13 avril 2015

Versailles and Vienna

                You might vaguely remember these posters. The music school organized a concert at the beginning of February whose theme was "the Royal Celebrations of Versailles". It was such a success - the first classical concert of the year, so 250 people came - that the university centre in Mayotte bought the concert too. We repeated the concert in the university amphitheatre at the end of last month. I don't think I've ever made so big a mess of a concert, and I wasn't the only one.... [Lire la suite]
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09 février 2015

Still playing.

                   On January 24th, we had our Annual Fest-Noz. With capital letters. It's a huge and terrifyingly-organized evening centred around Breton music and dancing, it needs so much work put into it that there is only one per year (compared to several per week in every region of mainland France) and it attracts a disproportionate number of people of which about a fifth come from Brittany. This year, it was held in a room which is half covered by roof, half exposed to... [Lire la suite]
16 juin 2014

Music

            I've been playing quite a bit of music recently.                  On May 31st, I was roped in to play "film music", which was a new one for me. Mostly cartoon themes such as Some Day My Prince Will Come, Popeye or The Bare Necessities, but the odd tune from films such as The Sting or Black Cat White Cat. The idea was to videoproject extracts from films and cartoons, and play the theme tunes live at the same time. This required quite a... [Lire la suite]
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24 mars 2014

Two Classical Concerts Went To Market...

         This week-end and last week-end, there were two concerts. Not the same one repeated but two different ones. The common denominator was the music school director's sister, Odile, who plays first flute in the Avignon orchestra and who sings too. She was in Mayotte on holiday for ten days, so they wanted to show her off as much as possible while she was here. She and the cellist, Kerstin, a Swedish lady I've already played with a couple of times and who is lovely, have been working together for the... [Lire la suite]
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17 février 2014

Playing the violin on stage.

            On the first day of February, the music school in Mamoudzou held its second classical concert. We'd managed to bring together quite the orchestra, with different - complementary - instruments, and different nationalities. One of the violinists was French, the other was Mexican. The violist was Greek and the cellist Swedish. Clarinetist and trumpeter were French, the girl on the recorder was English and the lad on the piano and organ was an Algerian Jew. We also had a couple of pupils from... [Lire la suite]
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09 décembre 2013

Notre Dame de Fatima

                   The last big classical concert we had in Mayotte was with the Nomad Baroque group who had come for a few days to play. They had invited the music school classical orchestra as well as several other musicians to play with them, including me. This time, it was OUR concert. I remember playing in churches before as a music school pupil, along with all the other music school pupils, but this was the first time I took part in a concert as a professional musician. ... [Lire la suite]
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22 avril 2013

Musical Boats

                                    It's name is the M'zouazia. Its construction started in 2006, and it was put into water for the first time in November 2011. Built by a man called Nicolas Hilly and his family, the construction took place in the village of M'zouazia in the south of Mayotte. Its first immersion was such an event, after so many years of construction, that the whole village and as many other people who wished to come... [Lire la suite]
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04 mars 2013

Aria Sopra la Bergamasca

                    That was fun. I hadn't played in a "real" concert for ages. The sort of concert where you're in a church, everybody on stage is dressed in black and the atmosphere is very serious. You're not supposed to laugh, cough, say anything or even look anywhere except at your sheet music or your fellow musicians. Performers and audience all hastily clear their throats and take photos between movements or pieces. I love it. The main music-related events I've played at... [Lire la suite]
07 mai 2012

Music in Mayotte

            We've been to a few concerts recently, to find out what the local music is like. First of all came Rossy, whose poster attracted P because of the accordion. Arrived at the concert a quarter of an hour before it was supposed to start, which seemed reasonable at the time. When we got there, the group was just finishing balancing the different instruments. As the concert was held in a café, a lady suddenly jumped up and started going round everybody who was there,... [Lire la suite]
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