Jean Labre (photos M. Vicent-Roubert)All the Harmonicas
of the World ...
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Women harmonica players
" Harmonica players ", these two words are refering equally to women or men practicing our instrument. This allows me to write this edito more easily, without distinction of sex.
Harmonica player... hermaphroditism which seems ideal to get the debate out of a context often macho, it must be admitted.
" A woman artist has no muse or artifice, she must be these two things for herself " (Edna O'Brien). Above all she is a woman, with the sensibility given to her since her birth combined with pugnacity and courage over adversity. Women have to their credit a past of muse that we men are totally lacking in. " The muse alone transforms men ", told us Socrates.

There was no god of music in ancient Greece, but a muse : Euterpe. Consolation, we men had the " aède ", continuity of the muse, who sang the myths and epics with the accompaniment of the phorminx, a kind of lute with four strings. The most famous aède is Homère , Odyssey tell us more.

If in the harmonica heart lies that little blade which was already vibrating in the ancient China, it is with the Pan flute that it had learned to assemble notes and to play them by sliding the lips. Thanks to the god Pan who was the inventor, in very sad circumstances. Pan was ugly, he had horns, cloven foot and an horrible voice ; trying to escape him the young nymph Syrinx drowned in a pond. That's how was born the myth of the inconsolable god who carves reeds and brings them to his lips for one last kiss sent to the beautiful Syrinx...

2011... far from the myths and legends, heritage of humanity... In 2011, we can only rejoice at this wind of feminization that blows over our instrument, and at the increasing number of female harmonica players who are setting on fire all around the world stages, for the good cause of our mouth music.

And we welcome the opportunity for rejoicing that will be be offered to us on June 21st, day of the Music Festival .

Harmonica women... we love you... Julien Clerc (famous French crooner) would not tell us otherwise.

- Jean Labre
Published June 5th 2011


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