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Suzanne White

Author • Adventuress • Astrologer

Life on the Run

Nobuyuki Tsujii

by Suzanne White - on Monday, April 30, 2018
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NOBUYUKI TSUJII - A young, (Virgo/Dragon 1988) blind Japanese pianist whose emotion-filled playing moves audiences around the world to tears. My pal Karl Jesse introduced me to this wonder. Take time out to listen to his performance.

Watch as Nobuyuki Tsujii weeps when he plays his own composition "Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan". Hurry up and listen. You only live once.

Here in France I have learned how to live in and for the moment. Today, for example, the piano tuner came. His name is Karl Jesse. He is a Virgo/Pig. Precision and Gourmandise.

I only see Karl once a year when I get my piano tuned. His workshop is right around the corner from my house. In fact, I first met Karl in the street as I was walking home one day. He is half German and half French. He studied piano and learned how to play well. But not well enough (he says) to compete in the big bad world of concert musicians. So he then studied piano building. If you have a Steinway sitting your garage rusting away while you sleep, Karl will take a year to repair it and then he very well may keep it. He has a few antique pianos and two harpsichords in his atelier. One from 1750 and one from 1814. He has repaired them both. Now one of them lives in Nice on loan to the Opera House. (see Karl's blue harpsichord here

Karl zooms around Provence from Cannes to Nice to Marseille and Aix all the time, sometimes every day, fixing and tuning after listening to concerts. He goes wherever concert pianos are used so he can catch imperfections in each instrument to be sure they stay in perfect working order.

He came at 1pm yesterday. He left at 4. Only 40 minutes of that time was used to tune my 1890 Erard. The rest of the time we had coffee and talked. He taught me about musicians I had never heard of. He filled me in on the artists coming this year to the Villecroze Music Festival of which he is the full time technician for pianos and other musical instruments. Villecroze is a famous music school and concert venue about 20 kms from Draguignan where I live. Check this out:

Karl speaks three languages and uses them all when speaking to me. I don't always comprehend the German. But back and forth between French and English is easiest for me so when Karl and I talk - we talk!!! Karl doesn't have a cell phone. He has a Blackberry. He isn't on any social networks. He has 400 kilos of JLB speakers in his dining room and a huge collection of vinyl records. "We don't have a dining room anymore." he said.

Karl has every record Marta Argerich ever made. And complete collections of the works of every pianist alive or dead. He fixes everything broken. He doesn't care how long it takes. He is only interested in the results - and the coffee chats. When he finished tuning, I worried that the inside of my piano was dusty. He went and got the vacuum cleaner and cleaned the whole inside of my piano. I said I could do it. He said no. I would surely break something in there.

The piano tuning and 3 hour visit cost 80 euros. A pittance for the quality of work Karl does. In France, by the way, I rarely hear anyone speak of money or success or getting a big job etc. The French talk a lot about how pretty things are or how good they taste or how they smell. They keep you posted on how their radishes are coming along and wonder if you'll be needing any help with your shopping. Life hereabouts is all about the pleasures of just living.

"As soon as you can walk Suzanne," Karl said. "I want you to come see my new 1814 harpsichord. It's a beauty. It's blue."

"Did you buy it?"

"Of course not. Somebody gave it to me. I have saved quite a lot to buy a house. I'll be 60 in a year. I can't go buying antique harpsichords. I need to save so I won't ever have any debt."

C'est la vie en France today.

Love and kisses, Suze


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Author Suzanne White

About Suzanne White

Suzanne White is the High Priestess of Chinese and Western Astrology. She's American and has lived in France for 50 years. She spends some months in America every year on house swaps. Suzanne says: One day I'm a rip-roaring Yankee and the next day I'm an dainty, elegant Parisienne My totally bi-lingual life is a kind of "managed schizophrenia". It's fun. I live for fun. I will probably die of it too.

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