We are in my courtyard. The weather is beautiful, there are trees, moss on the walls, gorgeous light from the sun. And Dominique A is at a loss. My elderly neighbour has come alone. His wife did not want to go out, still anxious as men posing as police had stolen money from them a few days before.
Dominique played him ‘Les Hauts Quartiers de peine’, after which my elderly neighbour talked at length about his life, his exile, his Ukranian family killed during the war. Dominique turned to us and said, ‘I’ve become a minstrel.’ He wanted to play exclusively for the elderly, for people ‘who are bored in the afternoon’.
It took us a long time to get going after this exchange, as if Dominique A needed to ruminate on the idea of playing the minstrel. We were in the street, and without any warning, he began, he was ready. He took charge, singing in a courtyard, at the exit of a Ed grocery; crossing the road without looking, getting into an altercation with a small black dog, and, at this incredible section in the middle of ‘Bruit blanc de l’été’
“Qu’est ce qu’il faut pas faire pour gagner sa vie”.
Afterwards, we talked about this experience with Dominique for a long time. You can read about it in the upcoming days. We could have spent hours talking with him. It wasn’t just the pleasure of listening to his songs laid out bare, but the genuine experience of seeing him take on an exercise which was challenging for him, and it was enlightening to talk about it afterwards. Thank you, Dominique.
- Dominique A is currently touring France. Tour dates.
Translation by Tara Dominguez