Sunday, December 8, 2013

French Accordion Music~ L'accordéon


Friday I played a recording of an accordion waltz at my French story time & we, parents, young children, librarian, danced & spun around the room in between stories & rhymes & songs. C'était très agréable

Today, for my blog, I repeated my exercise where I close my eyes & pick an old travel journal at random. Voilà, I picked one with a page describing a 2005 experience I'd had in the Paris Métro. (written on the above page, left side. Click on image to enlarge.) 

Searching "accordéon" I came to "Paris Accordéon": It's a shop on Rue de la lune in the 2ème arrondissement that offers repair, lessons & sales. There's a wonderful video. (click here)  I listened to it en français taking dictation. The monsieur described, played, explained. Several thoughts that I noted (Please excuse errors in my French): 


"On voit beaucoup beaucoup de gens qui sont fous de l’accordéon...Ils sont amoureux de l'accordéon...même les gens qui ne jouent pas."
(They see lots & lots of people who are crazy for the accordion, in love with it.)
"Il y a autant de garçons que des filles qui jouent..."

He talks about an accordion revival in France in the 90's due to a group of popular singers, & how its history is one of dance music...of how people find old accordions in their basements or attics, ones that belonged to their grandfathers. He talks about how accordion music has found its way into jazz & rock....

It's accused of being sentimental music & some people mock it as well as Polkas. But, I'm trying not to care. My passion for accordion music is deep in my Polish blood...

Some years ago I was surprised by an accordionist playing on the streets of The Old Port in Portland: Joe Therriault. I invited him to play at a celebration at our library. It was his CD that I played for the children last Friday. Through the Internet I just learned that he died in 2007 at age 82, & I'm grieving a bit... Like the accordionist in the Paris subway, we had a nice communication, performer & audience sharing a passion. That year I also hosted an accordion festival in conjunction with the French conversation group that I used to lead. During a festival workshop, I held an accordion & tried to play a little...pas facile!...I'm wondering, is it too late to be able to learn on a small one...? 

I guess I'll have to go to Paris Accordéon to find out, n'est-ce pas?



17 comments:

  1. cute sketches. :) my father played a button accordion in a polka band. he was czech. these days, i hear accordion music in new orleans zydeco or in mexican songs. :)

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    1. How neat that your father played! Yes, I adore accordion music in zydeco & in Tex Mex & Mexican music!!

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  2. Chyba masz rację, że lubisz słuchać dźwięków akordeonu, bo pochodzisz z Polski :). Ja również to lubię. W mojej Rodzinie graj wujek na niej. W Paryżu też miałam przyjemność spotkać akordeonistów. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

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    1. Gigo, Miiło mi jest że twoi wujek gra (gral?) na akordeonu. Taka ładna musika!! I przyjemnie mi jest że byłaś w Paryżu. Dziękuje serdecznie, Rita

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  3. It's a lot of coincidence, which (I think) means you should try! There must be an accordion teacher in Portland, no? Or maybe a youtube tutorial? (Or of course another trip to Paris!!!) I think accordion lessons should go on your 2014 list!

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    1. Yes, & there were a few other coincidences that I didn't even mention...we shall see if it's do-able...Thank you for your comment & encouragement, Melissa.

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  4. Accordions and pierogi!! How can you miss. Both Polish mainstays! Okay, I want to be a student in your class, period! I love to dance. I would fit right in. Such a cute journal page. How they can transport you back. Have I mentioned your writing just compliments your pages? You have a great hand. Adds to the charm.

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    1. Oh yes, dancing! It's true that reading old journal pages transport us back to the original time. I hadn't even remembered that accordionist & his "defender" in the subway...Keep on journaling, & I'm glad you like the writing too, it's such a part of it for me...

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  5. Before I read anything I just have to tell you the cuteness is just so cute..

    Ok ..Back to the top:)

    The text..charming..Moi aussi j'aime l'accordéon~
    Beaucoup ..et en Provence.. nous avions le sourire aux lèvres lorsque l'on entendait cette musique si enchaînante!
    My one regret is having NOT purchased the CD of one of the accordionists and songs:(
    My children had an intimate dinner for us at their home in the last couple of yrs..and they had hired an accordionist and a singer:)
    We were so touched..Mostly Italian songs.. but that feeling:)

    Love your art.

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    1. Nana, I am so happy to hear of your experiences with the accordion, in France & here. The Québecois accordion tradition & the Acadian, they are also lovely, aren't they? And I do love love love Italian accordion music as well!! Nous aimons l'accordéon!!

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  6. Accordéon is also part of french musical traditions. I love it because for me, it means France, as well it means Poland for you.I know that learning it is quite hard, but why not? you're not in a hurry.
    Your sketches are fabulous, like always!
    Have a nice and musical week, dear Rita!

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    1. Malyss, actually that was supposed to be the theme of this post: FRENCH accordion music & how I love it & I'm glad as a French woman you love it! And, for me, it DOES also mean France, I had hoped that I had expressed that. I listen to a lot of French music, some American, & some Polish, Italian & some from other countries...As far as learning it, any instrument takes practice...but does it take youth?

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  7. Rita -- I too used to think polkas were for wedding receptions until a friend and I accidentally found this lovely Polish club building near Detroit, Michigan. We stopped in for kicks and were exposed to a gala event indeed. Several musicians played fantastically on their accordions while on a lower dance floor folks danced around and around doing polka steps, in addition to slow music. It was a joyous night. That is when I recognized that accordions were truly a fine instrument. Love the sketches of your accordion experiences in France.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Polish-American music, Barbara! It IS joyful singing & dancing. I'm willing to bet you've experienced a variety of International musical traditions in the United States!

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  8. Another enchanting vignette, both words and drawings. I love the way your mind and eye work, absorbing sight and sound and texture and emotion. xx

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  9. Thank you, Sharon...I will think of this when I am sketching next, or creating...absorbing sight & sound & texture & emotion, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do that, if that is what I do...~R

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Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!