The Story of a Song.

Text read by Mary Peters

How does inspiration become a song?
Jean-Yves Ragot has an anecdote.

Here is the story of a song. We go back…35 years! Is it possible? January 1985…

Once upon a time… there was a dishwasher and a rhythm that was running through my head. So, I started to sing this rhythm by tapping on the tray of the dishwasher. I had fun re-enacting the moment…Come on, smile 😉

Copyright Jean-Yves Ragot

Then, little by little, I began to sing “in yoghurt”. Singing “in yoghurt” is a technique that consists of singing a little bit of anything to a melody when you do not yet have the idea of a text.

 Wikipedia gives us this example:

During the composition of Yesterday, Paul McCartney had no lyrics and started by singing “Scrambled eggs…”. “(scrambled eggs)”.

There too, for my future song, I had fun reconstructing, with “yoghurt” which is meant to sound “English” đŸ€— in

Copyright Jean-Yves Ragot

Once I had finished composing the music for the verses and the chorus, I had to replace the “yoghurt” with real words.

Ten years earlier, my sister had given me a huge, little book that had left its mark on me as it has on millions of readers all over the world: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, a descendant of the great Johann Sebastian.

It tells the story of a seagull that didn’t want to spend its life, like the others, watching for the fish it would eat, but that was constantly trying to go beyond its limits in ecstasies of gliding flights.

 A small book of about forty luminous pages, a poetic parable and philosophical tale, full of quotations that have become classics such as: “You can rise even higher because you wanted to learn”. “You must strive to see the true gull – the good one – in each of your fellow creatures and help them discover it in themselves. This is what I mean by love”.

In my song lyrics, I then choose to highlight Jonathan’s determination to always start over, to try, to remain faithful to his deepest aspiration, even if it means being mocked by others – in the book he will be excluded from the clan.

 At that time, with Michel Gangloff on keyboards and rhythm programming, and Claude Ruff on guitars and flute, we were giving concerts all over Alsace. Very quickly, the song became a key title in our repertoire. An unforgettable memory linked to this song. We arrived in the large hall – where the Haguenau Youth Forum was to be held – to settle down and adjust the sound. And there, on the doorstep, the three of us remain astonished and amazed: creative hands had secretly made an impressive seagull that covered the whole wall of the stage! May they be forever thanked!

And this song, we quite naturally placed it at the top of the B-side of our LP, released some time later.

A song that I have always kept in my repertoire. Like under this link, at the moment, with my accomplice Chris. Good listening!

 So much for the story of a song.

Let’s move on to the announced BONUS, to make you, I hope, smile in these gloomy times.

RĂ©mi Boos is a prodigious pianist – don’t hesitate to look for other videos on his channel – and a fabulous joker. He was my accompanist for a few years and he remains a friend with whom I sometimes cooperate on certain occasions. Four years ago, he came up with an idea for a children’s song (not especially for children) that would take the opposite tack to what we hear, and expect, most of the time. I wrote the text, he did the music and the arrangement. And he did the drawings and the editing for this video. As for the voice…it’s mine…yes, it is!

                    Good (re)discovery below!

     Wishing you well.

                 And like Jonathan…

                                    Jean-Yves


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En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.

Blowing in the Wind

Text read by Mary Peters

Blowing in the Wind with Jean-Yves Ragot.

Retired French Literature teacher and musician, Jean-Yves Ragot, raises the curtain on some of his songs. As his thoughts go “Blowing in the wind”, they land on my desk. However, I quickly discover that you need to do more than just “Listen to the music” to understand about “The way we were”.


In these gloomy times and context, a bit of lightness and a big step back with my first guitar chords.

I was 14 years old, and every time my big brother Claude was away, I hurried to go and play on his superb jazz guitar like the one :

 I strummed my first chords. MI RE LA.  The simplest ones. So many songs have been made with these three chords!

 I remember perfectly to have, for example, strummed for hours the MI LA RE of “La poupĂ©e qui fait non” by Michel Polnareff:

or the MI RE LA of “Gloria“by Van Morrison and his band Them.

