February 8, 2013 Happenings at the “Festival Follles Journees de Nantes”

February always arrives together with the music festival of “la Folle Journée de Nantes”!
This music festival gathering tens of thousands of people, and which has also been held for the past few years in Japan at the Tokyo International Forum during the May holidays, originally started in France, in the town of Nantes.

Celebrating its 19th anniversary this year and with its increasing popularity, people are said to stand in line the night before the tickets are put on sale. And I heard the festival clerks served them coffee! (For that matter, the Grand Palais, due to its massive crowds, stayed open 24 hours this week during the last two days of Hopper’s retrospective. Hot drinks, cookies, and vitamins were distributed to the people queuing in the cold wave, in the middle of the night… and as what might have been expected of Paris, the city of fashion, even hand cream was handed out!)

My sister also participated for the first time this year to la Folle Journée, where we were to interpret a piano duo together. But that unexpectedly turned out to be quite an adventure!

As you may as well know, you get to perform several times per day at this music festival. My first concert was scheduled at 2pm. My sister, who had had a concert in Munich, Germany, the previous day, was to arrive at Nantes via Brussels at 11am. However, her flight was cancelled because of the pilot being sick, so she had to change her means of transportation and came by train.

She arrived at the airport of Nantes at, wait for it…10 minutes before the concert started! So both managers got in touch for a while, and well, on our side, we had to make an announcement to the guests in a hurry, explaining the matter at hand.
While waiting for my sister who had to change into her stage dress on the train and then rush to the concert hall, I performed a couple of solo pieces such as Messiaen.

My sister finally reached the hall 15 minutes late. From her snow boots into stage shoes and…dash! We were able to perform half of the program that had been scheduled. “Both the concert and the happening were great”, according to our guests who got to enjoy the incident! That indeed was a folle journée, “a crazy day”! We will be playing again at the same music festival this coming May, in Tokyo and Biwako.
Hoping to see you there!

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