We're all heading to Geneva at the end of this week for our annual Camac Festival!
The advance information about the festival has not changed so, rather than repeat myself, you can read it here. In a nutshell, this annual event aims to present some of the brightest stars of the harp's different styles and genres (a range so diverse that it never fails to amaze and delight us), highlight the work of local harp scenes (which is why we choose a different venue every year), and offer the best commercial opportunity possible (the largest exhibition of Camac instruments you will ever find in one place). It is also an ideal opportunity to have your harp regulated (please reserve an appointment in advance for this).
The wonderful artists performing for us this year deserve a paragraph of thanks containing no parentheses at all. There will be four fabulous duos: Isabelle Moretti and Magali Mosnier, Ghislaine Petit-Volta and Jean-Marc Volta, Sophie and Marie Hallynck, and Sileas - Mary Macmaster and Patsy Seddon. We're also delighted to welcome Petra van der Heide, Tara Minton and her trio, Bernard Andrès, and the harp professors and students in and around Geneva. A huge thank you to them all!
If you haven't yet reserved your tickets - which are free - call +33 (0) 2 40 97 24 97, or email email@example.com!
Harpblog is also looking forward to the chocolate
I'm looking for a (paid!) temporary assistant to help me with the French versions of everything I write for Camac.
This is for a short period of maternity cover, starting on September 3rd. The work involves translating from English into French, as well as correcting some of my own French correspondence, sometimes (but hopefully not all the time) to tight deadlines.
If you are a native French speaker, you read English fluently and you are interested in this work, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was skyping with Deborah Henson-Conant during the long vacation (nothing like a bit of name-dropping to swing Harpblog back into action - this was just before I texted Isabelle Moretti). "So, you guys are totally on holiday? No calls, no emails, no sneaky faxes to the office?" said DHC. "The office is closed", said I. "The only reason I'm around is I've got the builders in because my job is not a job, it's a way of life."
"That's amazing. We Americans admire that as well as find it kind of hard to get our heads around".
DHC is right that not every nation shares the French custom of taking an uncompromising summer break, and it's also quite difficult to translate "la rentrée", the post-holiday return to work. But in short, we're back, even more tanned and gorgeous-looking than normal, and rubbing our hands with delight at the thought of the new season's projects and prospects.
I hope your summer was as fun and restorative as ours! Keep an eye on Harpblog for all our new-season news - and if you have time, please send us yours. It's great to hear about what you're doing, and we do our best to do some additional publicity where we can.
And from at home in our factory, to out of it, away on holiday...
Camac France are going on their summer vacation between July 20th and August 20th and this means we will be TOTALLY CLOSED. No email, no telephone calls - if you have something you need us to do for you before August 20th, please get in touch now!
L'Espace Camac Paris will close on Saturday the 21st of July, and reopen on Tuesday the 21st of August.
Have a fantastic summer! Whether you're on a harp course, on a beach, in the middle of the wedding season or going to IKEA and completing your tax form, we hope you'll have a chance to rest and recuperate, ready for all the exciting projects the new season will bring.
L'Espace Camac's open stage sessions are fast becoming an institution - and the next one will take place on Sunday, July 1st between 2 and 5PM, at our Paris showroom in the Rue Petit.
Our open stages are for everyone who would like to play: lever, pedal, or electric, we will have a full range of harps at your disposal. You can be a beginner or an advanced player, perform a solo or in a group, and of course "listeners only" are warmly welcome too!
The open stage will be followed by coffee and chocolate (if an event run by Claude did not feature these two basic food groups, there'd be something wrong), and then a musical comedy. To find out more, take a look at Vincent Huart and Catherine Dubois's website, Gaston & Greta"!
Contact Claude in order to sign up: email@example.com, 00 33 40 40 08 40.
Recently, Harpblog posted some photographs of two harps that have been restored at our factory in Mouzeil. We now have a workshop dedicated to restoring antique harps, and today, it's my happy task to introduce you to the colleague responsible for our restoration work - Emmanuel Bondu.
Like many of our staff involved in making the wooden parts of our harps, Emmanuel trained as a cabinet maker, before joining Camac twenty years ago. He began work stringing the lever harps, but was soon working at the heart of the wood department. By the early nineties, he was working on the pedal harps, and Joël Garnier spotted his talent not only for assembling new harps, but also repairing older ones. A year ago, Emmanuel was made responsible for restoring Camac's collection of antique harps - a collection Jakez has been building for years.
When a harp arrives in Emmanuel's workshop, it might look like this:
Emmanuel begins by taking extensive photographs, before working out how to reconstruct every detail of the harp. As each harp is different, this takes considerable ingenuity, and also taste and imagination. "You have to decide what you're going to reconstruct, and what you're going to clean up, but otherwise leave as it is", Emmanuel explains. "For example, with the Jean-Henri Naderman single-action harp, I rebuilt the carving on the column, but I left the fine painting on the soundboard. If I had painted over that, we would have lost the sense of the instrument's original soul."
The restored carving
The original soundboard decoration, cleaned and preserved
With the Challiot single-action harp, on the other hand, we decided to paint the body red. The harp's varnish was so worn, we redid it in the style of the period."
Restoring the carving
We are very proud of Emmanuel for his work resurrecting these beautiful instruments. Many of the harps will be on display during our fortieth anniversary celebrations in Ancenis in May, and - as much as it is possible to do so in a few photographs - of course we'll keep you posted here, on Harpblog!
Starting from February 20th, 2012, our showroom in Paris, l'Espace Camac, is changing its opening hours. The store will now be CLOSED on MONDAYS. It will be open Tuesday - Saturday, from 11AM until 7PM.
For all questions relating to our Paris store, please contact Mme Claude Bouly: l'Espace Camac, 92 rue Petit, 75019 Paris, tel 01.40.40.08.40 (option 2), firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the year draws to a close, it is time to bid farewell to Florence Lédi, who is leaving us for new adventures in a different direction.
L'Espace Camac's annual festive Christmas Party will take place on December 11th, at l'Espace Camac between 2 - 5 PM. The party offers a open stage to all ages, levels and types of harpists - come along and perform in a friendly and supportive atmosphere, full of Christmas cheer!
There will also be coffee and FREE CHOCOLATE - I'd expect nothing less from an event organised by Claude.
To sign up to play, email claude on email@example.com, or call Claude or Solène on +33 (0) 1 40 40 08 40.