Gainsbourg, adapted Dylan and sang Félix. He’s given us such immortal songs as Santiano, Céline, Adieu monsieur le professeur and Hasta Luego. At 82, he released Troubadour since 1948, a self-portrait album whose title points to a musical CV as long as your arm. The invaluable Hugues Aufray honours us with his first Francos appearance in 17 years! And to get us in the right mood: the irresistible hooks, dark puns and timeless pop melodies of the surprising Alexis HK, solo, winner of the 2009 Félix-Leclerc award for song (French section)!
Michel Fugain. Opening act: Aurélie Cabrel - June 14, Théâtre Maisonneuve - In 2008, the FrancoFolies handed this icon of French chanson a musical carte blanche. Four years later, he returns with his magnificent voice, melodies encoded in our collective memory, a crowd-rallying repertoire immune to the passage of time. In this North American premiere of his new show, we eagerly await such timeless classics as Fais comme l’oiseau, Une belle histoire, La fête and Bravo, Monsieur le Monde, but also songs from his new album, Bon an, mal an, marking the first time in his career that he’s written both lyrics and music-and these are undoubtedly some of his best! Opening the show, Aurélie Cabrel, eldest daughter of another icon of French chanson, makes her first appearance on a Francos stage.
Claude Dubois - June 15, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier - After 50 years of music and such iconic hits as Comme un million de gens and Le blues du businessman, Claude Dubois needs no introduction. The rocker with the velvet voice, winner of the 2007 Félix for Pop Album of the Year with Duos Dubois (among his million other awards…) is finally back-with 8 musicians and 2 grand pianos onstage-in his first complete Francos show in 15 years!
Métropolis, 9 p.m.
Les Nuits Ford series presented in collaboration with Espace musique, 96,9 CKOI and MusiquePlus
Bénabar. Opening act: Sophie Beaudet - June 8 - The worthy heir of Brel and Brassens, stylistically similar to Thomas Fersen and Sanseverino, this exceptional singer-songwriter pours his daily observations into the essence of such albums as Les risques du métier, Reprise des négociations or his latest, Les bénéfices du doute… To say we’ve been eagerly waiting for Bénabar to visit the FrancoFolies would redefine “understatement.” First up, Sophie Beaudet, winner of the contest Ma première Place des Arts in 2008, presents her very promising debut album, Garçonne.
Booba. Opening act: Manu Militari - June 9 - When this French rap legend finally makes his first Francos appearance after 17 years in the biz, 5 solo albums and over one million copies sold, that’s what we call an Event! Élie Yaffa, better known under his stage name Booba, has won over everyone with lyrics of rare quality and albums of the calibre of Lunatic, released in 2010. To open the evening, none other than the “heavyweight champ of Québécois rap,” Manu Militari, whose latest album, Crime d’honneur, was awarded the 2010 Félix for Hip Hop Album of the Year.
Ariane Moffatt. Opening act: Franck Deweare - June 10 - After her spectacular première in the Rialto, Ariane Moffatt is back at the FrancoFolies to unveil MA, the sublime 4th album that conquered the critics! It’s the perfect opportunity to catch Ariane at the zenith of her creative powers, as ably illustrated on the album, blending electronica with more acoustic textures. Sheer delight! Opening the evening, Franck Deweare jumps into the FrancoFest with a debut album in the language of Molière!
Cœur de pirate - June 12 (opening act: David Giguère) and June 15 (opening act: Jali) - An instant Star the moment her debut album was released 3 years ago, Béatrice Martin leaves no doubt that she’s here to stay with the songs on her latest, Blonde, released in November 2011-one of the hits of the year from the minute its hooky first single Adieu hit the airwaves. Winner of a Victoire de la musique, the woman who lit up the Place des Festivals at the 2010 Francos returns to us for the last time before she becomes a mom, with a new show in Métropolis. On June 12, the opening slot belongs to the lovely lyrics and authentic music of David Giguère, while on June 15, we’ll welcome back Jali, so warmly received this past winter during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.
Thomas Fersen. Opening act: Brigitte - June 13 - In 2010, he pulled off a brilliant gamble, setting a packed Place des Festivals dancing madly during a massive free outdoor Francos show… armed, for the most part, with nothing more than a ukulele! With a new album released last March, Je suis au paradis (also featuring his Québécois pal Fred Fortin, producer of his previous album), he continues to amaze us with his new direction. It’s a true pleasure to once again welcome back this gifted and unconventional artist, equal parts Tom Waits and Prévert! Opening the evening, female duo Brigitte unveil the songs that made them live discovery of the year at the 2012 Victoires de la Musique!
