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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I am looking forward to a visit from my adorable little grand-daughter. Aurelie is six years old and is a gorgeous, energetic wee girl who fills the room with sunshine.

Before she started school, we used to spend every Wednesday together. We would go by bus to Burton, eat cheesy baked potatoes, play on the swings, visit our friends in the library and then fall asleep on the bus home. We would finish the day off by watching “Peppa Pig” or “Paw Patrol” on the telly. Lovely memories.

I am very nostalgic about our lovely times together and, as a musical memory, I wrote an entire album called “Wednesdays with Aurelie”. I thought you might like to hear some of the pieces I wrote for her.

The first piece dates back to when she was a little infant, about 18 months old. As is typical of me, I wrote her a lullaby “Song for Aurelie”

Song for Aurelie from the album Reflections by John McGuinness

The second piece is an orchestral piece called “Dance of the Teddy Bears”. Aurelie loved it because the two of us would enact the scene of the teddies waking up from sleep and yawning. We then had Teddy porridge and put our “carnival” suits on. At the march bit we would dance and play trumpets. At the end we would yawn and go back to sleep. Lovely moments! All pretend, of course.

Dance of the Teddy Bears; Music by John McGuinness

“All of these Reasons” expresses the sense of immense pleasure she displayed when we wandered down to the river to feed the ducks. The sad bit towards the end of the piece represents the feelings of sadness/ disappointment that would come over her when the bread ran out and it was time to leave. Incidentally, on my YouTube page, there is a video of “The Greedy Duckling” the music of which also dates back to this period.

All of these Reasons by John McGuinness, from the album From the Heart

The fourth piece is “Do you Dream of the Swans on the River”. On the way home, Aurelie would invariably fall asleep on the bus. Soooooo cute. I often wondered what she was dreaming about.

Swans on the River from Among the Willows by John McGuinness

Finally, I wrote her a nostalgic piece called “Aurelie” when I knew she would be going to school and these halcyon days would soon come to an end. It is a favourite of mine because it is unashamedly sentimental.

Aurelie from Papy Cool by John McGuinness

I hope you enjoy sharing some of these musical memories of my lovely little “Peppa”