France, Belgium · 34 Days · 34 Moments · June 2017

Joshua's tour through Paris

14 July 2017

Bon voyage.

11 July 2017

Not a ton today, but I found Maurice Ravel's home where he lived from 1908-1917! Also, the jazz club we went to in the evening was a ton of fun!

8 July 2017

Today, we left France for a little day-trip in Brussels in Belgium! We saw the Grand Palace, had waffles and fries, went to the chocolate store, and at the music museum, saw the luthéal - a rare piano of the 1920s Maurice Ravel was the last to use in Tzigane and L'Enfant - developed in Belgium, and the one in this museum is the only one in the entire world! I'm very happy to have seen it, and I composed the first couple pages for a new trombone sonata I hope to work on and finish this week in Paris!

6 July 2017

We went to one museum with a beautiful garden, and the other was the Salvador Dali museum with lots of Surrealist paintings (as well as sculptures and furniture, the latter of which is a really neat concept I think!).

4 July 2017

Here are some neat pictures from Musee du quai branly and a little bit of the Eiffel Tower on the way home. I loved this museum! It was really cool to see some cool items from all around the world, and it was organized very well. And me with some of my friends. :) And CAT.

3 July 2017

Exploring the wonderful Musee de l'Orangerie, which housed not only beautiful French Impressionism of Monet but also a wonderful Tokyo-Paris exhibit! It's very cool to see some abstract Japanese art! Then this evening, I walked around the city for a good 2 or 3 hours! Here are some pictures of my walk.

2 July 2017

Breakfast and evening streets. I haven't really been feeling the best so I haven't been doing a whole lot. Tomorrow will hopefully be better!

1 July 2017

I didn't really do much other than have my meals today. Lunch was at a Japanese restaurant which I really enjoyed with the oriental music and Japanese characters on the chopsticks - it felt more authentic than Japanese places back at home, and the rice was delicious! Then I went straight back to Parisian life with my cafe experience, finally truly fulfilling my 2012 dream of composing in a cafe I really enjoyed and finishing my viola sonatine. Dinner was a chicken burger. The rest of the day was rest - I haven't been feeling all that great, so hopefully I'll start to feel able to roam the city more tomorrow!

30 June 2017

Sitting at the Cafe Select, where Hemingway wrote his books in Paris in 1926! And back at the Jardin du Luxembourg, sailing little boats, each with different countries on them - zoom into that picture and see how many you can see. And the two little buggers are Dr. Gillette's kids, Adrian (5) and Ben (8), and they were my chatting pals throughout the day and probably will be whenever we hang out as a group during the next two weeks. :) It was raining as well all-day today too, so that was fun. Overall, a pretty relaxing day - hoping for the same for this weekend!

29 June 2017

A little bit from the Linguistics Museum, which was a lot of fun, and some things from my evening walk as well. I hope to go for a longer walk tomorrow night, as it was a bit chilly today.

28 June 2017

Our final pictures with Dr. Hall! (Well the first one is my crépe de chocolat) He's leaving tomorrow and Dr. Gilete is taking over - learning about the writers of 1920's Paris! I've learnt so much from Dr. Hall, not just about the city and its history but Platonian ideas of mystics and his encouragement of my constantly trying to take my music in newer and further directions than before. I'm going to miss our great cafe/dinner discussions, but it will be fun to learn and experience the city in another way during the second half of our trip!

27 June 2017

A little of Paris in the rain, and then a concert we went to afterward.

26 June 2017

Today we went to a monastery, which was beautiful! We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but it was such a peaceful little village and a nice, quiet break from the hustle and bustle of the city. At dinner tonight I tried snails that were really tasty! My meal was very delicious as well.

25 June 2017

This morning I went straight back to the Jardin du Luxembourg and did a little more composing. How beautiful it is to look at it from different times of day! This evening I began Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" - it's cool how there are references to places I've been in it! Makes it that much cooler to read it. And it's the time period I'm most taking inspiration from for my two pieces I'm working on.

24 June 2017

I did it! I found the Jardin du Luxembourg! This is a famous garden in the center of Paris and it means a lot to me because the Philharmonia Orchestra from the U.K. filmed here for their City of Light video series on YouTube. I was very inspired to start a viola sonata both in a cafe for dinner and then at the garden composing a gentle melody. This will be my side-project to the harp piece I can give to my friend back home to play!

23 June 2017

An amazing day at the Musee D'orsay - the Museum of Modern Art, so Impressionism, Realism, and Symbolism. I loved this place; I have so many more pictures, but this is a good summery - some beautiful sunsets and nature by Monet and others, leading to Van Gogh, and the nighttime and cosmos exhibit at the end.

22 June 2017

I got really inspired to compose today in a garden near where my apartment is, writing a story with the piece that takes place in 1920's Paris. (The work will be called "Le chat et l'horloge mystérieux".) To compliment this, we had our big splurge dinner in the evening - a wonderful five-course meal that was all very delicious! And I had an intellectual conversation during it about studying the liberal arts and society. A wonderful day - plus trying lobster for the first time!

20 June 2017

We went to see Dr. Hall's saxophone teacher, then went to the music shops - I bought Ravel's Don Quichotte à Dulcinèe, his last composition!

19 June 2017

Today was a bit more of a rest day, but we did go to Saint-Chapele, and then I spend the whole afternoon writing my "chanson" (French for song) movement of my harp piece, writing in gardens and a cafe. So that was nice - getting ready for a busy next few days this week!

18 June 2017

A walk at dusk - which in this case is 10pm!
Paying my respects to Claude Debussy...
A few pictures from the Anthropology Museum.

17 June 2017

Today was my free day, starting to compose my latest piece: a jazz suite for harp! (And possibly later orchestra.) Composed both at a cafe (like my dream from five years ago) and underneath the Eiffel Tower at the setting sun - my cakewalk movement! I also saw a kitten and some sheep, and went for a nice evening picnic at the Eiffel Tower.

16 June 2017

Chartres! The Cathedral, the University, and the meditative Labyrinth! Plus me with my friend Bets. :)

15 June 2017

Here are a few pictures after our visit to the Louvre today. Our walk through the garden, sitting by the fountain with Rachel, and the Eiffel Tower - of course I will be back one night for a great shot of it then!

14 June 2017

The Louvre (3) After a cafe break, we did a little more exploring before we headed to dinner and crepes (Dr. Hall took those pictures). We are going back to the Louvre today, so I will surely add more soon!
The Louvre (2) We next headed into the European section, so a lot of beautiful 16th century paintings.
The Louvre (1) Showing a little bookstore we went to beforehand, and then our time at the Louvre! This shows a little bit of ancient Egyptian stuff.

13 June 2017

The Basilica of St.-Denis with beautiful stain glass windows that were fun to analyze a bit, then heading into Montmartre where we wandered the neighborhoods and saw the apartment where the 20th-venture composer Erik Satie lived. For Bets' birthday, we went to get cous-cous. This is a kind of grain rice that you pour in a sauce, then add vegetables and beef. And we saw a cat there who had been living in that building for a while now. We have plenty of time in the evenings to relax and eat.

12 June 2017

We had a nice riverwalk on the way to seeing the outside of the Louvre! It was a nice night for a Parisian walk, and we will explore the Louvre later.
The Arc de Triomphe.
Since I don't have any pictures of it yet (sorry!), here's the music I wrote upon first seeing the Tower!

11 June 2017

The Notre Dame, my crepe, a garden, and our room. We were in the Latin Quarter just viewing a few different things and grabbing our snack.
Starting a new adventure in Paris!