Souvenirs, memories…guitarists have to recognise each other…

But at the same time, from these chords, quickly enriched by others, I started to compose my first songs. And I can’t say why. The guitar, so practical to animate the singing as an instructor in the airy centre, to set the atmosphere with friends. And sometimes I slide one of my compositions.

  In 1968, inspired by my muse of the time, and while everyone still had in mind the Beatles’ song which had won the Grammy Award for “Song of the Year” the previous year (although it had been released at the end of 1965) :

I composed what was soon to become a “tube” in our little band.

By the way, you should know that the word ‘tube’ was invented by Boris Vian in 1957, then artistic director at Philips.

“Tube” refers to the expensive cylinders of our old phonographs, and therefore reserved for future successes. But also, for Vian, “tube” was for those songs with hollow lyrics like a “hit”. But he himself, a gifted writer and musician, wrote several of them.

 Before this word “tube”, people in musical circles used to talk about… “sausage” to designate these melodies composed by the kilometre to be cut into slices.

 So, with my lover and the title of the Beatles in mind, I composed the song you are about to discover. In 2016, I had fun orchestrating and recording it, and Raymond Scheu, a childhood friend, surprised me by having fun putting it into pictures.

    Good discovery under this link:

             Wishing you form, energy and good morale.

                            Jean-Yves


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En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.

Swimming in Music

Frank frets over an unusual encounter.

I can thank my lucky stars that the man was a teacher. This thought is my lifeline, my safety net to the experience I am about to embark upon.

But, as is with most good stories, there is an overture.

Had Jean-Yves Ragot’s wife not taken part in one of my English courses, had she not had a quiet word with me about that class, had she not actively encouraged the Brida Journal and the Brida Project, I would not be having this conversation with her husband. Michùle is the sort of person who has a permanent question mark floating above her. There is something that puzzles one. Slowly it emerges. The patchwork family which now houses 12 grandchildren. The casual remarks, dropped like a handkerchief, waiting to be picked up and returned. In the summer comes an invitation for some coffee in the Blue House. And when the two halves present themselves as one whole, I still see the question marks. Months later, I realise, I am using the wrong sense. Do not look, listen.

At some point the handkerchief is dropped for the umpteenth time, “Jean-Yves writes an email about his work, would you like to receive them too
.?” Meekly, I pick up the handkerchief, say yes and hesitantly something arrives. I read, it stirs, I listen, it stirs
but the end of year exhaustion is too great. An idea formulates but my body is crying for shutdown.

Eventually I open the door to this new world. Again, the question marks are jumping around, telling me to do something. But what? A question mark whispers into my ear, “you are using the wrong sense. Do not look, do not listen. Feel.”

And so, I jump into swimming pool and swim in music.

It is just over a week before MichĂšle and Jean-Yves come here to discuss his work. My head is spinning. This is one of these golden moments which I do not want to screw up. But how?

How do you talk to the man when he writes and then sings?

On en crĂšve
De tout c’qu’nous n’disons pas
De ces mots que l’on garde pour soi.
We’re dying
Of all the things we don’t say
Of these words that one keeps to oneself.
 

He does not make it easy:

Qui, mĂȘme toi
Que je n’connais qu’depuis si peu de temps
Mais avec qui je viens d’passer de superbes
moments
Toi qui es lĂ 
Un peu paumé.
Yes, even you
That I have known for such a short time
But with whom I’ve just had a wonderful time
You who are here
A little lost

A little lost?

Je connais Paris, ville d’art et de misùre
J’ai vu Venise et les grandes villes d’Italie
J’ai vu Munich et son Octobre de folie
J’ai voyagĂ© dans tellement de contrĂ©es.
I know Paris, city of art and misery
I saw Venice and the big cities of Italy
I saw Munich and its crazy October
I’ve travelled to so many places.

I breathe a sigh of relief. I can look him in the eye. We share common ground.

But, before I know it, he pulls the rug from under my feet.

