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Saturday june 7, 2008

Djembé

Since a few months I follow a 13.30 euro per year djembé course in the neighbourhood with my emigrationfriend Margon. In Muret-le-château, to be precise, only 29 kilometers away from Espalion. It seems far away, but for French standards, it's just around the corner, no traffic jams and — except for the little black-'n-red bugs — no gendarmes that cross your path unexpectedly.

 

Our djembé teacher is called Philippe, he is a statue carver, drummer and what not more. Every training he wears the most wonderful and colorful shoes. He probably makes them himself or has them made by a fellow-artist. He's not beautiful, we think, but he sure is fun. If auras existed, his would be filled with partying garden gnome's. And sometimes with trolls. The funniest thing about him is his head. His glasses for instance. A regular pair of glasses with a black frame that's usually positioned straight on his nose. Until he moves his head to the right, and then towards where I sit. He mumbles something in incomprehensible French and from beneath a tangled hairdo his brown eyes peek over or under the rim of his slanted glasses. The deliverance comes when he turns his head straight and the glasses settle on his nose. I sometimes wonder if he had his glasses made like that, or had it made by the same person who does his shoes.

Philippe; djembéleraar, beeldhouwer en wat al niet meer

Our fellow drummers, all youth between 25 and 40, are exceptionally kind and very different from the distant over-polite people of Espalion. Nothing wrong about Espalion, but there live many elder people. I almost jump ten feet in the sky when someone reports that a youngster hanging around has been sighted trying to steel a bike. "Where, where?" I always want to know, but that they never tell me, so it's probably made up, like that dangerous viper of 1 meter long, or the hail stones big as tennis balls, or the giant wasp with two stings.

But well, the youth at djembé training, they drink beer from bottles and smoke. — To pester Sarkozy — so they say. And they call us the jeunes filles because there has to be a difference. Whatever, soon we will have our first appearance. The longest day of the year (solstice: le solstice d'été) is celebrated massively in France since 1982 with musical performances by anyone who wants to make or can make music (faites de la musique!), so we are also allowed to participate. The 'Fête de la musique' that has in the meanwhile grown into a world event, has film music as this years theme.

poster Fête de la Musique 21 juni 2008

What thirty drummers can produce in this case, I don't know. I mean, how do you drum the soundtrack of The sound of Music, just like rombom, what do I care rombom, or godogodo patapata gundungundun patagodo? Whatever, if you are in France the 21 of June and just happen to have your set of drum with you, you just make yourself heard. And by the way, you cannot pay your vacation like that, the music fest namely is totally free, ouch!

Djembé music, gosh i'm so glad i've got no ears

posted by Maartje Heymans   |  send a comment

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