Radio Radio. Opening act: Twin Twin - June 14 - The hottest Acadian hip hop crew returns to the FrancoFolies with a brand new album, Havre de Grâce-a cocktail of beats wired up with jazz and funk for an evening of contagious fun! And to warm up the room, it’s none other than Twin Twin, the unhinged crew fusing slam, electronica and hip hop into much more than a concert: it’s an energy bomb from start to finish! The best party in town!
Zaz. Opening act: Merlot - June 16 - Her cheery, celebratory, danceable tunes had us under their spell from the very first listen. And that sibilant name… Zaz: an “Open Sesame” throwing wide the windows on a wonderful world of chanson, jazz, funk, blues, etc… It’s already been two years since this young siren, compared to Piaf-that voice…-visited us with her self-titled debut album. It’s been on a constant loop in these parts ever since. We’ll be absolutely thrilled to welcome her back, this time in Métropolis. First up, from France, get ready for whacked-out dandy Merlot and his fab rap-folk-reggae-blues.
Club Soda, 7 p.m.
Tendances series presented in collaboration with CIBL 101,5 Radio-Montréal
Jean-Louis Murat. Opening act: Jimmy Hunt duo - June 8 and 9 - By popular demand, Murat returns two years after his last stop at the FrancoFolies, when he rolled out Cours ordinaire des choses, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, the Auvergne native and faithful companions Fred Jimenez and Stéphane Reynaud bring us Grand Lièvre, 10 songs recorded in near-live conditions, with touches of electric piano here and there and, surprise, a male chorus. Superb. Opening the show, Jimmy Hunt, in a duo, returns to the Francos with country-tinged folk, halfway between French chanson and romantic blues. We love it!
Vincent Vallières, Vallières au coin de la rue. Opening act: Éric Goulet solo - June 10 - Having spent the year on the road with his intimate show Vallières au coin de la rue, Vincent stops by the Francos to give us a chance to experience it! Better yet, the Sherbrooke native-whose last album Le monde tourne fort was certified platinum and whose song On va s’aimer encore was awarded the 2011 Félix for Pop Song of the Year-pumps up the sound with a horn section! Opening the evening, the talented and prolific Éric Goulet performs solo for the first time at the Francos.
Philippe B and the Quatuor Molinari, L’intégrale des Variations fantômes - June 12 - Back by popular demand after two sold-out performances during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, this remarkable concert showcases a deluxe version of the album Variations fantômes, the latest from Philippe B. The samples of Vivaldi, Schubert and Tchaikovsky blended into the singer’s folk-pop will be replaced by live instrumentation courtesy of the Quatuor Molinari, with harp, oboe, trombone, double bass, flute, percussion and two sopranos. A summit of two fascinating musical words.
Marie-Pierre Arthur. Opening act: Claire Denamur - June 13 - Last year, she appeared as a special guest of Damien Robitaille and Bernard Adamus. This year, Marie-Pierre Arthur takes on her own show, in a band, with François Lafontaine of Karkwa as musical director! Three years after a debut album that introduced her, Marie‑Pierre Arthur makes her real mark on the Quebec rock scene with her 2nd album, Aux alentours, armed with addictive guitar riffs and unforgettable melodies! She’ll be preceded by Claire Denamur, whose unique style draws inspiration equally from French chanson and folk.
Corneille. Opening act: Marco Volcy - June 14 - He last visited Montreal for the Francos in 2009, when he presided over a very popular Grande fête multiculturelle. Now, Corneille is back-in a major Montreal première, no less-to present his latest album, Les inséparables, which has already sold 50,000 copies in France. What can we expect from this artist we adore and have missed so dearly? A memorable evening, and nothing less. First up, make way for sidekick and collaborator Marco Volcy, who’s already shared the stage with him many times.
1995 and Imposs - June 15 - It’s a double bill uniting the new guard of French rap with one of the most respected and influential rappers in the Québécois hip hop community! On one side, media phenomenon Undoubleneufcinq, 5 MCs and a DJ who are masters of unbridled freestyle; on the other, Imposs, named Francophone Artist of the Year at the Gala SOBA 2009. Wild rhymes and lyrics? Right this way!
Orelsan and Koriass - June 16 - These two rising stars of hip hop have what it takes to shake the Club Soda dancefloor! Dropping his direct, even provocative lyrics, French rapper Orelsan presents his latest, Le Chant des sirènes, which took home 2 Victoires de la Musique (Urban Music Album and Audience Discovery of the Year). The evening rolls on with catchy beats and lucid yet humourous lyrics from Quebec’s Koriass, here with his 2nd album Petites Victoires, accompanied by 4 musicians!
L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan), 7:30 p.m.
