Recital – voix et corps

On Friday the kids had their ‘concert’ for their school music program.

They don’t have a regular music teacher at the school.  Both in the sense that there is not a music teacher there on a regular basis, and in the sense that the music teacher they do have is not exactly what most would consider a ‘regular’ music teacher.

His name is Emanuel.  He plays the guitar. And sings. Does some dancing and beatboxing too.  Apparently he hitch-hikes up to our village – so he wasn’t always incredibly reliable for starting on time.  He would smoke next to the school building – where the kids saw him. Smoking the hand-rolled cigarettes that he had just licked shut in the teachers lounge.

Not so much an older woman with a perm sitting at a piano – more like a French-Lenny-Kravitz.

Also very French in the sense that a philosiphical approach is required for even teaching kids choral music   communal shouting.  Before he would even start the concert – he explained to us about how “without silence…there is no music” …. And so for that reason -everyone had to be quiet.  OK.

Then he went on to say that for this reason when want to show our approval and appreciation – instead of banging our hands together to make such a noise – we should wiggle our hands whilst lifting up our arms, because “there is the applause that you hear – and then – there is the applause that you see”  OK.

The songs too were more about anti-war, world-wide love, the fact that we’re all dying – you know, small kid stuff.

Of course – a nation that has produced thinkers like Descartes, Voltaire, Rousseau, Foucault and others did not do so by treating things flippantly.

The thing is – the kids ALL seemed to LOVE him. We’ve never seen a group of kids so excited to sing in a concert. They all loved the songs.  They were so deeply into what they were doing.  They were so enthusiastic.

I guess that’s why they called it “voix et corps” and not ‘music’  – they were definitely using both their voices and their bodies.


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