Summer Music Scene in Eygalières, France

Summer Music Scene in Eygalières, France

Village of Eygalieres
Photo courtesy F. Andrew Abbott

The Provencal village of Eygalières may only have a population of 1800, but certainly is no slouch on the musical side with a host of offerings each July.

The month kicks off with the Festival de Musique d’Eygalières, four evenings of open-air concerts in a park like setting. This draws a strong turnout from well beyond the village. Barely, three weeks later the Cinq Nuits des Patios showcases the talents of local artists and musicians. This series combines free concerts in town along with intimate gatherings in private gardens.

Bookended, by these two festivals there is an annual classical music concert in the church, now in its’ 6th year. The committee’s aim is to make the music accessible for all, so the evening is free. The artists contribute their time and energy to perform at a time of the year when they could just as easily be enjoying themselves on sunny terraces in town.

Summer Music Scene in Eygalières, France

Crowd assembled for the concert
Photo courtesy F. Andrew Abbott

Based on the attendance alone it was a success. It is possible, that Christmas services command this level of attendance, but unlikely the case for regular Sunday services. Every pew was filled, the extra chairs were all spoken for, and there were even some young teens perched on the stoop at the base of the altar.

The weather may have contributed to our enjoyment that evening. A mistral wind had been howling consecutively for two days with gusts up to 75km. The leaves on the Platane (Plane Trees) were so loud it was impossible to think. This north wind is said to drive some people crazy. And it just might, as evidenced by an increase in the number of forest fires set by human hands in this kind of weather.

Julie Scolnik and Olivier Pelmoine

Julie Scolnik and Olivier Pelmoine
Photo courtesy F. Andrew Abbott

 It was blissful, seated inside the village church behind the thick, limestone walls. The wind was rendered silent. The sounds instead were of flute and guitar playing classical, folk melodies of Spain and Argentina.
Julie Scolnik playing her flute

Julie Scolnik playing her flute
Photo courtesy F. Andrew Abbott

Julie is an accomplished flutist and the artistic director of Andover Chamber Music, in Massachusetts.  Julie Scolnik is an American who loves Provence. She and her husband were on holiday in the area a few years ago. They did a little house shopping and fell in love with the first place they were shown. Now, they spend a portion of their summers in Eygalières.  She was beautiful in a long purple sundress paired perfectly with her Provencal summer tan. Concertgoers witnessed Julie ever the consummate practitioner despite a problematic music stand and minor acoustical challenges. Once the music started, and a distracting photographer had left, her preconcert butterflies were replaced by exotic melodies.
Olivier Pelmoine coaxing the notes from his guitar

Olivier Pelmoine coaxing the notes from his guitar
Photo courtesy F. Andrew Abbott

Her musical partner for the evening, Olivier Pelmoine had made his way from Dijon. He is adept at coaxing the sensual, romantic Spanish rhythms from his guitar. He is able to play his guitar so masterfully that you almost forget that he only has one instrument. The sounds of drumming and an astonishing range of notes all weaved from a single 6-string guitar.

The duo played tangos and intimate melodies for almost 1.5 hours with no break. The audience was totally unaware that the artists had only been able to squeeze in a couple short practices before the event. Both, masters at their chosen instruments they creatively presented the history of the tango from the early 1900s until the present day.

 

 Are there summer concerts in your town or have you traveled to see a special summer concert  like the summer nusic scene in Eygalières, France? Please tell us about them?

 

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott  Carolyne Kauser-Abbott has background in the investment business and commercial real estate. An opportunity for change allowed her to start writing and launching travel apps. Like many things in life, it is the unexpected. She has always been a traveler. Her motivation for writing comes from a genuine curiosity, and desire to learn. Some friends encouraged her to start documenting her passions around food, travel and fun discoveries. 

 Fast forward a few years and now you can follow her on her blog Ginger and Nutmeg 

Find her on Facebook , Twitter @gingerandnutmeg, or Pinterest

 

 

 

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