Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Played For You, Mona Lisa

Voila! Our first day of playing in Paris!

Now this was my (Annelise's) first day of playing on the street ever. Raylene played in Germany last summer, but it was our first time together. It was a very strange feeling just setting down my case and taking my violin out to play in front of tons of people!

We had arranged and memorized six songs to play together: Lakme Flower Duet, Barcarolle by Offenbach, part of Peche de Perles by Bizet, Paganini Caprice No. 21, Mona Lisa, and Bella Notte. I was pretty nervous, but I found it comforting to actually play the music. We first played in a cafe/bar/shop-filled cobblestone street near St. Michel. At our first location pick, a restaurant owner shooed us away from the area! It was actually a little embarrassing... But also ironic, considering an hour later a restaurant owner excitedly asked us to play near his cafe ;)

We just played for two hours in the St. Michel area, but in that time we found a favorite spot. We were originally drawn to it because of a set of colorful fliers announcing concerts of VIVALDI and BACH- we felt at home :) While playing here, a woman came up to us complimenting us on our playing, and pointing to her husband who was listening in a window above us. They took snapshots of us, and even printed them out in their hotel for us to have! We discovered that they were from Louisiana; it was nice to chat with fellow Americans.

Although we intended to play for the rest of the day, we were thoroughly distracted by the beauty of Paris, and wound up wandering all the way from the Notre Dame area to under the Eiffel Tower - a NINE mile walk along the Seine!!

But, along this walk we had many adventures- first, we ended up at the Louvre, with the crazy idea of performing Mona Lisa in front of the...'home' of Mona Lisa! So we stood in the shadow of a large statue in the center of the square, and started playing. 30 seconds later, Louvre security ran over to tell us we needed a license. The sad part is that we hadn't even started playing Mona Lisa yet! Fail. Next, we found ourselves on Alexander III bridge, Raylene's favorite bridge in Paris. This bridge has the most amazing view of the Eiffel, so we played with possibly the most beautiful backdrop! These adventures reminded us of how excited we are for a whole summer of stepping on to the most stunning "stages" a musician could find. And this was just the first day!!

p.s., Heather Graham sighting at a Cafe...!!!!! I was extremely starstruck.



  1. I like your hair better this way sis. you dont need to hide your forehead:) jealous of flip snowed here AGAIN last nite.
    Sounds like its already an awesome adventure! Are you gonna be there for July 14th? its a party!

  2. What a stunning backdrop for your playing! I wish I could be there to listen & watch! Well, this is definitely the way to take classical music to the masses! Congratulations on your perseverance despite some setbacks : ) Surely many will enjoy and be touched by your splendid talent and beauty... representatives of our great country and I thank you. Raylene, looks like you found a new dress? Or does it belong to Annelise? haha! Thank you for these great pix...the Eiffel Tower after dark is my favorite.