Jean Labre (photos M. Vicent-Roubert)All the Harmonicas
of the World ...
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The Artist
I've discovered silent movies in the late thirties,in the movie theater « Le Taine » in Paris, cult place at that time, rendez-vous for my childhood imagination, where I was going from time to time with my grandmother.
Time has elapsed. I'm not less fond of pantomime, with which it is the eyes that are hearing what is said on the screen. The eyes listen, and this process is greatly enhanced by the musical accompaniment which prevents the viewer of hearing the silence of the film.
"The Artist", let's salute this film and the performance of the actors, not forgetting the little dog, Uggie, first canine Hollywood star to win an Oscar, well-deserved.
At the time of the 3D it needs courage and persistence to release a silent film in black and white. Meeting between silent film and music writing, privileged stage of gestural art that offers a new reading key to the audience... a tribute to Charlie Chaplin and to the "Modern Times".
I have always been very careful to listen to film music, I even sometimes preferred to listen to the music instead of looking to the image.
This music that promotes the exchange and respect for others who do not speak our language... nor do we speak their language. Another form of language, another spontaneous gesture which is for us, harmonica players, to bring a harmonica to our lips. As the privileged dialogue with the Korean harmonica player, Lea Hea Bong, with whom I sometimes share an escape with mouth music.
Or even with Jun Fukamachi, the brilliant Japanese pianist with whom I happened to improvise "ad lib", endlessly, on the theme "Autumn Leaves", instant sharing with an ideal audience
But it goes further, I was stuck by a recent TV show (French channel 3), taking place in the polynesian Tuamotu archipelago, during which a musician began a musical dialogue with a whale ! He is Pierre Lavaque, the inventor of the "Shelltone", instrument designed specifically for this incredible adventure, based on the principle of the "marine conque", supported for the occasion by a submerged buoy hydrophone, between him and the whale. An amazing concert in which both gave us a Jam, responding alternately in four bars interventions, followed exactly by the whale ! Yes, I have counted !
The relationship Human-whale seems to have improved since Moby Dick... Well,others are said to dance with wolves.
But let the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche conclude this talk :" Without Music life would be a mistake "... Point bar.

Jean Labre
Published March 15th 2012


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