It’s Fete de la Musique today, when bands, choirs, shower singers – whoever wants! – take to the streets and make song.
I wish I had time to go frolic, but I’m in a flurry of activity getting ready to leave for the States. I’m looking forward to it (I mean *really* looking forward to it), but it’s going to be intense. I fly into New York right into weekend wedding fun, then travel up to Vermont for my final writing residency of my MFA program. I’ll be giving a lecture on James Baldwin’s time in Paris, as well as giving a reading, in addition to the workshops, readings, and lectures that already comprise the packed 10-days of residency.
I’ve been cleaning all day getting my apartment ready for friends & renters who will be staying while I’m away. I popped out for some errands, and the music party had already begun. A rock drummer was tapping out beats in my corner cafe. At a bar down the road, a rock band was setting up equipment and testing their sound. Across the street in front of the Indian restaurant a Music and Meditation yoga group was chanting.
A young man (he actually was tall, dark, and handsome) from the group saw me eyeing the information they had put out (the word “free” usually gets me to stop) and he asked if I wanted the “experience” of meditation.
Um, maybe, I said.
How about now? he said.
I can’t right now, I said.
Ok, he demurred. I’m sure he thought I was just trying to get away. Maybe I was – but should I have told him that my frozen food from Picard (last minute dinner!) was melting away? True!
In any case, I could do with some meditation. But no time for that. (The irony, I know. I’m too stressed to meditate. Kidding, kidding.)
I was happy for the musical experience with 3 different groups all within one block of my house, even if it was incredibly brief.
My updates will be spotty (if they happen) over the next few weeks while I’m away.
I’ll leave you with this, then, as it is Fete de la Musique.
I stumbled onto the song “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver a few weeks ago. As you know from my Catharsis Catalogue, once I find a song I like, I listen to it repeatedly. That led me to looking up more music from the artist and I found this clip of a guerrilla street performance in Paris!
If the a cappella isn’t doing it for you, skip forward to 3:20 – it’s kind of classic when the camera turns and you see all of these French people who have gathered to watch the performance.
The trio then hits the Paris streets. All I have to say is, if Bon Iver came up to serenade me in Montmartre I would not run away like those people did!
Bon Iver is best known for the debut album that he wrote in a cold Wisconsin winter. From the sorrowful sounds, it was most definitely the music produced from a gut-wrenching breakup. But some beautiful music came out of it, and tipping a hat to the chilly season, he went with the name “bon iver” thinking this was the French for “good winter.” (Phonetically it is. Bon Hiver would have been correct, but heck, who am I to say anything about a missing ‘h’? My written French needs some work).
Without further ado, here:
If you can’t get enough, you can listen to Bon Iver’s new album over at NPR’s First Listen until June 23.
But the main thing: have a great start to your summer. Happy solstice!