Tout en chanson La Presse series presented in collaboration with ARTV
École nationale de la chanson - June 7 - Created by the shared initiative of Granby Haute-Yamaska and the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, the École nationale de la chanson trains the singer-songwriters of tomorrow. Welcome 13 of this year’s graduates, performing live: Vanessa Borduas, Rose-Emmanuelle Brassard, Anaïs Constantin, John Andrew Croteau Cartier, Mathieu Desmarteaux, Maxime Déry-Baillargeon, Kora Desrosiers, Sara Dufour, Jean-François Malo, Joanie Michau, Liliane Pellerin, Alexandrine Pineault and Cathrine Pomerleau. As a bonus, enjoy sets by three very well-known previous grads: Damien Robitaille, Salomé Leclerc and Alex Nevsky!
Richard Séguin - June 8 and 9 - After teasing us with a delicious foretaste as Vincent Vallières’ special guest during a major outdoor event at the Francos last year, the legendary Quebec singer-songwriter returns with his very own show. He brings in his latest album Appalaches-the 17th in his 40-year career!-written in the purest roots-folk tradition. As fully engaged as ever, he continues to charm his audience with concerts brimming with humanity, hope and dreams. Super Séguin!
domlebo presents Chercher Noise - June 10 - When it comes to his musical film Chercher noise, hailed by the critics upon its release in spring, former Cowboys Fringants drummer domlebo loves to shake up his onstage formula. For the Francos, he’s decided to surprise fans by packing in the maximum musicians possible! Make way for Bujo, Dany Placard, Francis d’Octobre, Jipé Dalpé, Marie-Marine Lévesque, Marie-Soleil Bélanger, Michèle O., Pascal Dufour, Rémi Leclerc, Renaud Bastien, Vincent Blain and a dozen others! Just goes to show you, he who seeks Noise finds excitement!
L and Salomé Leclerc - June 12 - We’re delighted to have these two major female discoveries share the stage! The enigmatic L, winner of the 2011 Prix Félix-Leclerc in the French section, introduces us to her debut album, Initiale, working in the literate chanson tradition, with profound and poetic lyrics. Salomé Leclerc then makes her 4th appearance at the Francos, also presenting her first hugely anticipated album, Sous les arbres, likewise immediately adored by the critics. Make way for a pair of talented ladies with talent, insight and charm to spare!
Stefie Shock, En tête-à-tête - June 13 - We’ve had “groovy Shock”… now here’s the intimate Stefie, in a duet performance with his bassist Amélie Mandeville, in which the singer successfully winnows his songs down to their essence without diminishing their intensity. Rediscover the songs and, above all, the sincerity of the man behind them.
Marc Déry solo - June 14 - Marc Déry has habitually hit the Francos in a pack, whether as part of the Zébulon reunion in 2008 or in Poussières d’étoiles, the vibrant Colocs show the following year. He’s finally here solo (and in fine fettle) to present his most recent album, Numéro 4, rock with alternative and New Wave accents. This highly-awaited Montreal return will be staged by larger-than-life dramatist René Richard Cyr.
Cali, duo with pianist Steve Nieve - June 15 and 16 - Who can forget the euphoric bash he presided over in the Place des Festivals last summer? Joy and happiness, reign on: Cali is back! And this time, he’ll preside over more intimate soirees, in L’Astral, accompanied by none other than Steve Nieve, Elvis Costello’s pianist! Knowing the man as we do, he’s betting the show will pack the same punch. Whether he’s singing for 100 people or 100,000, Cali gives his all, body and soul.
Les Katacombes, 11 p.m.
Les Folles nuits SiriusXM series presented in collaboration with NIGHTLIFE.CA, CISM 89,3 FM and BANDE À PART
NSD and J’rappe tout seul quand Jean Narrache - June 8 - Brassed-out Montreal hip hop collective NSD return to the Francos with the old-school funk-rockified rap rhythms and vulgo-comic lyrics we love! At the other end of the soiree, a fabulous project from Frédéric Guindon: the poems of Jean Narrache, renowned for his verses on the urban life of proletarian French-Canadians, hip-hop-ified and performed by 9 stars of the rap scene. With Osti One & Jam (K6A), MC Phylis and Maxime Robin, Maître J (NSD), Jeanbart (Omnikrom), Jesuis Gabbo (Omnikrom), Égypto alias Toutankarton and DJ Naes alias Toast Dawg, (Payz Play Supa Deejayz).
