Skip to main content

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 the charm of the village but we'd come for the music. Ensemble Kyclos proposed the music of Greece, Crete, and the broader Mediterranean.

I did enjoy the concert. The ancient abbey provides a suitable backdrop for this type of music. (You certainly can't call the abbey welcoming. That adjective simple doesn't apply to these buildings.) But I have to admit that I never quite became one with the music. No, I am not the Buddhist who went up to the hot dog vendor and said,"Make me One with Everything." But I do expect to be transported. And while the voice of Laetitia Marcangel was perfectly suited to the acoustics of the venue, and while Matteo De Bellis (mandole, ney, oud), Timothée Tchang Tien Ling (rek, darbouka, tambours sur cadre), and  Artistic Director Fady Zakar (lyra, lyra à cordes sympathiques, lauto, oud) each demonstrated an admirable level of proficiency with their instruments, the Mediterranean-Arab tinge to the music just did not sit pleasingly on this Westerner's ears. But I can enjoy music intellectually as well as viscerally. (It's how I manage to sit through opera.) So, on that level, and because Kyclos' music was closer to my wheelhouse than Wagner, I enjoyed the concert..

Read more of my observations on life in France on my blog HERE and HERE.













Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless. From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch. Let me count the ways... RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking ab

FINDING A HOUSE IN FRANCE: FIRST STEPS #2

  First, be advised. I am not an expert in anything except my own experiences. And my experiences are confined to a particular time and place. If you have issues, I welcome them in Comments. We've been house hunting in Herault on several occasions since 2003. (Herault is a French department, somewhere between an American county and a state.) We twice visited to find a holiday home from which to learn about and explore the region. After deciding that this region of France was where we wanted to settle in our retirement, another search led to our current home of seven and a half years. And recently, we searched for a home with broader, gentler stairs given the state of our old bones. So I do speak from experience. As always, my advice is free of charge and worth every penny. There's no multiple listing service in France. Each agent has their own website and, while some agencies do cooperate with partner agencies, it can easily be the case that there is a house for sale next door

ARCHIVED VIDEO CONCERNING APRIL, 2021 LOCKDOWN

 I made this video a few months ago, but things moved so quickly that I never published it. Now that France is experiencing the fourth COVID wave, I thought that it might be interesting to revisit.