Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

La Fête de la Musique

La Fête de la musique
Thursday June 21, 2007
It started in 1982 when the Culture Minister Jack Lang and the city of Paris invited amateur musicians to come out into the streets between 8:30 and 9 p.m. to improvise a celebration of the beginning of summer. It was an unexpected success, with the Paris Opera Orchestra playing on the plaza in front of the opera house and great numbers of musicians playing way beyond that little half hour.


It must have struck some primitive chord, some pagan need to usher in the new season, to witness the shortest night and the arrival of the warm summer sun. It has grown to an enormous popular festival. Melodies and riffs can be heard coming down every street and around every corner, intertwining into a great cacophony of ebullience and excitment. The crowds are everywhere singing shouting, dancing, drinking. The music dies down around midnight, but the crowds stay on, gathering in clumps of shouted laughter, in surging waves of rowdiness. This is Paris, and the youthful populace seems constantly on the verge of revolution, but somehow the energy is contained, controlled, the haphazard encounters curtailed just this side of chaos. Finally in the wee hours of the littlest night, fatigue and the surprising last remnant spring chill in the air set in and the kermesse is over. The crowds wander home, to sleep with the confidence that tomorrow will dawn that much warmer and sunnier than yesterday.


May 4, 2009 - Posted by | happenings, music | , , ,

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