The jazzman Gael Horellou plays for a couple at the club Station in Paris on June 10, 2020.
June 11, 2020 14h12
Paris: jazz concerts for spectator solitaire
PARIS — The jazz musician and his unique viewer is face-to-face in a wine cellar in paris, five meters of distance. A few words and the sound of the saxophone springs, crystalline lens, such as a release after several months without live music because of the sars coronavirus.
Since June 2, the room of the jazz Station, in the north-east of Paris, organizes every evening a hundred “solo concerts for spectators only”, for about five minutes, “between an artist suffering not to give in the last two months, and a spectator in drying of not receiving for the past two months”, according to Julien De Casabianca, a co-founder of the place in 2017.
It is necessary to first register, then wait, the time that the names on the list are shattered one by one. Finally, the moment arrives. The door closes to the unknown, an encounter, a face-to-face meeting in a few minutes with the musician.
The room, like a long crypt with multiple arcades, bathed in darkness. The wet spots dot the floor. At the end, two lamps, a Persian rug and two bouquets of white flowers give the decor an atmosphere is subdued and intimate.
“Hello, what’s your name?” asks the artist of the evening. Games of light and shadow emerge on his skin. Sitting on a chair a few feet from it, measurement of detachment force, the spectator is present and the “solo concert” can begin.
With each new concert, a new encounter. The spectators are smiling, wondering eyes. Some watch carefully, the concentrated air. Others turn their heads toward their spouse, because two lovers, two friends or two family members form a “single entity” and can attend all the concert.
“I feel that people are really engaging, the heart wide open. In this kind of configuration, there is no separation between you and the public,” says the saxophonist Benedict Crauste, one of the two musicians on display Wednesday night at The train Station.
“When you play alone, you’re much more free. I go where I want. There, it is total freedom, I can feel it,” he said. His employment contract in hand, he relishes his return to the stage after having had to put her activity paused during the outbreak.
“Play it again, for me, it is a release, loose another musician of the evening, the saxophonist Gael Horellou. According to the mood of the people, it makes me want to play different things.”
At the exit, the spectators are under the spell. On the large terrace of the old disused railway station of the “petite ceinture”, a former railway line which was the tower of Paris, they regain their breath, a beer in hand.
“He looked at us and I think that’s what he played, it was just for us. It is like a chef in the kitchen that makes a dish just for you,” said Alizée Jarycki, 30 years old, came with her companion.
Thomas Gien leaves as soon as his mini-concert ended, eyes still shiny with emotion: “I’m going to be able to get in bed with stars in their eyes.”
For the two co-managers of the space, you can’t organize concerts, more usual, with rules of separation between the spectators. “Up to 50 people in a large concert hall, you leave with the idea of a concert is missed in the head. A solo concert, you leave with a souvenir for life,” explains Yacine Abdeltif.
“In economic terms, for the moment, it is catastrophic,” admitted his partner Julien De Casabianca, who estimates that the revenues are four to ten times less important than in normal times.
However, he is pleased with the artistic results. “There is a radicalism in the fact that we do not resume the concerts, other than in the intensity of the communion”, he says.
One hundred micro-solo concerts by night, The train Station announcement 3000 benefits for the month of June.