Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chaque matin du monde sur le chemin à l'ecole

I've grabbed a set of photos of my major milestones along the 12-15 minute walk to school each morning. Above is the final one before I turn into Rue Trevise: the Folies Bergère, a once great music-hall that hosted Maurice Chevalier, premiered Josephine Baker and provided the backdrop for Manet's last painting. Ah yes, you say, I remember eet well.

The next milestones are these murals, some for advertising, some not, which soften the line of buildings along Rue Montmartre. The piece with the sheet-music reminded me to drop into the di-arezzo music store off this street. In years gone by they have been the only English-language access-point I've known for music from France. The world of sheet-music is still highly circumscribed by national borders so you can't rely on local retailers to get anything you need. Today I was tantalised by a welter of editions of Nikolai Kapustin, whose virtuosic jazzy scores built on classical structures have been nearly impossible to secure outside of Russia to date and a volume of transcriptions by the pianist-composer Alexander Siloti. Without a piano though, these are extravagances, so I settled for a modest sheet with transcriptions of music by Marin Marais, Sainte Colomb & Lully used in the film Tous les matins du monde.

I passed some ladies on Rue Réamur later in the afternoon, one of whom exclaimed Il est magnifique! when she saw Bondi. Since I detected an American accent, I told him to say hello, and then chatted briefly. It turned out that like Bondi, they were from Seattle, so were extremely impressed by his journeys and our familiarity with their home turf.
In the midst of family tree research today, I stumbled across a couple of photos of my great-grandmother Beatrice Kerr that I was not aware of before: unfortunately I can only see one of them, which seems to have been acquired by the Australian National Archives. It's a signed photo/postcard from 1907 when she was touring the UK to demonstrate her swimming and diving prowess. The other photo is only a tantalising reference from an online auction catalog: "a signed r.p. view of Beatrice Kerr, lady champion swimmer diving off a pier at Blackpool".

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