Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Solstice Music Festival . . .

The 21st of June every year in France has been for some years now bequeathed the title of "La Fete de la Musique". . . the Festival of Music . . . and in communities all over France it is the day when musicians of all stripes can pull out all the stops to get out and play in public. And plenty of the public turn out to see what's going on. I couldn't help but take a stroll around the town of Senlis this past Sunday afternoon, to see what I could see, and hear what was to be heard . . . I was not disappointed. What a scenic setting for live music ! At the west end of the Cathedrale a gentleman was doing very passable covers of James Taylor songs on an acoustic guitar . . . "Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, All you got to do is call, and I'll be there . . ."
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On the south side of the Cathedrale a jazz band was be-bopping with a beautiful backdrop . . .
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In front of the parish church another band was belting out a surprisingly fine rendition of Sweet Home Alabama . . .
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One of their spare guitars stood in front of an ancient stone wall . . . Why is the form of the Fender so appealing to the eye ??? Anyone in their right mind just wants to grab it and start JAMMIN' . . .
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The tuning keys and head of the upright bass seemed perfect to accompany the flamboyant gothic of the Cathedrale stones . . .
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30 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

Jaysus, all those churches! I guess it was Sunday afterall. Love that last photo best of all. It all looks so magical, much better than here. This week all I have seen has been sick kids, 2 of them and a pile of ironing that won't go away however much I glare at it!!

Nathalie said...

Goodness Owen you did a mighty fine job with this post. As a guitar lover you're taking us on a magic trip through musicland and your photos with the gothic church backdrops are soooo gorgeously French!
Just brilliant.

joo said...

I wish I could be there - churches look faboulou and I love live concerts. Does it take part all over France on this day?

J said...

Simply, that looks like a great way to spend a Sunday. Wish we had something like that here!

the watercats said...

*drools at the turquoise strat..... We got to get our asses there! Sunshine, architecture, other musical folks and you can set up a whole feckin stage.. that's what I call busking!..lol
love the last pic, you're right, some instruments are just meant to played in front of cathedrals!

Adam said...

Great photos Owen. I think the FdlM is much better in small places like this. Apparently in Paris it degenerated again into a big fight at the Place de la Bastille!

Owen said...

Hi Adam, thanks, I read your other mention of the FDLM in Paris, the crowds and sort of forced joy to it, I think you're right, the goings on in Paris are probably too large scale for my liking either, but Senlis was very enjoyable, easy-going, not crowded when I was there, and great music. I loved your well-researched piece about immigration too, and left a comment, but the comment got eaten up in cyberspace, I'll try to reconstruct it at your place... and congratulations to you also, for being elected to the "Perceptive Men of France" club!!! :-D

Dripping DroolingCats, that turquoise Fender had me drooling too ! for sure ! I was ready to jump on on stage witht them and give them my best contribution to Freebird ! well, I think I can almost do the rhythm part to that... but anyway, yep, there was some serious busking going on, I think we could have had a great time pub crawling ! Maybe next year you can get here ?!? 21 June, 2010...

J - Agree, any excuse to play music and get people tapping their feet is good... it was a fine day

Joo, it is pretty much all over France I think, although I'm not sure how many towns make as big an effort as Senlis does...

Chère Nathalie, Really glad you liked it... we aim to please here at the Magic Lantern, us Toads... and look, I swear, not a single naked lady, although those guitars had some lovely curves to them... ;-D (the Cathedrale of Senlis and the old St Pierre church are lovely too... have you been to Senlis ?)

Dearest Sag, keep glaring at that ironing, you just need to focus harder on it and it will vanish in a wisp of smoke... and if that doesn't work, barbecue starter fluid and a match is efficient, just don't do that inside the house, ok ?!? Sorry to here the rug rats are ill, hope they get over it fast... So, is the definition of "lucky sod" now expanded to : a young (well, relatively) 'andsome bloke (well, only in the opinion of his wife) with a camera who gets to stroll through ancient villages hearing great music in front of stunningly lovely Cathedrals" ???

To Past and Future commenters here : I wish you all could have tagged along, it was a gorgeous afternoon, perfect weather, not too hot, we could have done the snake dance through the streets of Senlis, stopping of course in various drinking establishments along the way for appropriate refreshments... :-D

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

Good Morning Owen...
That Cathedrale is a magnificent backdrop to these fine musicians and instruments... gotta love that teal and mother of pearl Stratocaster leaning on the ancient wall -- great shot taken at a perfect time of day (all great shots, for that matter!).
Dave
PS -- Floating off now... "Winter, spring, summer or fa-a-all, all you gotta do...

jeff34 said...

Salut AmigOwenpixelpote ! Alors quoi de neuf ?
Tes photos sont pas mal... mais tu tournes encore pas loin des cimetières ! ! !
Ceci dit la première a une lumière qui est réellemnet divine ! Belles couleurs et un bleu très profond !
J'aime beaucoup le mec avec son manche de contre-basse qui dépasse du cou ! La greffe a dû être douloureuse pour lui j'imagine !
Ahlala ! Ces musiciens !

