Posts Tagged ‘Fêtes at les Sarziers’

Charlie meets Roger

August 21, 2018


After the massive success of Swing aux Sarziers last August, we had considered taking a break from our annual summer concert. But then our friend François told us that some of the tour dates for his group Latin Bird had been cancelled. Would we be up for a concert, in which Markus would be playing all of the second set? You don’t refuse an offer like that!

François is an amazing musician, who plays double bass and heads up several jazz groups, exploring different styles. For Latin Bird, his idea was to re-work Charlie Parker tunes in Latin and Cuban rythms, with Linda, his wife on keyboards, Pierre on a specially adapted and pretty amazing percussion set and a brass solo instrument (usually Selim on saxophone in homage to the legendary “Bird”).


The result is intoxicating and unpredictable, and they kicked up a veritable storm at les Sarziers last Saturday night. Everyone, including Markus, was on top form and around a hundred people enjoyed a memorable evening of music, followed by the traditional buffet dinner under the chestnut tree.

Our neighbour Claude did a one-man animation du parking with his bass clarinet and cymbal contraption and Julien, a guitarist newly arrived from Belgium, performed a couple of solo numbers to start the evening off.

People often comment on how beautiful the setting is for these concerts. The musicians love their perfomance space in the calabert and the great accoustics, whilst the audience enjoys settling down in the lovely summer courtyard as the moon rises, the bats flit about, the stone walls glow gently in the fading light and the music takes over everything.

Guests also tell us how much they enjoy mingling and chatting to old friends and new in the interval and during dinner. It is true that the atmosphere is quite unique and, as we were mulling things over later we were struck by the hugely diverse range of people who gather for such events round here.


As you can see there are always quite a few children, either with their parents or brought by the grandparents with whom they are staying for the summer. Ages range from under two (hello Boris!) to well over eighty and our guests included a vet, a mason, two poets, a psychiatrist, an electrician, a winegrower, a painter, a translator, cheese makers, teachers, social workers, blacksmiths, photographers, philosophers …..
and ….
in an absolute first ….
our neighbour Roger!


Yes, there he is, accompanied by two neighbouring ladies, sitting on three of his four kitchen chairs, up on his field above the courtyard wall. Roger is extremely shy and has never accepted our invitation to join us for a concert but this time Anne-Marie managed to persuade him out, and even to come down and sit in the courtyard for the second half. We haven’t seen him since, but we are delighted that he came and from the big smile on his face and enthusiastic applause, we are pretty sure that he had a good time.

PS The following morning we had a gig with a different group to kick off a Swing Dance Festival in Vernoux. I don’t know how we managed it but Markus swung that trumpet, I sang and we all had a great morning in an enchanting little square, playing for the local café crowd and and a bunch of talented and enthusiastic dancers.

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PPS we’ve just received a some great photos of the concert (merci Margote!) here they are.

Gammes, Gamay …

July 25, 2018

Yes I know, these blog posts are like London buses: nothing for weeks and then they all come along in a row.  Its not that there’s nothing to say, rather too much going on!

Brice and Lisa, our neighbours, were far too busy in the vineyards to make it to the concert unfortunately.  The long wet spring meant that the vines – and the weeds – were growing great guns and they have been out working all hours to keep things under control.  More of that later.

Instead, Brice dropped off a case of their 2017 cuvée, the bottles beautifully inscribed.  The word games are very clever, but difficult to translate, for example un carton means a case (of wine) but also a huge success.  Other jokes revolve around Gamay (his main varietal) and gammes (musical scales) and the sound of Markus rehearsing, which he could hear floating across the meadows as he toiled in the vineyard.

But for all you French speakers out there, here they are.  We were very touched, and his wine, by the way, is excellent!

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Photo credits: Markus

Photomontage: Brice Banchet

Echoes from April

July 23, 2018

Faithful readers may be wondering how Carla’s concert went.  It’s taken a while to get hold of these great photos (merci Gerald), which give a good idea of the atmosphere.  It was a hugely successful event, with full houses for both dates and a powerful experience for all of us.  Carla is a tremendously engaging performer – as you can see – and the audience loved her music.

 

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We are still waiting for an audio file of the concert, but meanwhile, here is the text of one of the songs – words by Elena Hoyer, set to music by Carla and sung by Kate.

Corridor 

Down the corridor of my family tree

Hidden skeletons silently beg

to come into the light,

Like dangerous fireflies

And then . . .

