In Toulouse, a retiree and a former street pianist form a unique duo on Sundays after mass

In Toulouse, a retiree and a former street pianist form a unique duo on Sundays after mass

the essential
A pensioner and a pianist who lived in the street perform every Sunday in the Saint-Aubin church in Toulouse after mass. Story of a new encounter.

It’s a story of meeting and friendship that allowed a desocialized man to take his life back into his own hands.
It all starts with Rémi Albano, 66, retired from the City of Toulouse: “For twenty years, I have been playing the flute of Pan, explains this autodidact. And every Sunday, I give small concerts at the Saint-Aubin church” . Rémi chose this instrument out of love for Amerindian culture, “I learned it after the guitar. In fact, music has always appealed to me”.

In 2007, Rémi met Dominique Lebeau, 52 years old. The man, a pianist by training and a graduate of the Conservatory, had been living on the street for some time, after various personal setbacks. “We discussed, exchanged, talked about music of course, remembers Rémi. From the outset, I felt his passion and his sensitivity for music. This cannot be explained. But after agreement from Bertrand Nogarède, organist of Saint -Aubin, for a few years, we decided to play as a duo”. “From the outset, I was interested in the atypical instrument, played by Rémi, continues Dominique. The combination of pan flute and harmonium seemed ideal and unprecedented to me. I had long since found the opportunity to m ‘invest in a project’.

A hundred pieces

Since then, on Sundays, the two men play all types of music, at the request of the public: “When the mass ends, we start our repertoire: varieties, soundtracks of films: Once upon a Time in the West, The Harvests of Heaven by Ennio Morricone, or The goatby Vladimir Cosma. We have about a hundred pieces,” says Dominique, who claims to have expanded his musical skills with Rémi. “At the beginning, these small concerts were held every other Sunday. From now on, the parishioners can attend this musical break every week”. A privileged moment which knew how to find its public and retain it.

This enriching collaboration for the two musicians has also given rise to concerts during ceremonies (weddings for example) and CDs, in particular of Christmas carols. “The harmonium and the pan flute go together perfectly,” says Rémi.

“What would I have become without this outstretched hand?”

This unique artistic collaboration in Toulouse also allowed Dominique to get back on track, find an apartment and give meaning to her life. “Without this meeting, this outstretched hand and this newfound confidence, who knows what I would have become? “, wonders, pensive, Dominique.

Free concert every Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Saint-Aubin church

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