Soirée Abuzive Muzik - June 9 - Batten down the hatches for a wild night dedicated to urban label Abuzive Muzik, prolific purveyors of beats and rhymes in the capital. It’s a who’s who of the scene that promises nothing but a blast and the best-starting with beloved collective CEA, back after a noteworthy outdoor performance in 2011 to play the house band accompanying Marième, Webster, Shoddy, Karim Ouellet and Sarahmée. Québec City, rep-ra-zent…
Doc Weld and Urbain Desbois. Opening act: GiedRé - June 12 - Calling all protesters! Doc Weld (alias Yves Desrosiers) and accomplices Mario Légaré (double bass) and Benoît Morier (drums) unite with troubadour Urbain Desbois to fire out tragicomic songs and comic tirades illustrating their exasperation with the financial scandals and other lapses in public morality so common to our era. It’s off-colour, cynical and scathing, but always hilarious. As the curtain goes up, singer-songwriter GiedRé slashes with his barbed lyrics.
WordUP ! Battle Révélation, 2nd edition - June 13 - Wielding rhymes the way Samurais wield swords, the buccaneers in WordUP ! Battle leap into verbal jousts without mercy. Below-the-belt verbal attacks, savage cutting-edge comic stabs… no holds are barred (with all due respect to the combatants’ code of honour, understand). A tremendous talent incubator, this evening recalls old school battle rap and introduces fans to the next generation of the Québécois hip hop scene.
EIFFEL and Ponctuation - June 14 - It’s a first Montreal visit for the only group with a shot at the Noir Désir crown. Eiffel is four musketeers on a mission: making the finest rock possible en français. And guess what? Mission accomplished! We can also expect several unreleased tracks from their album Foule Monstre, due in autumn. Then, brothers Maxime and Guillaume Chiasson of Ponctuation charge in with their cutting-edge garage rock, surging electric guitar and fab, danceably punky riffs!
Dissonant Nation and Les Marmottes Aplaties - June 15 - Young French trio Dissonant Nation dropped a debut EP, Sauvage, detonating a charge of explosive rock and genuine energy soaked in electric guitar. They open this evening devoted to the best rock’n'roll has to offer! Next, after a 10-year absence from the Francos, Québécois punk rock group Les Marmottes Aplaties awaken from their long hibernation and return to spread contagious good humour and party-animal energy!
Twin Twin and Orange Orange - June 16 - It’s a wild night with two completely crazy bands! Unhinged trio Twin Twin blend slam, electronica and hip hop and land on Quebec soil for the first time. They’ll share the bill with dynamic duo Orange Orange and their concept songs, featuring thermodynamic lyrics set to pop, romantic rock, electronica and fruity funk beats. After electrifying the crowd last year, they’re back this year with a new album, Tropical passion. It’s a musical B-12 booster shot to close out FrancoWeek on a perfect note!
The above is a listing of all indoor programming for the 24th FrancoFolies de Montréal; the free outdoor shows will be announced May 22.
Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon
Tickets for these concerts go on sale Saturday, April 14 at noon. Tickets will be available from the L’Astral box office (305 Ste Catherine St. E.) and from the Métropolis box office (59 Ste. Catherine St. E.), or from Admission and Ticketmaster (admission.com and ticketmaster.ca, 1 855 790‑1245), excluding those concerts presented at Place des Arts (175 Ste. Catherine W., available at 514 842‑2112, at 1 866 842‑2112 or at laplacedesarts.com) and at Club Soda (1225 Saint-Laurent Blvd., clubsoda.ca or 514 286-1010).
The return of the Rendez-vous Pros des Francos!
The Rendez-vous Pros des Francos are back for a 2nd year! Presented thanks to the support of Musicaction, SACEM, SOCAN and SODEC, the event gathers over 150 professionals from the music and concert industries (programmers, agents, managers, Quebec and foreign media) for a week, to encourage exchanges between all francophone countries.
This year, the Rendez-vous Pros will be held from Monday, June 11 to Friday, June 15, offering not only up-and-coming talent showcases, but also cocktails for accredited professionals, but also new workshops on hot topics that concern the industry.
Everything you need to know about the Francos
The free Official Pamphlet for the FrancoFolies contains all information concerning the 24th edition of the FrancoFolies de Montréal. It is available, starting today, from concert halls, most record and bookshops, public venues and major businesses in downtown Montreal. Outside of the metropolitan region, you can order a pamphlet by mail. All information is also available by calling the Info Francos line at 514 876‑8989 or, toll-free, at 1 855-FRANCOS. Web surfers are cordially invited to visit francofolies.com. Get the jump on the crowd by subscribing to the Spectra Newsletter (infolettrespectra.ca), and have all the news on this year’s FrancoFolies de Montréal shows delivered to your home.
It’s a date! The 24th edition of the FrancoFolies de Montréal will run from June 7 to June 16, 2012.
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