Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fête de la musique 2008

OK, you may think it's not very original to post a photo of the Fête de la Musique as you probably experienced it yourself in your own country (if you look at these posters, you'll see that it took place in more than 100 places all over the world). You may not know, however, that it was "invented" in France (by Jack Lang, a former French culture minister) in 1982. Principle? Very simple: on June 21 (which is also the longest day of the year in the north hemisphere) everyone can play music in the street, in gardens, places... or churches' backyards like in this photo, that I took near Saint Séverin church. It looks like the virgin Mary too, is enjoying La fête de la musique!


  1. Yes, phx-cdg wa stalking about this. So exciting, and I wish I was there to enjoy it! Good on Jack Lang.

  2. Delightful photo of this event; I can almost hear the singing! I like all the red outfits, especially since the statue decided to wear such drab attire for the occasion. Bravo M. Lang for starting this!

  3. Oops -- wa stalking?? Whatever, you know what I meant. I hope you all (Eric & M et Mme Phx) had a super time.

  4. Alexa I was wondering if phx-cdg added wa to her route, and who she was stalking! This is how rumors get started don't you know. Congrats on the GF though!

  5. It's clever the way you caught the back of one of the more avid listeners, enthralled and frozen in her tracks as if she had been made of stone. (As if? Ha!).

    Alexa! You did it again!

  6. It looks so fun! A day to sit in the breeze and enjoy Paris and music.

    Pasadena is one of the cities where the Fête de la Musique is going on today. I was out taking pictures and saw one of the stages, but not much going on.

    It's 101 degrees F here (38.3 C). Unfortunately for la Fête, people are staying inside.

  7. Petrea, we've been having hot weather thunderstorms up here, if you can believe it! We almost never get those.

    I found no such festivities here in Willits. We have lots of musicians too, but I'll bet there are lots of private Solstice observances going on.

  8. Eric...where there's music there's joy! Didn't know about the history of the festival and Mr. Lang. Staying in Paris is such an much history which is documented on signs et al(which I appreciate); if you leave it having learned nothing then you weren't paying attention. True as well with PDP...a great education. Merci!

    Petrea...I've been hearing about your heatwave in California. If I could give you some of our water to cool off, believe me I would.

  9. Elaine, those California summer thunderstorms are heavenly. I'm just hoping my pictures of the thunderheads over the San Gabriel mountains will work. It would be wonderful to have a thunderstorm (without the lightning--we're living in a tinderbox here). I miss those storms from my earlier life in the Midwest.

    Thanks, Coltrane. Yeah, yeah, I know--right now the Midwest does NOT miss storms.

  10. Faites de la musique, voila l'été!! I miss this event, wish Amsterdam and then now London where I am currently expatriated would be in the more than 100 towns/countries... Thanks for the link showing posters Eric, very interesting ! Loic

  11. Eric, I hope some day to be in Paris to celebrate the Summer Solstice. To quote Shakespeare, "Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.”

    We did celebrate Fête de la Musique here in Chicago - in a way. The rock group Chicago gave a free concert on Friday on the lake front. The concert was held at 6:30 in the morning - the faint of heart need not apply.

  12. I am just back from a cool stroll in family. We all had different way of "walking" : (rollerblading for my eldest who never ceases to amaze me, feeling so at her ease with rollerblades, skating for the youngest & bike).
    With the crowd (thanks to the Fête de la musique), especially when we reached the Eiffel Tower area, it was a bit hard but we all had a good time. The weather was exactly what it has to be for a first day of the Summer : warm...

    I like your last sentence, Eric : "It looks like the virgin Mary too, is enjoying La fête de la musique"!! :))

  13. David...really the band "Chicago"? Loved them (older members must be present) but at 6:30am in the morning? That's certainly a slap in the face to the band. I wonder who ticked off whom? [Still scratching head]

  14. Sounds like a great idea!! (The French have had some awesome ones--the baguette, for instance.) But this sounds like so much fun.

    Here in our area there are so many festivals, you could go from one to another without stopping most of the summer--Today alone, there was the Freedom Festival in one town, a Pig Roast in another, a historical festival in another, and an elegant car show in yet another; all within 30 miles of each other! It is easy to be overwhelmed and want to stay home, but it is also interesting to see what the different towns like to celebrate.

    Happy Summer everyone!!

  15. Coltrane, There were four original members of the band on hand and the band was having a great time. They wanted to give something back to the city where they began.They were happy to be there. That evening they had a paying concert at the same location (Norhterly Island - wahat used to be Miegs Field - a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. It is located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field.). At that concert there were more than 40,000 paying customers.

