This time of year produces some stunning sunsets to be seen from my living room, which faces due west. Every evening I am tempted away from my book or film on the television, and camera in hand click away, capturing the ever changing colour and light and cloud formation.
Last Sunday (21st June) was the summer solstice and in France this has been celebrated since 1982 years by ‘La fete de la Musique’.
Originally only in Paris, the idea soon caught on and spread to the rest of France and the world beyond, and is now celebrated in over 700 cities in around 120 countries (this blog is at the time of writing read in 27 countries!)
The ethos is to promote music in two ways:-
To encourage both amateur and professional musicians to perform on the street.
To provide many free concerts to make all genres of music accessible to all (all concerts must be free and participants give their own free time)
The atmosphere here in Paris on this day is incredible and the local free press gives details of times and locations of all organised concerts/events, but the real joy is just walking along the street and stumbling upon a jazz band, or concert violinist, or salsa music and dancing that has just taken root for the day.
Last year while walking around the Rue Mouftard area there was music being made on every corner and as the sounds from one source faded, the sounds of the next merged and took over.
This years organised events included:-
Blues and Jaz in the Tuileries
Violin and flute recitals at place de la Sorbonne
Choral singing at Place des Vosges
And literally hundreds of other concerts from Funk, rock, reggae, pop, classical, traditional music from various parts of France and the entire world.
So if you are planning trip to Paris in late spring/early summer (especially if travelling on a budget), it would be good to remember this unique event and come and join in the fun………