Exploring the Fringe

carlotti.jpg  Time to broaden our horizons, extend our reach exceeding our grasp. Hey, we’re in Paris where it all begins!  Through the years, writers, musicians, singers, dancers all came here for the Parisian hospitality to the arts. The appetite for the new as well as the tried and true, is huge here. There are many small venues for performance of all kinds.  We discover new ones everyday.  From what we’ve seen, many are supported by the government.  Only this could explain the fabulous condition in which we find them.  But I won’t make any comparisons to the U.S. here.  Culture and in general, the celebration of the senses above all, reigns.

First experience at the Cité de la Musique was a woman named Barbara Collotti.  The program called Nebuleuse Dandy. She reads, speaks and sings about the world Baudelaire (among the favorites of those exloring the edges including Patti Smith), described as the last illumination of heroism in decline. (a loose translation).  The Dandy is described as someone who makes of himself/herself a work of art and in the end diffuses like  nebula. Frederic Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin have said we have our highest dignity as works of art.  This nebulous metaphysical principle cannot be pinned down but it certainly is felt.

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Yes it was loud and she was mesmerizing.  Original, talented and obviously serious about her craft she looks for new music in other parts of the world and arranges and writes.  The gem of the evening was a phrase from one of her songs about going through life lost in this world, forgetting about our magic powers.

At the end of the performance, a French woman, Charlotte, of a certain age, came up to Eugene and asked if he was Jessica’s father.  Obviously we were the oldest people in the room.   Charlotte is a classical singer and had met Jessica on a train traveling to Paris from Grenoble.  The conversation about music was intriguing enough so that she had driven from the suburbs to see the performance, abandoning her husband in their car in a traffic jam just outside of Paris, so that she could make the show.

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