 

So let’s take a walk down memory lane,

The longing of a long forgotten land

Exile – and dreams to come.

The rising of a fuller moon

So far . . .

 

So many times – You cried and bled and fled away

My dear Elders – I swear I’ll try to heal your wounds

Leave it to me – I’ll find a way to set us free.

Open the book –

Where do I fit in?

Where do I belong?

I am the black sheep,

I’m the question mark,

I’m the bearer of tomorrow and the early morning star . . . .

                                                                                                dancing on chaos.

 

Down the corridor of my family tree

Forgotten heroes send me strength

And hope – For my blue days,

The falling of the golden leaf

And yet . . .

 

So let’s take a walk down memory lane

I see their shifting shapes dissolving . . . .

Silence – heaven and back

Leaving behind a trail of roses

For me.

Photo credits Gerald FAY

Carla at les Sarziers

April 20, 2018

Preparations are well underway for our upcoming concert next week end!

Our friend Carla will be performing her own compositions for piano, and what started out as simply “Carla dans la Grange” has grown into “Carla De Preter and Friends”.  She has arranged some of her pieces as duos for clarinet, violin or with Markus on trumpet and has also composed settings for poems written by our mutual friend Elena, some of which Kate will be singing.

For a taste of Carla’s musical style, click here.

We’re looking forward to a great event, and meanwhile Markus is doing a fine job adjusting the piano.

(By the way Roz, have you noticed the Tee Shirt?)

It ain’t necessarily so – Jazz n’Cakes

September 19, 2016

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The little dog is Philibert Froidevaux who we purchased (or was he a free gift?) about 25 years ago at the Arlebosc bakery together with a baguette.  As we did not know what to do with him, we stuck him into a small hole in the outside wall by the house steps.  A few days ago a guest asked me “Did you notice there is a dog in the wall?”

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This gave me the idea to make him the star of my first Jazz video clip based on last weeks Jazz n’Cakes concert.  After a quarter of a century being rained on, he still looks the part!

So here is the link              It ain’t necessarily so – Jazz aux Sarziers

Kate is working on a Rhone Cruise so it is up to me to keep you informed about our last event at Les Sarziers.  Jazz n’Cakes was a great success, with over 70 people attending and no cake crumb left at the end of the evening.  Here are a few pictures …

 

Baking started three days before the concert and by Saturday afternoon the “n’cakes” part of the evening was ready.

 

 

The barn had to be cleared and the seating to be set up and an hour before the concert – between a bite to eat, getting the drinks ready (and washing the hair) we moved the piano from the sitting room to the barn (Thank you Brice).

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… and then the show started

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The night was beautifully warm and many stayed until ’round Midnight.

PS.       Don’t forget to watch Philibert in his star role.

 

Canti Sognanti at les Sarziers

July 23, 2016

Giulia and Elida

The evening was an enchantment, as we knew it would be.

The weather was perfect; a delightful collection of people gathered and enjoyed an apéritif in the garden, a delicious ‘auberge espagnole’ dinner and dessert in the calabert after the concert.

For those of you who were not able to join us, and for those who did, Markus has put together a short video which gives a flavour of the magical voices of Canti Sognanti and their wonderful performance at les Sarziers.

Markus really does not have the right software for this kind of thing, so he’s not entirely pleased with the result, but he’s done a pretty good job all the same.  (Be sure to have the volume right up and headphones or speakers!)

Many thanks to Manu for the sound recording, and the photo.

And to Catherine, Elida and Giulia: Grazie mille!

Here’s the link

 

The Barn Floor One Year On

August 23, 2015

1 exhibition

Assiduous readers of this blog will recall that last year we demolished the rotten barn floor and put in a new one.

In the backs of our minds we had the idea of creating an indoor space in case of bad weather for our annual concert, but of course very soon the barn was once again filled with paint pots, matresses, circular saws, old doors and stuff in boxes from Paris, all coated in the usual dust and cobwebs.  Added to which the birds had no intention of changing their habits and continued to build nests, for which they seem to need a lorry load of moss, most of which they drop inconsiderately over everything beneath their flight path.  So in a way it was a relief that the weather was gorgeous for the concert with Toss the Feathers on August 7th. But somehow we were frustrated not to be able to inaugurate the place, so we decided to hold last Friday’s music workshop in the barn – and as it culminated in an open concert we took advantage of the occasion to set up an exhibition of photos by Markus’s godfather.