Mais mes voisins de palier, de quartier
Je ne les ai jamais bien regardés
But my neighbours on the landing, the district
I’ve never looked at them properly.


Yes, I admit, I had not heard of the person nor his music, although he lives only 15 km from me.

As I swim to the deeper end of the pool, I meet Madame Louise. She must be a beautiful woman as I listen to the softness of the music with a hint of melancholy.

Comme si c’était la premiĂšre fois
Puis elle regagne Ă  petits pas
Son vieux fauteuil oĂč elle s’assoit
L’instant sacrĂ© est arrivĂ©
Quelqu’un va enfin lui parler
As if it was the first time
Then she returns in small steps
Her old armchair where she sits
The sacred moment has arrived
Someone will finally talk to her.

The song softly unfolds and reveals a deep humanity, so elegantly portrayed, so simple yet so complex as life can be.

A lap or two later, as I continue swimming, the humanity is perhaps a little more risqué.

Le diable au corps
J’en redemande encore
Je calcule, je manipule
Le diable au corps
J’en redemande encore
Je fais tout ce qu’il me plait
Sans vraiment penser
Au mal que je fais
The devil in the body
I want more
I calculate, I manipulate
The devil in the body
I want more
I do whatever I like
Without really thinking
To the evil that I do.

Yes, we were young once. How could we forget?

As I continue swimming, I encounter Mathieu, Julien, Fabien and Benoit.
They are a cheery bunch, as the music tells me in a slight up-tempo gallop.
Who are these characters?

Mathieu, Julien Fabien et toi BenoĂźt
Venez, venez tous voir passer
Passer lĂ -bas sur le grand sentir
De splendide cavaliers.
Mathieu, Julien Fabien and you BenoĂźt
Come, come and see all of us pass by.
Passing over there on the big trail
Splendid riders.

And as I look “over there” I notice something else, up in the sky. I meet an old friend, whom I had not spoken with since I lived in London, some 30 years ago. And the mist in my brain begins to clear and I begin to see, to hear and to feel, all at once.

File, file, redouble tous tes efforts
Comme Jonathan Livingston le Goéland
Monte encore, vole de plus en plus fort
File, file vers une nouvelle aurore.
Go, go, double your efforts
Like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Go up again, fly stronger and stronger
Flying, flying to a new dawn.

Working with another client, we stride through several “self-help books” as our discussion material. Jonathan reminds me how easy it is to glide through the sky and be different. And how to look for that next air current to propel us forward. Afterall, we just need to look, listen and feel. The seagull replaces the shrink.

The freedom that we experience here saves us from certain problems.

Avant de juger un homme
Il faut marcher sept lunes dans les mocassins
Before judging a man
You have to walk seven moons in your moccasins.

The teacher would not be a good one, if he did not let a little mystery enter your thoughts.

As-tu déjà songé
Au mystĂšre de toute rencontre.
Have you ever thought about
the mystery of every encounter.

How do you prepare an “interview” with a teacher, a poet and a composer?




Et dans l’odeur d’un bon cafĂ©
Laisser s’approcher la journĂ©e.
 

Dans mes pĂ©riples, j’aime flĂąner, m’attarder
Faire des rencontres, discuter dans un café
 

Et quoi que to deviennes
Quand l’aventure s’achùve
MĂȘme si tu ne vole pas aussi haut que tes rĂȘves
Non, ne regrette pas tes envols de joie
DĂ©couvre une autre voie
Mais surtout n’oublie pas
 

Mais tout ça bien sĂ»r tu l’sais dĂ©jĂ 

And in the smell of a good coffee
Let the day approach
 

In my travels, I like to stroll, to linger
Meeting people, chatting in a café.
 

And whatever you become
When the adventure comes to an end
Even if you don’t fly as high as your dreams
No, don’t regret your flights of joy
Discover another way
But don’t forget.
 

But of course, you already know all that.


Would you like to swim in music as well?
Take the opportunity here: http://jyves.ragot.free.fr/

Origami with Kayvan

Kayvan explains his passion for folding paper and how you too can learn to make interesting things.  

