We are Europe – Chilly Gonzales Shakes the Old World

Europeans hardly see themselves as citizens of one nation. They consider themselves inhabitants of several independent countries pooled by an alliance of convenience, or worse: necessary evil. Even more in “our” times, when the EU is in danger, fighting monetary threats. On one hand, people benefit from open borders, and on the other, they seem to be more aware of the differences than of what unites us and the rich cultural heritage. Maybe it’s the lack of a common language; a European Esperanto. Yet, it’s the words of a Canadian that strikes a chord, and might bring some remedy for the sore EU citizen – especially the German soul. In an interview with renowned radio station Deutsche Welle he states: “I firmly believe that Europe is one land and Germany an important province of this land.” Lire la suite

Gonzales: Montreal Re-Education

« I play my own music, so I have a direct line to the composer; I know what his intentions were. » – Gonzales on interpretation

My son and I were fortunate enough to be part of the sold-out Masterclass lecture at the ‘old and modern’ Centre Phi in Montreal on June 2. The Centre Phi lies at the edge of old Montreal just West of McGill St., not far from where Montreal was originally founded. Old Montreal is unique in that a large section of the original city was preserved, despite pressure over the years to make way for modern buildings and roads. It’s an uncharacteristically hot June day, but the walk down shady cobblestone-lined streets is very pleasant – the old buildings still releasing the winter’s chill that was stored deep within their stone walls. Some of the buildings in old Montreal date back to the 1700s (ancient by North American standards) – a time when the Little St. Pierre River met the mighty St. Lawrence River. Old versus new, historical versus modern, the pressures of North American culture flowing beside a bastion of European value. A city situated on the confluence of two cultures seems like the perfect place to host an entertainer who deftly marries old world craftsmanship with new world sensibilities like no other. Lire la suite