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After a week of clearing up and cleaning up, we were finally ready to hang a selection of photos and prepare a catalogue.

The musicians arrived for lunch . . .

6 lunch musicians

Then they got down to thrashing out the repertoire . . .

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Jazz to Folk is pretty challenging . . . .

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and there’s a lot to keep in your head . . .

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After dinner in the kitchen, the saxophonist finally arrives . . .

8.1. late arrival of sax

And we’re ready to go!

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Music Snapshots

August 13, 2015

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As usual it has been all go on the music front for the last few months.  We have heard Italian polyphonic traditional singers, Brazilian Jazz, Irish music, a Chamber Quartet, an Argentinian Tango Duo, Italian Country and Western (!) and much else besides.  Here are a few snapshots of our musician friends, many of whom Markus plays with in concert. (It’s worth clicking on each photo to get a better feeling for the events!)

Toss the Feathers at les Sarziers

Toss the Feathers at les Sarziers

With Anne Sila, star of The Voice

With Anne Sila, star of The Voice

Vincenzo Solo at les Sarziers

Vincenzo Solo at les Sarziers

At Marie Café with Perette of Toxic Frogs

At Marie Café with Perette of Toxic Frogs

Akoustik Trio at Le Trouillet

Akoustik Trio at Le Trouillet

 

Afro Jazz at la Ferme Thé

Afro Jazz at la Ferme Thé

Our next big day is on August 21st when we are getting a group of them together at Les Sarziers for a workshop followed by a concert called Jazz2Folk.

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Marie Café Photo Credit: Eva Villien.  All others K+M

A quiet day in the country

July 30, 2014

Well it actually started the evening before at the magnificent Grange de Clavière at St Agrève, which hosts a classical music festival every summer. We were entranced by the superb Quatuor Capriccio, (seen here in rehearsal a few days later) playing Schubert and Mendelssohn and had the opportunity to compliment them in person at a very convivial reception after the concert.

We got home at 2 a.m. and were up again at 6 to get ready for the brocante in Lamastre. We arrived at around 7.30 – one of the last stalls to set up – and laid out our assortment of bits and pieces in a very cheerful atmosphere. At around 9.30 the event organisers paraded this splendid pogne , hot from the oven of Thierry the baker, through the market stalls and we were all invited for a slice with a cup of excellent coffee.

As the morning wore on our stock diminished pleasingly. We were particularly happy that some loved but superfluous items went to charming people who were delighted to find them. It is nice to imagine pieces going to a good home and enjoying a new lease of life. Many friends stopped by to chat or pick up something from the stall, (one of them seized on my past histories of the Archers and has happily spent the last few days in Ambridge) but by one o’clock all right-thinking people were à table and it was time for us to pack up and get going. Back to les Sarziers and a quick change of pace as we set up for the concert with Kalynda and Vincenzo Solo.

This was a bit of a gamble for us as, unlike last year’s Jazz aux Sarziers which was a private party, this was a semi public event. People had been asked to bring along something to eat and drink and we had no idea how it would all work out nor how many people to expect. In the event around 70 guests showed up, including friends, neighbours and quite a number of people we had not met before or who were staying in the area and had heard about the concert on the grapevine.

The evening was a spectacular success with wonderful music and great, friendly atmosphere. The supper contributions were plentiful and inventive and everyone chipped in setting out the buffet and organising the drinks.

Although both Markus and I were flying around all evening – he also performed with Kalynda on five numbers! – we made new friends and caught up with old ones. Les Sarziers worked its magic once again and before we knew it we realised that it was two in the morning . . .

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And they say the pace of life is slow in the country!

The Year in Pictures

December 14, 2013

2013 was a great year at les Sarziers.  Changes, renewals and some memorable events made for a very special twelve months.  January kicked off with the new Doghouse roof and the final touches to the restored garden.  In the Spring we welcomed several Walksweeks groups who enjoyed fantastic weather and perfect walking.  Then there was the usual buzz of the Ardéchoise, which passed through Arlebosc for the first time this year.  The big event in June was the return of the Mastrou and the start of our regular Tuesday trips to Lamastre on the market train.  July saw the publication of Welcome to the Free Zone and all the excitement and events associated with the launch.  But the absolute highlight of the year was without doubt the wonderful celebration of 25 years at the house with Jazz aux Sarziers on August 4th.

We have lots of exciting plans for next year – watch this space!

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year and we hope to see you soon with us at les Sarziers.

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