Comptine d’un Autre Eté. L’apres-midi

Composed as part of the soundtrack for the 2001 film Amélie, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi was written by Yann Tiersen. Loosely translated as “Nursery Rhyme from Another Summer – Afternoon”. This lovely and intriguing piano solo is the film’s most iconic track.

With a duration of around 2.5 minutes, Comptine d’un autre été, l’après midi begins with a fluctuating lower line. The main melody then enters in groups of three. The piece’s simplicity and relentlessness creates a sense of both unease and sweetness. The result is utterly charming.

The overall effect it has on me is one of nostalgia, sadness and a profound sense of the irrevocable nature of existence. Nonetheless, I am left feeling hopeful and optimistic for the future as a result of listening to it.

I made a little film recently of a visit to a lovely spot close to my home on the River Trent. It was a beautiful afternoon and reminded me of summers past. Consequently, I decided to use Tiersen’s music as the backdrop to the images. Hope you enjoy both the video and the music.

An Afternoon in Foremark, Derbyshire
Music: Yann Tiersen
Piano: John McGuinness

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Willington, on the Banks of the River Trent

Willington Bridge
The Black Swan
Pastoral Scene

I live in Willington, a thriving village on the banks of the River Trent. There are so many beautiful walks along the river and the canal. As mentioned in my previous blog, these have provided me with many of my musical themes and ideas.

There is a richness and diversity of fauna and wildlife as well as a rich history both ancient and modern. On the other side of the river is Repton, the ancient capital of Mercia, home to one of the oldest public schools in England and St.Wystan’s Church. The crypt of the church was used as the burial chamber for the ancient Anglo Saxon kings and in its grounds were discovered the graves of vikings who had come up the Trent in their longboats and settled in the Repton area.

At Swarkestone, another neighbouring village, one can see the commemorative plaque to Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army. It marks the spot where Charles and his army turned back to Scotland on his ill-fated attempt to win back the British Throne for the Stuarts. Soon afterwards, they were decimated at Culloden!

When I was first widowed, I would walk the fields, discovering so many new things about Willington’s past, its geography, its history, its social and cultural life.

Many of the Piano pieces in “Riversongs” and “Among the Willows” are early attempts to capture the ambience of this place

In the last year, I have written a set of orchestral poems about my countryside “ haunts” entitled “Songs of the Trent”. I have not yet sent these for general distribution but I thought I would upload one or two of these musical poems in advance for you to hear.

I do hope you enjoy them.