The Chef walks up in front of the orchestra and, with the descent of his baguette the playing begins.
I find it very funny that a Conductor is called a Chef and his baton is called a baguette (although none of the Chefs use one. They just direct with their hands).
I also find it interesting that they actually call the notes of the scale do re mi etc. (as in The Sound ofMusic ) so whenever they say fah to describe the note they are talking about everyone knows which one they mean (except me, of course).
Language continues to be a problem and particular dialects make it even worse. Some Chefs I cannot understand a single word they say.
But music? Aahh…..this is a universal language that is very powerful and moving and essential in my Life. There is nothing like the feeling of playing and Living Like You Mean It and giving it all you’ve got. There’s a lot of risk involved. You must be willing to play some wrong notes, to experience dissonance and to boldly continue anyway. For me it’s worth the risk. I’d rather be creating the harmony than just listening on the sidelines.
These are some of the pieces that have stuck with me while here:
A l’enterrement de ma grandmere by Sanseverino
This catchy tune is the commencement song first heard daily around 11:30 am. Hearing this song ( The Funeral of my Grandmother) heralds the beginning of aperitif time for the Chefs who eat bar snacks (chips etc) while tossing back a Ricard (a licorice flavored annisette liquor with ice and water) or whiskey etc.
The drinking capacity of these French Chefs is amazing! At least 2 strong drinks while listening to music and maybe discussing subjects related to the band camp before lunch are followed by a small carafe of red wine for each person with lunch…….which is followed by more drinking in the afternoon, wine with dinner, and drinking all night until 5am!
Quand on na que l’amour by Jacques Brel www.youtube.com/watch
This emotionally charged song When you Have Nothing but Love sung by a famous singer in the 50’s is also played duing the drinking sessions while everyone sings along. Celine Dion
and other artists have performed this song but I am in agreement that Jacques Brel is the best.
Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jaques Brel www.youtube.com/watch
This one Don’t Leave Me would make anyone want to cry in their beer; but good luck finding one. They only serve the hard stuff here!
Tango pour Claude www.youtube.com/watch
Each time the accordionist begins to play during rehearsal with the arrangement for wind instruments and we play with her I have to say to myself ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry! Play! But each time my eyes fill up with tears anyway. Hearing the accordion brings out emotions in me that I cannot name.
And then I think ‘Amazing! I am in France playing with French musicians! I am so thankful to be here! Imagine if I had not had the guts to ride up to the trombone player when I was on my bike that day I would not be here!
It’s easy to notice major decisions in our lives and the obvious impact they have while small, even seemingly inconsequential decisions or chance encounters can have big results and alter , enrich or even change our journey along the way.
I have figured this out in my crazy life. Each day actually is an adventure! So I try to make sure I am Ready and Show Up and Be Present for My Life .Even difficult experiences make the story that is My Life a more interesting read!
So each time I walk out the door I can’t help but wonder what will happen next, who I might meet, and what amazing conversation I might have. And you know what? I am never disappointed!