Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day22-interlude, Day23-Holy Grail and Bloodbath

16 years ago May, I met my future husband in NYC. He was leaving the USA for good finishing his studies, coming back to France for military service and then to look for a work. We had a dinner together on 103rd st & Broadway Indian restaurant with a mutual friend who didn't mean to 'match make' us at the time, since he was leaving the USA and I had just gotten a teaching position at NYU. Then a few months later I met him again in Paris during my 'visa/greencard' ordeal as a 'damsel in distress' stuck in Europe, whom he rescued by finding a very cheap and perfect flight out of Paris. (This episode produced a duo album with flutist Robert Dick who was living in Lucern at the time, where I stayed during my visa problems). He reminded me that it was at this second time we met in Paris at his parents' apartment, I instinctively realized he was my future husband, while watching him eat his mother's soup. Now look at us, I'm here living in Paris for the summer, and our two children are staying with his parents, eating their grandmother's soup. Life is strange, fast, and precious.

Speaking of precious life, we went for a little walk in the morning to get some medicine I needed, then he went to get somethings at the supermarket. I said, "See you back home" within a few minutes. After he left, I saw that our street was blocked off with police tape. I went around the block and tried to enter the street, and got stopped, "Madame!" by the police. I went to yet another side of the street and there were more police, who asked me where I lived; it is just next to the Memorial de la Shoah Museum. Apparently there was a suspicious motorbike parked in front of the Jewish museum and this was a bomb scare. Husband and I were reunited at the entrance of the street 10 minutes later, just below my window where we couldn't get in. There is a little 'professional' coffee shop right below my window, which we hadn't been, so we sat there and waited out the police blockage. What a great coffee place. Anyway this episode reminded me the threat of terrorism is well and alive, wherever you are. On 9/11, I was at Juilliard and husband was with our then 6-months old baby daughter one block away. In the summer 2003 during the NYC power outage I was in Lincoln Center Performance Library being 8 months pregnant and he had to walk back from Polytechnic Univ. in Brooklyn where he was teaching. I remember being very worried. Loved ones are like your limb that's attached to you remotely. You feel them remotely.

On Tuesday I was in a wait-and-see mode regarding IRCAM. I have planted the seeds all over the place, and they need time to grow a bit. I didn't go to IRCAM but worked on various other projects at home, and took care of a lot of back-logged correspondences. I really do need several of 'me' doing different tasks! I also received a very nice email from Jean-Claude Risset, who is coming to Paris for a recording session at GRM at the end of July; I look forward to seeing him again. He read this blog and found out about my obsession of Reblochon, and offered this information I didn't know: "Do you know the origin of the word "reblochon"? In Savoie, there was a tax to be paid by farmers proportional to the quantity of milk they got from their cows and sold. They had the idea not to milk the cows thoroughly - "to milk" was called "blocher". Later, when the tax controllers were gone, they would milk again - "reblocher" - and keep the milk in their own reserve to make cheese from it - "reblochon" - more creamy because the leftover milk was richer..." No wonder it is so good! The picture at the top is from a little café we went for lunch; I had a melted (and banned in the USA) Reblochon over grilled toast. There were some potato and red onion underneath.

Today, Wednesday, the seeds I have planted already bloomed. What a day. For me, IRCAM is a place where the Holy Grails are scattered around all over the place. But they maybe hidden under the ground, or in fact, it might just be inside someone's head. But I have to find it, and I did. Now I'm working between two different teams, one specialized in gesture research, one in the research of sound and almost Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) inspired human-machine communication. I used to dream such things for years, and all I have been doing until now, since I started with interactive computer music, is to simulate, or to 'fake' what I wanted to do. Now, this Holy Grail is right in front of me. I just hope that I could successfully get some and bring it back with me to New York; this is what I am here for.

Another thing about today: Paris has entered its three-week "SOLDES" season: everything is going 30-50% off and many stores have red flags like this. It is a bloodbath. It's a carnage. After the brain-storming meeting at IRCAM, I joined hundreds of French women in BHV looking through things. Curiously I saw very few males, unless they were holding bags of their companions standing around. And also curiously, it's in these kinds of madness I am reminded of my origin, feeling totally at home and comfortable. I'm a Japanese woman.

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