  16. Uh, Petrea, you don't get much thunder without lightning, is my thought... but we can wish!

  17. It is a very quaint setting Eric, and it smells just like Paris.

    David, To quote Shakespeare, "Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.”
    COOL! Thank you for the tip. And I should probably light a candle too.

    We have the Fête de la musique here in San Francisco. There were bands playing on the streets everywhere. They have been celebrating this event here for many years. I think it was about ten years ago when a Frenchmen here pointed it out to me. I wasn't even aware of it. Daaa?

  18. Ah, but you do get some thunder without lightning, Elaine. Not all electrical discharge from a storm is visible as lightning, so one can have thunder without it. That's what I'm hoping for here, anyway!

  19. P - You midwesterners know too much about weather, gosh darn it!

  20. David...glad to hear it. I grew up listening to that band. Danny Seraphine was/is an incredible drummer, and I know he had a falling out with the band...musical differences I guess,too bad!

  21. We also had the Fete de la Musique last night in Manila. This year had a lower turnout though, due to a typhoon. Boo!

  22. I can't believe that I had not heard of this before - sounds like a lot of fun!

    Petrea, did you see that Pasadena is representing in the posters Eric posted? All of the posters are so colorful - I love the first one and the one with the pink poodle!

  23. Nice photo Eric. Every day should be a day of music!
    Welcome to summer...finally!

  24. What a great idea Jack Lang came up with. I must find out how to get involved next year.
    I love the way Mary is positioned in this photo. It makes her seem so alive and really draws the viewer in.

  25. Well...we have been enduring a bit of a Heatwave here in SF...perfect for a "fete de la musique"...but I confused it with the release of "Beaujolais Nouveau" and now I can't find that music Lois is talking stop, "St Nicolas de Bourgueil" Bon Week-End!! ;-)

  26. Fantastic angle in this shot!

    We were in Portland and saw only one musician, a violinist, on the street. He was wonderful, though.

  27. What a lovely tradition. This photo is real Parisien summer and I would have loved to sit in the shade listening to the music.
    Did you climb the statue to get this photo Eric ?

  28. hehe. Les amis de la France here in Philippines introduced my city with this festival Fête de la musique! hehe. but i wasnt able to go. tsk3...

    hey ann pablo! here in cebu in paseo... it kept raining here too..

  29. We started at place dauphine and heard a men's chorus which was as lovely as the square. Everywhere you looked someone plunked themselves, or their group ,down to play. My favorite was on, I think it was called rue George Mirren in the Marais, where the band sounded like they were playing the samba and we just jumped in with everyone who were dancing to the beat and we all followed them along like a pied piper. Great to be alive. Nothing like this in PHX.And NOTHING like this beautiful picture!

  30. phx, SO glad you had a good time at the fete. I really do envy you being in Paris for this -- or being in Paris, period!

  31. "Ecrire, c'est rêver,
    j'écris pour toi,
    j'écris pour moi,
    j'écris pour ceux qui liront,
    et pour ceux qui ne liront pas,
    Ecrire, c'est aimer,
    j'écris pour ceux d'ici,
    ou pour ceux qui sont loin,
    pour les gens d'aujourd'hui,
    et pour ceux de demain.
    Ecrire, c'est vivre."

    That is a part of the little poem one of my daughter just told me, she has to learn for her last week at school (at least for this year, of course!). I found it beautiful and immediately thought of PDP... :) It is in French but I am sure it will be easiliy understandable for many of you.
    I wanted to share it with you even if that is very simple. Hope you won't find it too simplistic! ;)
    Nice sunday to you all wherever you are!

  32. We had every intention of going to Pasadena for Fete de la Musique yesterday, but it was over a hundred degrees, which made it impossible to walk around. We hunkered down under the air conditioner instead (watching the Netherlands lose to Russia ??!!), then headed west to the beach.

  33. Corinne..."To write is to love" and " live." Thanks for reminder, wonderfully expressed.

  34. And I thought it was some religious event, LOL! Wonderful idea to take the shot from there.

    I missed our La Fête de la Musique! Typhoon Fengshen decided to drop in on us and the venue was pretty far from where we live so we decided not to risk it. Sigh. But there's always next year!

  35. Haha! MY father and I were in Paris for just last night... and we saw the opening five minutes of the performance of the choir you photographed!

    We didn't think they were too terrific though...we saw better acts later, especially a great rock cover band on the Place D'Italie.

  36. Corinne -- "I write for those who will read it, and for those who won't read it."
    Makes me think of all the bloggers who post their photos and comments regardless. Used to think it was for ego or vanity or something like that. But since I've been coming here, I've realize that's not it at all! So now I do it too "pour ceux d'ici ou pour ceux qui sont loin" ou juste pour moi.

