Posts Tagged ‘Kalynda’

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 . . .

6 rehearsal keyboards (1024x768)

Jazz to Folk is pretty challenging . . . .

8 rehearsal Jazz vs Folk (1024x768)

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

7 rehearsal deciding on solos (1024x768)

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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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 . . .

Kal31 (1024x768)

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

Jazz aux Sarziers

August 7, 2013

AFFICHETTE  Jazz aux Sarziers

It is 25 years since we bought les Sarziers and we had decided to mark the milestone in style.  Last Sunday we welcomed sixty plus guests to an amazing concert.   It was a beautiful summer evening and, as they arrived our friends were able to mingle whilst they sipped an aperitif and enjoyed the glorious location and views which we love so much.  Then Jazz aux Sarziers kicked off, as the sun  started to go down, with  the fabulous sounds of the Magnetic Orchestra, led by genius bass player Francois Gallix.  The musicians loved the mood and the accoustics and played a fantastic set.

After the break, the trio were joined by Markus on trumpet and his friend Hans on trombone for a second set, which ended with a surprise change of drummer, when Pierre took over, and the addition of a second trumpet played by Julien.  Markus has been working up to this event for months and is totally thrilled to have had the opportunity of playing with Francois, Benoit and Nicolas who are just a great band.

We then moved under the chestnut tree for a buffet campagnard – a relaxed dinner during which the sky changed from golden to peach and then deepening blue as the first stars appeared.  Some of our guests had not actually been to les Sarziers before and even those who had were struck by the extraordinary magic of the evening and  the enchanting setting.  Many friends had their children with them, who enjoyed playing in the garden, lounging in the hammock and running around in Roger’s field picking bunches of flowers for maman.

Markus and I were by then floating on a little cloud of happiness.  We were so touched by the generosity of the musicians and the openness and good feeling of everyone involved.  And then came another surprise, which we had hoped for but which surpassed even our expectations.

Our friend Vincent Magrini and the group Kalynda set up after supper and gave us the most wonderful hour and a half of Balkan music.  The group is led by Maria from Rumania, who works as a classical violinist in Paris but often comes in the summer to stay with Vincent and his family and make music together.  She is joined by Eric on accordeon and Jerome on second violin, with Vincent on percussion and guitar.  Their music is quite simply spectacular.  Maria’s enthusiasm and the passion of all the players had us spellbound, and some of us dancing, led by Markus’s sister and brother in law who have travelled to Rumania and learned the traditional folk dances.  With the graceful insouciance of true musicians Julien then stepped in for a few numbers.  He too is a professional trumpet player in Paris and plays, amongst other groups, with the Ziveli Orkestar.  The audience went wild, as they say.

After the applause finally died down people began to trickle away, unwilling to break the spell, but we stayed out in the courtyard, and Vincent and Jerome played for us under the stars until 4am.

Don’t forget to click on a photo to be able to see them in all their glory in a slide show.

In 1988, when we fell in love with a ruin, how could we ever have imagined such an evening?   On August 4th we celebrated the realisation of our dream – that les Sarziers should have a new life – but more than that we celebrated the friends we have made here and the exceptional creative energy, originality and generosity which surrounds us and which makes our part of the Ardèche truly unique.

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Thanks to Brice and to Kiki for the brilliant photos!


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