I’m in bed and Husband’s downstairs making coffee when we hear a jangle of keys and the turning of the front door handle. A young man lets himself into the house and is startled to find it occupied. He hastily explains that a neighbour told him that the house was empty and it was okay to let himself in. He nervously fingers a folder. He is here to play Rod’s grand piano.
Jonathan Wilson, an Australian completing his Ph.D. in Montreal, is in Noyers for master classes during the annual music festival. He is anxious to practice as much as possible before his final performance on Sunday. We invite him, and his Japanese roommate in absentia, to come as often and whenever they wish. And they do.
We wake up to private concerts and fall asleep to their final notes. Their talents spill out the windows and into the streets, as do the gifts of many other musicians who practice in homes and public buildings around the village. Here is a sample.
We attended the final student recital last evening and Jonathan brought down the house. Even the doyenne of Noyers, seated in front of us, noted our luck at the unexpected connection.
It’s the kind of luck that happens in villages and small towns where privacy is traded for intimate, collective opportunities. What’s yours is ours, and vice-versa. It takes some getting used to – I know because I live in one – but in between the annoyances there are real benefits that cannot be ignored.
The sounds of the house are different this morning and I feel the loss. I wait expectantly for the next bit of magic to appear at our door.