I was introduced to origami through the construction of a simple plane and a small paper boat by my parents and my brother when I was very young.  But for almost two to three years now, my studies in origami have been continuing in a very serious and professional way.

At the beginning of 2020, when, due to Corona, I had to stay home for about four months, I had fun with paper, and the animals I made were very funny and entertaining. I decided to turn “work” into a hobby. It is nice to share this with my friends on YouTube and Instagram.

The challenge with origami, for me, is that you test yourself and that you do this by hand, using only a sheet of paper. You can make interesting and strange shapes. You can make these shapes look very simple or very complex and difficult.

I decided to set up a channel on YouTube, with animals that are very simple to make, folding paper, step by step. After 10 or 15 to maybe 20 very simple animals, my friends will have gained more experience. They will have learned and realised why you fold a sheet of paper in a certain way. They understand the specific purpose of each sheet of paper.

I used to do this more for fun. But it can be used for other reasons. For example, at an occasion with my son’s friends. I made a bird and fox origami for 30 people in the class and gave the lamb to his friend. Maybe one day they will ask their teacher to teach the rest of the children how to make animal origami.

To my friends who watch my videos, I suggest watching my work several times and to go slowly and become more competent so that they can learn folding in the necessary order. As we move forward, it becomes more and more difficult. You can improve.

After 3 months of work, you can look back and see that what you did in the first few weeks and that it was very easy. You can easily do it yourself without looking on the internet and are ready to do a much more difficult figure.

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En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.

Fashion revisited

Text read by Mary Peters

Monica’s Balloon Dresses raised some interesting questions, which she was kind to answer.

Ingolf, from Bad Sassendorf in Germany had a question.

Is the balloon dress warm or cold when you wear it?

Monica responded:

Ingolf, the answer to your question is this one: usually the balloons have the temperature of the room but as one wears the balloon dress, the balloons take the body temperature. However, if it is a dress with a low cleavage and outside is cold, one should have a piece of fabric to match the dress or not if it’s worn inside. The balloons keep you warm. I wore one and the feeling was between fabric and leather. I hope this answered your question. Please feel free to ask any question regarding the balloons. Thank you.
Monica.

MichĂšle from Merkwiller, France, in an email to me, wrote the following:

The article from Monica in Dublin amused me a lot! Imagine, the dress balloons burst during the dance! Scandal đŸ˜Š !!!

Monica’s response:

Balloons, balloons 🎈 

I am happy to see that other people are having the same questions as I once had.

Usually everyone is a little afraid of balloons: afraid to blow them too much or to manipulate them in order to turn them into other fragile objects. You should see people’s faces when I twist balloons 🎈 for parties. The immediate question is: how can you do that? You make it look so easy to twist…

Well, it’s all about practice.

The magic is in the material: LATEX. It is durable and fragile at the same time. Secret ingredients are passion and skills.

A dress made for a party is using double stuffed balloons which is harder to manipulate but more durable. You can dance away and the chances to burst a balloon or a bubble are slim. However, if it happens to have a balloon popped, the dress won’t deflate. Only the outer balloon will, or a segment of the dress. Of course, it could be fixed in minutes, easier than the fabric. 

Also, one could sit on the dress if the design is suitable. E.g: my “Cinderella” dress is not suitable for sitting on because of the round balloons 🎈that it’s made of.

The purpose of having a balloon dress is to feel fabulous, special, unique, like being on a catwalk, being photographed and having all eyes on you. How special is that?

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En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos donnĂ©es inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisĂ©es par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a Ă©tĂ© mis en place. Aucune donnĂ©e ne sera utilisĂ©e dans un autre but, sans votre consentement Ă©clairĂ©, ni ne sera communiquĂ©e Ă  un tiers. Vous pouvez Ă  chaque instant demander l'accĂšs, la modification ou la suppression de ces donnĂ©es en nous Ă©crivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine ĂŒbermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.