France

Published on March 18th, 2017 | by www.lanouvellerepublique.fr

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Gâtinais percussionists in the heat of the Caribbean

It is an exceptional experience that the musicians of the Ateliers du Griffon lived in Saint-Aubin-le-Cloud. In early February, five of them fled with their steel drums in the tropics. Destination: Trinidad and Tobago, off Venezuela. They stayed there for three weeks.

A great geographical discrepancy both reason is exciting: participate in one of the biggest steelband competitions in the world, the Panorama contest. A great international musical confrontation of steeldrum, a percussion made with metal drums that traditionally accompanies the carnivals. Hundreds of musicians had made the trip.
And the coming of the Gatinais is not a coincidence. It follows on from the reception last year of the Valley harps steel orchestra. On tour in France, the band made a stop in Parthenay, to inaugurate the Flip, and in Saint-Aubin-le-Cloud.And this at the invitation of the Ateliers du Griffon. This journey under the Tropics thus looks like a return match.

“We dream of such a contest in Gâtine”

With an important challenge for Camille Belliard, Chloé Martineau and Charles Pillet: to integrate the Valley harps steel orchestra and perfectly master the piece chosen for the final of the contest. And that in two short weeks, ”  just by ear  “.
”  It’s a piece of eight minutes, fast and fast, and the delay in controlling it was nothing short of simple,  ” explains Cécile Ollivier-Pallud, who accompanied them with Gus Martineau, a steeldrum builder. Especially when the way of doing things differs: ”  We do not sound our instruments in the same way, we are not on the same musical aesthetics .Then, in order to put all the chances on their side, they enjoy, during the day, the wise advice of the Trinidadians. In the evening, the rehearsals often end very late. Between 30 and 60 people participate.
During the rehearsals Camille Belliard, professor of music in Saint-Aubin-le-Cloud, made a fool with the arranger of the Steelband Valley Harps. ”  With 80 musicians, there is a certain hierarchy and being placed by him on the front line on the stage is a form of recognition. 
At the end, with 12 competitors, the steelband came in third place on the podium.
An exceptional experience for the Griffon Workshops: ”  We have been playing it for twenty years, but in Trinidad, it is an institution. The fervor is immense, fervor shared by thousands of people. It was disproportionate. Even steeldrums are found on the country’s banknotes! After that, we dream of such a contest in Gâtine. 

Nr.parthenay@nrco.fr

Audrey Capitaine


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