The Marciac Jazz Festival 2012 started 3 days ago and I haven’t even gotten round to posting about last years event… What can I say, I have on occasion been overtaken by snails. So without further snail-poo, let me tell you about a wonderful event that takes place in the middle of nowhere, but which attracts large crowds and big name artists.
So, like I just said, Marciac is like this little village in the middle of nowhere (otherwise known as the department Gers in south western France) with a population of like 1300 people and it hosts an internationally acclaimed Jazz Festival. I just find that like so amazing. London I understand, but a village in France? How weird is that. Here is a link to look at just how small this village is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marciac
One of the many spectacular things about this event are the covered areas. What do you mean, woman? This is a jazz festival not an ode to covered areas. Wrong. Without the covered areas, the jazz festival would only be half as good ‘cos it is so damn hot you can hardly breathe. And when there is Experimental Jazz playing, breathing is hard enough without the heat. (Hold your racing snails there, I’ll get to the music in a smear minute.)
Last year they did particularly well and put up these beautiful pink coverings. I kept photographing them and many a soul looked at me squiff. But just look at them! What things of great beauty they be. I am hopeful that they’ll be there again this year so I can take even more photos for your pleasure.
The jazz is amazing too. (Imagine that.) I don’t particularly like jazz music – some yes, but certainly not all – but it’s the atmosphere that gets me. (Here’s a link for a rundown of this years artists: http://www.jazzinmarciac.com/ ) The town center has stalls and restaurants all around it and you can sit there and eat, drink or just sit and listen the great musicians. We had some lovely foie gras goodies the first time we went…might just have to force myself to have more this time just so that I can take pics for you. What I don’t do for you…
The first time I went they were playing Experimental Jazz. Never heard of it? Let me explain.
4-6 people who have
(a) never met before,
(b) never played a musical instrument before and
(c) take pleasure in torturing others, meet in the bathroom and decide to do a Group Mass Torture, or in short, play some Experimental Jazz.
They proceed to storm the stage and with great gusto they produce a level of noise that makes your blood curdle. It’s like a hundred teachers scratching their chalk along the board through a microphone all at the same time. I have never heard anything so awful in all my life – and I have brothers who tried instruments so I have experience.
Not even the wonderful foie gras thingies could calm me and food can normally keep me calm even during a hurricane at sea. Fortunately, at some point, they appeared to also lose the will to live (just like the rest of us) and their bodies were carted away and normal jazz started. It felt like someone had put on really quiet gentle classical music and we all breathed and were relieved. And it’s really good! No seriously. It’s that good I would recommend you get on a flight and come over here and listen to this awesome stuff. And if you buy me some of the foie gras thingies you might even find a bed right here at chez nous!
So see you in Marciac square for some fantastic, non-experimental jazz music!
PS: There is also a covered tent with real concerts by real professionals that are apparently super too. We tend to hang around the town square where there is free music from like 10am – 8pm (just in case you’re looking for me with a plate of foie…)