6th November 2008
I wouldn’t usually prepare for a concert tour by helping out at an ultra race, but as the French branch of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was holding its inaugural 24 hour race in Marseille the weekend before the concerts, it seemed crazy not to go over early to help. The race went well, the promised downpour had the decency to wait till the race ended, and the efforts and performances from the competitors were truly inspiring.
Travelling on to Montpellier, we spent the next day preparing for our first concert. Gambuja had booked a small theatre which was blessed with decent acoustics and an intimate feel, the concert went well and the 80 strong audience were lovely to perform to. It was a relief to find that we still had that feeling of group oneness after a two month break and the supportive audience helped our confidence.
Next morning saw an uncomfortably early start, in the pouring rain, to make a 5.30am train to Paris, but things looked up when we arrived to sunshine and warm hospitality from Francoise, who went out of her way to ensure we were well looked after. A delicious lunch at Madhupa’s La Victoire Supreme du Coeur restaurant left us energised for the concert in a beautiful Japanese Centre. Once again we had a lovely audience and the added benefit of a grand piano. Once again the audience was easy to perform to and everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening. Most impressive was Gambuja’s grandmother, who at 93 made it up two steep flights of stairs to the room and listened attentively throughout.
Next day we were off to Nancy, where Francoise and Christophe welcomed us to their idyllic house in a farming village just outside the city. Here we practised and even managed to prepare a new song for the concert that night. We were delighted to find our last concert would be held at a beautiful church with voice flattering acoustics. We sang and played our hearts out and really felt the uplifting and purifying effect of Sri Chinmoy’s songs. Afterwards we all offered gratitude for the wonderful experiences we’d had and for being able to share Sri Chinmoy’s music with others.
I want to say a big thanks to all our French brothers and sisters who made this tour such a success.