Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Ever wonder what it feels like to be a musician?
Flight after flight wondering when's the next time you see your family again.
I took 2 weeks off teaching right after the Debussy Recital (for practice). Julie and my in-laws left the night after for a business trip in Holland-France. Which also means I had to cook and take care of all the chores at home :)
When I arrived in Paris, they were already checked-in at the hotel so they came to pick me up at Orly airport. It was a huge mess at the airport pick up due to the new terminals, I got lost and walked about 2km on the express way to get to the car. Cut the long story short, the concert at Salle Cortot was in a few hours (Yes on the same day)
So I checked into the hotel at Fraser Suites, La defense. Honestly I thought the hotel was a little old, but the interior was clean and well managed. The service was excellent and we got an upgrade from the general manager!
And + its a Singaporean hotel chain!
Yep so arriving in Paris at 8am in the morning, after a 12 hours flight from Reunion Island.
Getting lost at the airport and then checking in at around 11am. I was completely drained.
At 1pm sharp, there was going to be a rehearsal for all the performers. So voila, I had to skip yet again, Lunch (in Paris).
Rehearsals went really well and we had a good time catching up with ex classmates etc. But our stomach couldn't keepup with all these moving-about.
So we decided to walk next door towards the famous Pierre Herme at the Champs-Elysees. And as usual, we were blown away!
If you are a pastry lover, and if you ever go to Paris, this place right here - you have to go - Absolutely!
133 avenue des Champs Elysées
75008 Paris, France
Yep and back to work!
Debussy - Feux d'artifice (fire works) from 2nd book of Preludes
In the first few bars of this music, the running notes are the effects of people gathering around making noise and waiting for the fire works to begin. Then the show begins with the right hand playing octaves on the higher register. The piece then explodes into a rage of fire only to anticipate the grand finale where one will be able to spot the theme of the French national anthem La Marseillaise
With the greatest Saxophonist in the world Claude Delangle post concert with wine and cheese
What a day this was turning out to be! Although I was really exhausted, I was so much looking forward to Dinner. We booked a table at the JIN XIN LOU
Jin Xin Lou is probably one of the best restaurants I know.
Actually if you just look from the outside, it can be rather deceiving. The chef who's in his early 30s, gave up the perfect opportunity to work in the restaurant of his teacher the famous French cook Pierre Gagnaire
Instead, he cooks in his parent's little Chinese takeaway.
As a Singaporean and a frequent traveler, I know just how to avoid Chinese takeaways in Europe. They are mostly over-priced and very very bad. I won't even bother posting photos about those experiences.
The funny thing is this young man, doesn't cook Chinese, he was trained in the art of fine French cuisine. On top of that he had won all the major cooking competitions at a very young age.
The quality/prix was super reasonable for whatever we were about to order. Well of course the ambiance wasn't as great as a real 3 star Michelin restaurant. But hey we were only there for the food!
Never judge a book by its cover!
63 rue de l'Amiral Mouchez, Paris, 75013
It can be quite complicated to get to this place. With the RER B, I believe its Cite Universitaire followed by a 15mins walk. Uber's the way to go :)
It was probably 10.30pm by the time dinner was done. There was just one more meeting with a old friend, another wonderful pianist. So we just decided to get a drink at my hotel, yeah 11pm.
The next day...
Reunion with my master Jean-Marc Luisada after more than 8 years. The man who basically taught me everything. This time we went to a Tunisian restaurant on the other side of the Champ-Elysee Au Rendez Vous, Wagram
We were having a fantastic dinner catching up about life, mostly discussing about music. It was like a movie scene, we were looking though my Debussy score and he was giving me some really interesting fingerings. Next to us was a huge television screen PSG vs Napoli, everything was moving around our table. Figured we were eating Tunisian food served by Jews. Fun!
After a turbulent start to my musical journey ,numerous ups and downs, rain or shine I will never forget everything my teachers gave to me. Everything they taught me will always stay in my heart.
Next stop - Italy!