A plus pixelpote ! Ah Au fait... Je crois que Loulou fait un saut par chez toi !... Grrrrrrrr ! ! !
ByeBye ! ...8:)

Margaret Pangert said...

that last photo is quite striking: gris-acier everywhere and then a lovely carved and curved piece of redwood in the forefront. the cathedral with the intricate rosace is gorgeous.
Isn't it funny that English songs-- or English words--have become the language of music all over the world? Sweet Baby James?

ostrich girl said...

Owen you were right! I did love the doll photos, as well as all your beautiful work that you captured all over France! What eye candy everywhere! I love all the grave photos and the somber but still, peaceful feeling they convey!And my favorite are the Circus pics.The one clown looks like he is smoking.I love the retro feel to the work but the colors are vibrant and alive!Your work is fabulous!
I hope you get a chance to run through my flicker to take a quick peek at my puppets. My work is going to be published this November in "Art Doll Quarterly"
xoxo Sheri DeBow

Nadege said...

The sky is so blue in the first picture. Senlis must be a pretty city. Owen, if you don't mind, can you check this "you tube". I got a bit upset by this and I think American expatriates living in France would have a better opinion than french people, whom, everyone knows, are soooo tolerant. http://soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com/

Steve said...

I love the sizzlingly clean light of these shots... can smell the summer.

alterdom said...

Hi Owen!
the last picture is really sublime!
this key wood on a heart of stone,
little fire on a heart ash...

Rain said...

I love the photos of the cathedrals!! Oh and the last photo of the top of the bass, really nice Owen. The first photo looks like Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal, I'm guessing they copied the style and architecture from the one in France!

swan said...

Goodness, this is amazing, haunting and lovely... God, your writing and photo's create in me the sensation of wanting to fly wild and free and visit these marvels. Thank you for all the inspritation!

louciao said...

Hi Owen, Sorry can't linger longer for a good tour round but have badly sprained my ankle. Just make up some complimentary things with the words, juxtaposition, hues, textures, rhythms, capture, fun in a few sentences and send them to yourself from me.

Catherine said...

what truly beautiful architectural backdrops for all that wonderful music...

The Sagittarian said...

actually I think that elevates you to 'lucky bastard" status!! (Another term of endearment in these here parts)

Nathalie said...

No Aussie tractors?

Roxana said...

before totally succumbing to France nostalgy, i hasten to say that the last picture is really good, i love it - the red is incredible on this background!

clo said...

hello Owen...beautiful shots... la derniere est ma preferée...tu aurais pu nous offrir un cliché ou l on aurait pu decouvrir ce magnifique instrument vu de face... tant pis ..l année prochaine...!! bises Owen.. amitiés...

Dedene said...

Hi Owen, I came by here through Nadege who I see has referred you back to my blog.
Anyway, your pictures are beautiful. I didn't know Senlis was so lovely.
I want the Fender too!
Take care and Happy Summer!

Denise Jelonek said...

The architecture on this church is amazing. I love these old buildings. Senlis sounds like a good time and good music too. Great angle and great photos!

Cloudia said...

Magnifique! Love the pensive guitar and the gothic bass spiral.
Aloha from waikiki-

Comfort Spiral

Lyn said...

I am so impressed by this presentation! Love the photos. It awakens a dear memory for me, when I visited Senlis. I have a post, Senlis, that I did back in March. I think you might be interested to see it..Again, thanks, for helping me to be there again!

Paris said...

That is some really good architecture of those old churches. Cool!

AmyR said...

I couldn't imagine a more beautiful setting for concerts and music in the air. The framing on the last photo is particularly wonderful...

Owen said...

**********************************
TO ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE :
Oh jeez, I am just bowled over by the warm and magical waves coming through this arctic white comment box window to all your worlds ! I usually aim for responding to comments individually, because that's half the fun, but I'm so far behind now it's not funny, and have to run to work again today.... but I am at least reading all your incredibly imaginative and shining thoughts here, and believe me, I have a big smile everytime that little digit in the comment line at the bottom of the post increments by one... to anyone new here, WELCOME, to anyone whose been here before, WELCOME BACK ! I can see you all loved the architecture and music here, you're just going to have to come to Senlis next June 21st for the next one... okie doke ???
*** THANK YOU *** MERCI BCP *** GRACIAS ***
and have a grand weekend !!!!!!!
(signed : lucky bastard... as designated by the Sagittarian above...)

Lille Diane said...

Oh I think I have been chasing my tail and it's getting faster, and farther away from me.... so I sympathize with you on being busy.

These are magnificent. Oh.... you know I, too, love the stand up bass and the fender shots. I am pleasantly surprised at so many bands doing "American" songs. A song that has a great backbone will be treasured by all.

And yes, I could see you wowing the crowds on Freebird.... one of my all time favorite songs.

Thank you for the stunning tour de France.
Hugzzzz.