  37. Corinne, I love the poem. Do you know who wrote it?

    Luggi! I just emailed you. And for any other Los Angeles-area PDP fans out there, if you'd like to join up for a PDP Bastille Day get-together, please email me. You can find my email address by going to my blog and clicking on the Email me link just above my profile.

  38. I got the chance to celebrate Fete de la Musique at Narbonne Plage in 2002 -- SO MUCH FUN!

    I'd never heard of it before then. I'd love to be in Paris for it.

  39. Petrea...your new profile photo looks ferocious. Woof, woof!

  40. Coltrane, Alexa and Petrea, I am very glad you enjoyed this little text too!!

    It has been written by Geneviève Rousseau. I must say, I have never heard from her before ... I think she is well known by teachers and in school books.

    What was funny, as I wrote it before, was to hear my daughter reciting the poem and to discover it in the same time in her poetrybook. That was worth listening to... I was enchanted. Believe me that is not always the case but shhh ;))

    Alexa : 'But since I've been coming here, I've realize that's not it at all! So now I do it too "pour ceux d'ici ou pour ceux qui sont loin" ou juste pour moi'.
    Yes, I do agree.

    Last, just to be hated (please only a bit!!!), I enjoyed four Macarons from Ladurée, this afternoon. OMG, how a delight... ;)

  41. Eric, I love it that you posted a photo of the Fete de la Musique! (And yes, the angle with the Virgin Mary looking on is wonderfully engaging!) One of the things I enjoy about PDP is that I come here and feel I have a sense of what is going on in the city I miss SO MUCH. When I was in Paris, Jack Lang was the culture minister, and I remember hearing his name frequently. Friends and I enjoyed the Fete de la Musique in the jam-packed square by Saint Germain des Pres. I was also in Paris for the Fete du Cinema ... Such events remind me of how I feel LIFE when I am in Paris ... And my desire to return is intensified, if that is possible.

    David, I would be thrilled to attend a Chicago concert -- but not so much at 6:30 AM --Yikes!

    Corinne, thanks to you and your daughter for thinking of us and sharing the lovely poem!

  42. Hate you for your macarons?? Mais non! Envy you??
    Oh, yeah!!

  43. I hate to admit it but I (ahem) have never had a macaron. Shhh...don't tell Monica.

  44. That's ok, coltrane, it'll happen when you least expect it. ;)

  45. Thanks Alexa;)
    Jeff, that's a funny comparison but you may be right!!
    Coltrane, I know anyone who doesn't love them, See... :)

  46. I used uselaine's suggested Google translator and got this of Corinne's kindly shared poem:

    I write words bizarre, 

    I write long stories, 

    I write just for laughs, 

    Things that mean nothing. 

    Writing is play, 

    I write the sun,

    I write the stars, 

    I invent wonders,
    And sailing boats.
    Writing is dreaming,
    I write to you,
    I write for me,
    I write for those who read,
    And for those who will not read,
    To write is love,
    I write for those here,
    Or for those who are far,
    For people today,
    And for those of tomorrow.
    To write is to live.

    - Geneviève Rousseau

    Thanks Corinne and daughter (Corinette?)

  47. Hi Tall Gary!
    I just woke up and found your nice comment. Thanks a lot for the translation of the whole poem!
    No, my daughter's name is not Corinnette LOOOL!!!!!! It reminded me of one of my aunts who sometimes called me Corinnette when I was a child!!! Not sure I liked that much at this time but now it makes me smile :))
    Now, I have to wake up my daughters who are still sleeping. I will speak of this nice translation you've posted, and I am sure they will be very interested & kind of proud!!

  48. La fete de la musique is a great idea!

  49. Tall Gary,
    Thanks for providing the translation and poet's name! The poem has a lilting quality that is sure to appeal to kids (Corinne's!) and adults alike.

  50. " was "invented" in France by Jack 1982" - probably while he was resting from inventing the computer ;-)

  51. Ah Ham, you know how multi talented those engineer types usually are. ;^)
    Eric, this is the first I've heard of the Fete de la Musique. Seems like a wonderful idea. Here in Seattle the Fremont neighborhood has its colorful (clothing optional) Solstice Parade. . .more visual than acoustic ;^).
    Seattle Daily Photo

  52. Thanks Corinne for the poem and Gary for the translation. It should be the bloggers poem, right Alexa?

    Ham: LOOOOOL.

    Great community you've created here Eric. And I too like the photo, nice to see the V.M. having some fun for a change.