Skip to main content

AMINE TILIOUA - CONCERT REVIEW


Imagine the music on this video without the electronics - all acoustic including violin. oud,  rebab (ancient Arabic bowed string instrument), qanoun (sort of a lap zither) and a percussionist. That's what we heard in Capestang on a recent fall evening as a slight chill heralding autumn hung in the air.

We haven't yet learned the rhythms of our new home in France but we believe that October marks the start of the indoor concert season. As is typical, the doors of Capestang's Maison de Peuple (community hall) opened at about 7:00 PM for folks with reservations. You could choose little round tables suitable for three of four dotted around the room or the longer rectangular tables that lined the perimeter. For about $5.00 each, we were entitled to a plate with a slice of bread smeared with tapenade, another slice of bread with a hunk of a cheddary cheese, a scoop of cold rice with spring onions, and a chunk of one of three types of loafy somethings - one featuring smoked trout, one with nuts and bleu cheese, and one with bacon and dried tomato. For $12.00, we grabbed a bottle of sauvignon blanc. And for two hours, while we ate and drank, we were serenaded by two local artists - accordion, uke, and vocals. Occasionally, a dude walked up to the front, put on an apron, and harangued the crowd with a sort of poetry slam in French.

Amine Tilioua appeared with three fellow musicians a little after 9:00 PM. Only once did he tell us anything about the songs that we heard. From what I understood given my still limited French, he simply said that we were listening to Arab-Andalusian songs old and new with origins primarily from the Maghreb of North Africa. Most of the tunes began with a quiet bit of noodling on the rebab or violin. All songs were in Arabic. Some obviously happy and upbeat, some quieter, a bit sad. And toward the end, a women in what I presume was a take-off of traditional North African garb moved sinuously to the music in front of the musicians.

The musicianship was excellent, the singing soulful. Amine's voice is captivating. The players often smiled and nodded to each other. And the audience was enthralled. If this is a preview of the type of concert season that's in store, it will be an enjoyable, enlightening winter here in the south of France.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LA MAISON DE L'ECURIE, SALLELES D'AUDE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

(If you prefer a video review, go to my YouTube channel HERE.)

Restaurants in peaceful, out of the way locations with scenic, picture postcard views often fall into one of two categories. They tend to be only as good as they have to be or to be more expensive than they should be. Situated right beside the Canal de Jonction where it intersects with the Canal du Midi, La Maison de l'Ecurie (The Stable House) is indeed in a peaceful, scenic location. But it defies convention by serving food that's better than it needs to be at reasonable prices. We thoroughly enjoyed our luncheon on a warmish fall day and shall return. But we'll have to hurry. La Maison de l'Eclurie closes in early November and won't reopen until the first of March.

You can't drive right up to La Maison de l'Ecurie. You turn off the main road from Mirepeisset to Salleles d'Aude onto the tow path, then park and walk for 150 meters or so to the restaurant. The terrace filled rapidly after w…

KYCLOS, SAINT-GUILHEM-LE-DESERT: CONCERT REVIEW

The thirteenth season of the Festival Les Troubadours romanesque has come to a close. If you don't know about this fine series of concerts that takes place from May into October throughout Occitanie, mostly in churches and other ancient settings, take the time to find out about it. HERE'S a link to the website. You'll just have to wait until next year to plan your visits. And we do plan our visits. This year, 48 concerts were on the schedule in venues ranging from the Pyrenees to the other side of Montpellier. Artists came from all corners of the Med from Greece and Corsica, Occitanie and Catalonia, France and Spain. Their music can be classified as sacred and profane, polyphonic and simple, classical and folk, flamenco and world.

For this penultimate concert in the series, Kyclos performed in the Abbaye de Gellone in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage village worth visiting in its own right. On a dark October night with heavy cloud cover, you miss much of t…

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…