Read The Musicians by Jean-Jacques Sempé Free Online
Book Title: The Musicians|
The author of the book: Jean-Jacques Sempé
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1700 times
Reader ratings: 3.2
Edition: Workman Publishing
Date of issue: September 1st 1987
ISBN 13: 9780894800993
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.19 MB
Read full description of the books:
'Do you remember Augustine's saying about music, that it was what great men gave themselves over to when their day's work was done, to refashion their souls?' Siegfried didn't remember. He hadn't read Augustine. He was an ignoramus. There was so much he didn't know. He blushed. Are they great, the men I know? - from Wolfgang Koeppen's Death in Rome.
I don't know about greatness. The musicians are more often than not playing for no one at all. Or people are walking by, also silently. One guy is cleaning up and the band plays on. I was envious of the happy Mariachi band. Why are they happy? They might be playing for each other, or themselves. They have their eyes closed. If they like what they hear. Sometimes I felt that it would float away like the last strains of a song. It could be like when a song unexpectedly ends and you are left loudly singing along to what no one else can hear. It feels something like being on a precipice. There's a feeling about these illustrations that is precipice. I liked it. One man looks over his shoulder into an empty room. He's sitting at his piano, maybe playing a little something. The look to see if there is anyone there. It killed me and I'm not sure if I know if he even wanted anyone to be there. Maybe he was making sure the coast was clear so he could play for himself, safely.
A young man holds his saxophone in front of him, strapped to his big man's suit. I notice his dapper pompadour, his self satisfied smile. He is posing in front of a wall decorated with jazz musicians. Men in their suits and their tender saxes. His tender feelings. On the opposite page a man lounges in a room of trombones, drum kits and records. When you open that door you would be greeted with a proud-lipped smile. I can't quite call it a smile. It's a smile for him. I notice later the ensembles decorating his walls. These two men must have wanted to be those guys on the stage, saw themselves in suits. The roaring of the crowd. Scream from the gut. Smile like you mean it. Theirs says I'm going to go places. There are many dreamers in Jean-Jacques Sempé's Les Musiciens. A black and white lined little boy is looking up at a pink framed Mozart Museum ticket as he fingers his piano. I wonder what music they hear in their heads. This one guy looks so little as he traverses the page to another page where his grand piano in water colors stands.
A pianist bows for an applauding crowd of three in an otherwise empty auditorium. A man looks lost to the violin played close to the chest. My favorite pictures are of lonely people standing on street corners with their soul expression lugging behind them. Violins, cellos, heart string percussionists. If you laughed at them they would provide their own drum rolls. I have a soft spot for violinists. A man is dressed to sit all alone in a tuxedo. I wonder how he chose the sofa he sits on. The ball room is filled with arm chairs and upholstered places to sit. I spy one director's chair. It is the one sofa not facing another sofa so perhaps he chose it for that reason. If he did't want to stare at an empty sofa as he holds his violin.
I was familiar with Sempé's work from his illustrations of the Le Petit Nicholas books. I recall most fondly from those the noses of the children. They were always punching each other in the noses. They looked up in the world. Why wouldn't they? Every story ended on a punch line. I notice these noses too. Sometimes they appear knowing over a dangling cigarette and a piano. Sometimes they are deadly serious on a little girl on her piano. She's practicing. One man doesn't have one. He has a giant checkered suit. He must play giant's ivories. His cigarette disappears into his chin. His music disappears behind him. I don't hear anything. I went on an expedition to find his nose.
There is an index in the back with names of the musicians. I googled my favorite on page 88-89. Jean-Loup Bonnefoy, 103, Rue De La Pompe. Not a mouse.
If you wanted to sit down in his place you would have to move the piles of newspapers or sit on the newspapers and maybe they'd make a musical rustling. You could put your feet up on the table for ashtrays and yet more newspapers. You could orchestrate a symphony of crinkling paper. This Jean-Loup Bonnefoy, a man, sits at a drum kit beforea window. It reaches to just above his waste. He is hunched and those might be sweatpants if French men wore sweat pants. I don't want to know if French men wear sweat pants. I've seen loads of French men in blue jeans and sport's jackets. I don't think it is fair that they get away with that while women have to wear uncomfortable lady business suits. Anyway, this man is sporting the so-called comfortable version of the suit. His tie is a forgotten about noose, undone at the throat. I wonder if others would notice first his dazed dog look. Would they notice that he's playing his drums with a pair of forks? They look like mini rakes. Little pitch forks from hell. Get him! He's not really playing his drum kit at all. I don't know that he's playing anything. I cannot, of course, hear music coming out of my art book. I wish that I could. I wonder if his foot is on the pedal of the drum on the floor. Burn rubber my soul must speak. I want to get behind him in there and open those blinds. Someone should call him on the disused telephone by the stack of books near the stacks of newspapers. The phone will play like music.
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Read information about the authorÀ 17 ans, Sempé roule à bicyclette pour un courtier en vins. En 1960, il démarre avec Goscinny l'aventure du petit Nicolas, dressant une inoubliable galerie de portraits d' "affreux jojos qui tapissent depuis notre imaginaire" (dixit Goscinny). Son humour fin, subtil et allusif allié à un formidable sens du dérisoire caractérisent toute son ouvre. Sa plume traduit sa vision tendrement ironique de nos travers et des travers du monde. Aujourd'hui, Sempé est l'auteur d'une trentaine d'albums. En 1988, il a illustré Catherine Certitude, de Patrick Modiano. Il dessine régulièrement pour L'Express, Télérama, le New Yorker et expose ses dessins et ses aquarelles à Munich, New York, Londres ou Salzburg, où il rencontre toujours un très vif succès.
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