MAZIERES JUNE 11th


Everyone received a hearty breakfast, but some more hearty than they could have imagined. Jean-Luc was hosting Philippe and Ingo and the day before had given them all the varieties of his wines and liquors. Their afternoon siesta was appropriately longer than usual. They were glad that today, the first day of the festival, they had excuses to escape the hospitality of the usual morning poire ( a pear liquor ), the visit to the 'cave' where he stores all his wines, the aperatif of pastis, the French master drink of every bar in the country, and of course the white, rose and red wines for lunch.


The school in Mazieres and from Cinq Mars la Pile and Langais, two neighbouring towns had send children to participate in the workshops of not only Bekir, Patrick and Robert, but also a local wood carver, a cooking session, a person who made straw figures and the pirates, a group of dedicated shanty singers who played old viking games with ther children on the street.


The Quatre Pieces de Huit (four pieces of eight) began to form some years ago out of friendship and love of French shanties, Breton songs and Irish-Breton music. They came to this years festival with the intention to join in with the idea of the Culture Trail, to share and participate with all the people visiting, but also to be with the artists of the Trail. Thiery, the Mayor of Mazier used his tractor to bring in plenty of bales of hay for the pirates to build a tavern in the village, a haven for adults and children alike, and for all their 'Arrrr, we'll get you on our boat scrubbing the decks and working the rigging and tackle!' everyone felt really safe there, very un-pirate like.

The afternoon was spent again with a lot of children and music. The school cantine had been busy all morning preparing a lunch for all the children who sat on long tables under the protection of the tents and listened to some live music.Meanwhile, the Unbelievables spent some time rehearsing and the theatre prepared for their performance the next day.

The evening began with a French pop band called Bonamia. Their music was light and dancy, but well put together with nice lyrics and a good portion of world sounds making their music lively and varied. The next band was a local rock band, rough looking, soft hearted and very loud. The drummer, a viking type of character rocked the stage with his double bass drum pedal and a wall of toms. Then came the pirates and got everyone singing deep into the night, and although the rain had been teeming down since four in the afternoon, nobody felt the need to leave the scene and we all went to bed late, tired and full of many new experiences from a new audienece in a new setting amidst the vinyards and pine-tree forests of the Touraine.


JUNE 12th


We awoke to a sparkling morning with a few clouds, blue skies and a sun already doing its best to dry up the village centre where the days activities had already begun with new artisans arriving to set up their ware in the stalls provided by the mayors office. Local artists were mingling in with the exhibitions of Patrick and Bekir in the hall. The festival team were working hard again to set up the gear for the barbecueing, frites, coffee, and other necessities to feed a small army of volunteers. Dwelling in the expectation of todays visitors all the busy bees were arranging benches, tables and cleaning up from the night before. The coffee pots were full and the early morning crispy air was becoming more and more humid as the sun beat down.


The village baker was open this year for the festival and the villagers were going about their Saturday morning chores and peeking in at tents and stage to get a glimpse of what was going on


At 11 am the official opening began with the mayors of Mazieres, Cinq Mars La Pile and Langais as well as many of the elected local politicians of the area. A visit was paid to all the exhibiting artists and when the mayors and their entourage reached the village hall Bob explained the idea of the Culture Trail and the reason why he had asked Bekir and Patrick to join the Trail. They come from the East (Bekir) and the West (Patrick) of Europe . They have completely different styles of art, but both are extremely dedicated to what they do, and althouth the one can never do what the other does, they compliment each other through their respect and dedication, their acceptance and deliverance to the other and because they communicate.


After the rounds were done the 'Vin d'honeur' began in the centre of the village, publicly and deliberately. The opening was officially transacted and the glasses lifted to toast the oncoming days events and the exhibitions.

Bob then discussed with all three mayors the issue of the Culture Trail continuation 2011 to which all three agreed to work on together, to bring the artists to the schools and churches of all three communities.


The afternoon began to see a multitude of peolple arriving out of their houses in the village. The older generation was there as well enjoying the revival of their village life as they knew it many, many years ago before people could afford a car and travel quickly to the venues of the larger cities of Tours and Angers. The concentration of events in the cities and the attraction to draw all the younger generation away from their villages has left desolate villages everywhere in Europe. The result is that the villages have less and less communication and the older people have only the garden gossip and 200 TV channels to block out any personal creativity. The truth is that the older generation has a lot to give if they had the chance to show something. Their appreciation of the Culture Trail activities was written all over their faces and they had stayed the night before through all the rain, and even through the rock concert.


Today they were to be thanked with a new programme under warm skies. A short shower in the afternoon did not stop the show and the evening was blessed with a clear and sparkling sky.


The music on stage began with a local duo, father and son, Richard et Robert, singing chansons to which all the French could sing along to. Then came a wonderful parade of colours in the form of a group of Portugese immigrants living in St. Pierre des Corps right next to Tours. All generations singing, dancing and playing traditional dances and songs from their home country. The traditional costumes were a big attraction with the main colours being red on black, a fiery vision among the rather stylish, but dull clothes we all wear today. They were sensational and their tradition was enjoyed by one and all.

Then the pirated did a short performance on stage to round off the afternoon.


Judith, Thomas and Antonio were next. Their theater performance was in the school court yard, a little further away from the bustle of the bar where the team was busy preparing the food for all the guests to come and the team.


About fifty people had gathered for the performance and everyone was discussing about it after, many of whom had never seen pantomime in their lives.


The evening music programme then began with the Unbelievables, the Culture Trail World Music Group followed by a session with local musicians, the pirates and a pianist from Ravendark, a German gothic rock band. In the break Bob was approached by the locals who have known him since the end of the 80's when he first came to the area and complimented him on the band, the music and the festival.

The festival closed around midnight and two days of intense culture has left everyone with the taste for more to come in the future, together, with all generations and nations.


Cultural Trail 2010
Mazieres Both Days
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