A festival par excellence

We were in a queue for a while, after which we were let in. We walked through a passage to reach the center of tower No.41, where, through the enveloping darkness, we heard the mellifluous strains of saxophones in the air. A little further, around a pillar that divided the area into two sections at right angles, we saw the source of the enchanting music : four Mexican saxophone players were playing in a corner, watched by people sitting in perpendicular directions. As we took our seats, the piece being played came to an end and the players stood up, bowed. Applause followed, and we joined in.

They sat down immediately, and began their next piece. The ambience, dimly lit, brick walled, and narrow-spaced, seemed perfect for the instruments being played, and we were drawn into a trance by the magic of the pipers. Sitting there, feeling the music seep in, one felt this was how life ought to be – a dreamlike existence filled with music. It was a moment in a million, a moment one would cherish for eternity, a moment, the mere thought of which would be enough to relive its ecstasy.

The saxophone quartet programme was the perfect ending to an amazing Saturday at FIMU, Belfort. This music festival, spanning over three days of a long weekend, is held each year in this quaint little fortress town in France, with groups from all over the world coming to play music of different varieties and styles.

None of the concerts had any entrance fees, and the venue for each concert was either an open stage erected for this festival, or indoors, inside regular or makeshift concert halls, and all of these venues were located within a radius of around 2 to 3 kilometers. Where ever one went, there was music in the air, and with so much choice available there were times when one couldn’t make up one’s mind about which concert to attend. For a lover of music, there was only one word for this setting : paradise.

We were introduced to this festival by Stefan & Uta, who have been participating in this event since the last six years, and this time they suggested that we come along. It turned out to be an unforgettable weekend; we’re already looking forward to FIMU 2004.

Some pictures of our trip have been collected in the photo album FIMU 2003.

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