<< -- 2 -- Jennifer I Paull A MUSICIAN WITHOUT BORDERS
His words, like so many nimble and airy servitors, trip about him at command.
-- John Milton (1608-1674), poet
If we substituted 'notes' for 'words', this would be a perfect description of Gilles Apap. There are four films about him to date. The first, The Unknown Fiddler of Santa Monica (an adjective no longer applicable today), was directed by Bruno Monsaingeon in 1993, as was the third, Gilles Apap plays Mozart's Third Concerto, in 1999, just three days after Lord Menuhin (who was to have conducted its performance) died. The film is dedicated to his memory. The CD of the same concerto, Gilles Apap & The Sinfonia Varsovia, was recorded three years later and released in 2003. For those who own this recording, the video is well worth finding. Should you have neither, both are journeys into the world of Gilles Apap, Musicien sans frontières (Musician Without Borders). The second film, Gilles Apap and Friends features the Transylvanian Mountain Boys and I look forward to discovering it. All the CDs and films that I have heard and seen have been an inspiration. I suggest a visit to his web site to listen to some of the treasures from many lands and epochs -- from Vivaldi to today. He should be in everybody's collection!
The latest documentary is the DVD Apap Masala, Gilles Apap in India. This is directed by Max Jourdan and has just been released (2004).
Gilles Apap, renegade fiddler
To my way of thinking, the trilogy comprises one of the best-concentrated courses of music lessons available anywhere. Any amateur of music -- and by that I mean anyone who loves it, myself included, cannot but feel enriched and enlightened by Apap's artistry as he distils the very soul of musical expression -- love, caring, passion and diversity. To this list he learned to add improvisation, about which nothing is taught in the world of the compartmentalised, 'classical' musician of the West. As a general rule, the student is taught about his allocated pigeonhole and that from the optic of pure technique. How many people break down barriers of style, refuse to accept that the conventional approach is the only one? Not enough!
Copyright © 28 July 2004
Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland