Saturday, 26 July 2014

Guitares en Cormatinois 2014

After a long time of preparation and 5 concerts, the Festival Guitares in Cormatinois is finished, and the plans for 2015 are already taking shape.

The venue of the concerts : the church of Chazelle
A very concise look at the festival:
1st Concert by Diego Salamanca – theorbe (an instrument from the lute family) and Jan Orawiec – violin. Music by (a.o.) Couperin, Händel, Rameau, Vivaldi.

Jan Orawiec & Diego Salamanca
2nd Concert by the ensemble Toscanini – flutes and Frédéric Costantino – guitar. Music from the Renaissance to the Barok. This was the second time that this group performed with a guitar player.

Ensemble Toscanini
3rd Concert by Hilario Yáñez – guitar. Works of a.o. Villa-Lobos, Ponce, Barrios.

Hilario Yáñez - photo N.P.
4th Concert by the Trio Oimatsu – reeds and Jérémy Jouve – guitar. Music by a.o. Mozart, Berlioz, Piazzola.

Jérémy Jouve
5th (Final) concert by the ensemble Tsarivny – banduras and voices. They played mainly Ukrainian folk music, with occasionally some western tunes.

Ensemble Tsarivny

La Tuilerie de Chazelle is involved in the organisation of the festival, hence we know well in advance which artists will perform.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Eurovision Song Contest New Style

14 July is France’s National day, and in Cormatin there are always two events which form an inextricable part of this day: the Brocante de Qualité and the Défilé, i.e. the wreath laying at the War Monument.

Brocante de Qualité - Cormatin
About the Brocante I can be very brief. I am no fan of flea markets, and the fact that this Brocante is run by professional Brocanteurs does not turn a flea market into an art auction. But there are people who see this differently, and whatever one thinks about the amount and the quality of the rubble that is for sale the atmosphere at these events is always amiable and pleasant.

The sound installation (RIP?)
The Défilé is also the same each year; the only difference each year is the amount of participants and the location where the vin d’amitié is taken. However, this year was different from other years. Monsieur P., the driving force behind the musical setting of the event with the help of a rickety cassette deck and an if possible even ricketier cassette, announced that there was no canned music this year, and that the participants had to sing the Marseillaise for a change. People did not remember the lyrics? No problem, they had Monsieur P.’s consent to hum along.

Marchons, Marchons!
And that is how it came about that a loose collection of French, a Dutchman and an English woman disembarked on singing the Marseillaise. The Foreign Legion did not get much further than a few lines at the beginning (“Allons enfants de la Patrie, lejour de gloire est arrivé!”) and at the end (“Aux armes Citoyens,…, Marchons, Marchons”) but I have to admit that it actually sounded better than the canned version. To the defence of the foreigners present I have to add that there were also several French people who had to hum along.
Maybe this is an idea for a Eurovision Song Contest New Style: forget about all those individual entries. Just let all participants sing e.g. the “Ode an die Freude”, and give the trophy to the one who knows most of the words!

The wreath laying
Also people who do not know the Dutch National Anthem or “God save the Queen” by heart, are more than welcome at La Tuilerie de Chazelle.
And this is what it sounded like until quite recently...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Donkeys work

When I saw the shop in Taizé for the very first time, with all its displayed earthenware, I saw in my rather unrealistic fantasy rows of monks sitting behind potter’s wheels, vehemently kicking the wheel in order to deliver yet another cup, saucer or plate to the anxious shop attendants.

The shop in Taizé
This image was rudely disrupted after we had read in the local paper that the potters in Taizé were opening up their workshops for an open day. And since we are always in for an outing, we went uphill, where the workshops would open up around 11h00.
This image I had of hundreds of old monks, bent backs from years sitting at the wheel turned out to be incorrect. We were welcomed by a young brother, who first showed us the clay mixers and the presses. They were located in a small space, but to call this handiwork is a bit farfetched. The mixer was big, and the press for clay tablets of approx. 40 x 20 x 3 inch3 and the press that produces a continuous clay sausage with a diameter of approx. 8 inch hardly classify as hobby tools anymore.

Press for clay tablets - Taizé
Also the pots, cans, mugs, cups, etc. in the next workshop were more or less mechanically produced. The brothers working here were all wearing aprons, and only the fact that most of them were wearing sandals might have been an indication that these were indeed brothers. I assume, that workers in an industrial earthenware factory would wear safety shoes, or at least closed shoes.
During this visit we saw the whole production line, from forming earthenware with presses, moulding in moulds, enamelling and glazing, making enamel, baking in the kilns with a content of 1 m3 each up to the hand painting of various types of earthenware, such as trays, plates, cups, etc.

Clay sausage press - Taizé
The painting however is only done to order. The main difference with an industrial earthenware factory is that the brothers are working when it suits them. Hence the production line is very flexible, most likely reason why production is not always keeping up with demand.
And even though my vivid imagination of how Taizé pottery is made does not really correspond with real life, it was certainly an interesting and educational outing.

Workshop with moulds in Taizé
Guests of La Tuilerie de Chazelle cannot just hop into the workshops whenever they wish, however, the Taizé shop is certainly also worth a visit and is open every day.