21 June 2007

Music day / fête de la musique

Today is the summer solstice, the longest time of daylight in the year, the start of a new season that will (hopefully) bear the fruits of all the transformations, hard work, emotions we went through and experienced over the previous spring season.

Does it really matter if it is warm and sunny outside as long as it is within allowing the fruits to ripen? Of course it'd be nicer to see blue skyes, to leave the jacket in the cupboard, to go home late in the evening and meet people having a chat on their doorstep rather than being locked in behind their doors...

Today was summer solstice and it was the third "fête de la musique" in London. A celebration as we enter summer. Born in 1982 in France, it has become increasingly popular and I've heard now exists in 43 countries. According to Wikipedia, New York City was having its first one today! Never too late to bring good things in the US, even if French!

I remember the ones in France many moons ago. Anyone and everyone out in all cities, towns or villages either listening or playing, singing or dancing or laughing, really celebrating summer and music. People would get their "reserved" area (on a first come first serve basis!) on a pavement, in the corner of a square and they would start playing. There was no rule, you just couldn't get it wrong. You'd hear the 5 years old child and 20m away a group of late teenagers playing hard-rock music; carry on walking to the next street and that would become a quatuor or a choir of gospels; stop for a while if you like it, move on when you've had enough or if your legs need exercice and you'll hear religious songs before the encounter with the most fashionable rapper you've ever seen in you rlife... and the list goes on until late during the night when small groups gather together, sit down, give cigarettes to each other and feel that really, that night was even better than all previous years put together! Of course, it'll be true next year, too... What beauty, hey!

This 3rd edition in London was my first and maybe because I didn't open my heart to it, I was disappointed. Everything was extremely well organised, marquees were put up, sound systems tested, programmes were followed to the minute, you knew exactly what to expect, even the lack of enthusiasm (at least where I was tonight...). I know things are become so huge in France that programmes are put out, too with big names and professionals, too. But you'll always find that "French flair" or wild side in it that surprises you somehow and draws a smile on your face and imprints a memory in your brain. I missed that tonight!

I might take the Eurostar to Paris or Lille next year!

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