Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ode to Joy?

Today, Brussels celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Rome. Something I wouldn't even think about if it wasn't posted everywhere, reminding me that I live in an excessively institutionalized city. Listening live from my small studio, thanks to Musiq'3, to the concert given at the Centre for Fine Arts this Saturday 24 March 2007, I can only remember why I didn't go to see it there... Yesterday's rehearsal had already given me the clue that it wouldn't be the best interpretation of Beethoven's 9th ever...
Anyway, no matter what I think of the European institutions, I can at least eager you to experience brilliant ideas (even if sometimes quite utopic) at the exhibition A Vision for Brussels. The initiators of this project "Imagining the Capital of Europe" are suggesting their architectural ode(s) to joy, imagining new ways of using the bureaucratic architecture of the European Quarter among many other things. A manifesto about Brussels Towards the Capital of Europe.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Meknes in Saint-Gilles

10pm on a Saturday night in South-West Brussels, a starving young couple is searching for food...

For once, we've decided not to walk up from home to Louise but rather to discover the Parvis de Saint-Gilles, a place we knew but weren't used to go to.
With quite realistic expectations, we thought we would get a still eatable pitta or dürüm in some fast-food restaurant, when we saw an open place called La table de Meknes in the middle of the square. Starving as we were, we haven't hesitated a minute and entered after a quick look at the menu posted at the door.
Spicy merguez and kefta, all served on a richly dressed plate with salad and French fries on the side by the most charming young boy, all topped by an offered fresh mint tea, truly warmed our hearts. We left the place knowing that we would certainly return very soon...
On our way back home, we saw a woman in her pajama's searching for someone in the street. Noticing that we were amused by her outfit, she looked at us smiling. We smiled back and went on our way.
This is the magic of Saint-Gilles, a town in the middle of the city, the sun right next to the moon, the warmth of Meknes in Brussels...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sweet Handshake Prelude

It is always nice to see the hands of a pianist while playing on the piano. Listening to a piano recital should also include, whenever possible, watching the pianist's hands. Feeling music through these two senses is an enchanting experience.
A third sense is only used by the pianist self through touch. One I've actually experienced as a prelude to Chopin's second concerto for piano on the person of Boris Berezovsky. Amazingly moving pianist I've discovered in a recital at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels more than a year ago. Since that unforgettable concert, I've learned to know more about his repertoire and tried to follow his live performances as much as I could. Until I've experienced the most sweetest feelings of all, finding my hand for a few seconds in this gigantic pianist's hand. This was the softest handshake I've ever felt. A prelude to the rehearsal Mr Berezovsky was going to have with the National Orchestra of Belgium. How could so much strength come out of such sweet and soft hands remains a magical duality. And my whole senses to shake before, during and after the concerto, even in rehearsal, and at his concert on Sunday 18 March at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The boy who didn’t like the sun

“I want rain” he said.
“Don’t you like the sun” asked his mother.
“No, I hate the sun, I prefer the rain!”
Every time the sun came up (that was almost everyday), they would argue on that infinite issue. The mother couldn’t help but worry about her son’s behaviour. Then the boy grew up and left the sunny country for the place of interminable rain. The more maturity he was getting, the more he wanted to escape from the yellow rays, mostly by leading a nocturnal life. The moon became his substitute friend in the absence of rain. Lying on his empty bed, he would listen to the rain drops falling on the window of his grey apartment. He loved the serenity in which the sweet water notes brought him.
Serenity was what he was longing for, and he strongly believed he could only achieve it through the rain. He didn’t know he was carrying serenity in himself, although he knew he was named after it. Until the day he met a synonym who taught him to love the sun. They were now ready to experience serenity and passion altogether and forever.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

First live encounter with Dave Matthews

Never before had I seen the doors of the Ancienne Belgique so crowded. Maybe it is just because I've always been used to go to gigs there after the doors have been opened.... Anyway, from 5pm, two hours before the official doors opening, the 110 Anspach boulevard was crowded by a bunch of, most of them American, fans. Among the Americans were also some French fans, but also many more (let's hope it for Dave who wants to make "new friends").
There was me for sure, a Brussels girl, and my beloved, with whom I've learned to love Dave Matthews and his band more and more everyday. Oh, and I've almost forgot our friend from Turkey, Burak, who 7 years ago brought a CD of DMB from the US to his friend. Burak was with us that night, at least for two songs!
After 9 years, Dave Matthews was back in Belgium, and for the first time for a "solo" acoustic concert... It has been quite a surprise to see Tim Reynolds enter through the door next to our closed one at 5.30pm. "It's gonna be Dave and Timmmmmm"... enthusiastic, we were indeed.
We entered at 7pm, half an hour after the Warehouse fan members, and still, we were set on the second row! The AB was full in half an hour, and the atmosphere was warm and crazy.
At 8pm, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds arrived on stage. We were seeing the guy for real, this great musician we were only allowed to watch on DVD... we were going to listen to him for real, now. The adrenaline was getting up... we were already feeling high.
Once again, both Tim and Dave have showed their mastery. Crazy how it felt that night, how they made it all alright, starting with a beautiful Bartender, ending with a dynamic Two Step.
The concert was sweet for certain, Maarten, I agree!
Carter, Doyd, Stefan, LeRoi, we're now waiting for you guys!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Longing for Dave...

6 years for one, 1 year for the other... we are both longing for the same man, or, it would be more appropriate to say, the same music. But do we want to be appropriate here? I guess no, appropriate shouldn't be used next to Dave Matthews! Even if the concert venue has already warned us about the atmosphere: no late arrivals will be allowed... Good for us since we planned to be at the doors before their opening.

No more longing... one night left before we let ourselves get cought into Mr Matthews' words through his strong and penetrating voice. And it won't be a one night stand since our man will be back with his band at Forest National, Brussels, on the 27th of May.
The best is yet to come...