....Bienvenue chez le Salon Vert ! .. A word from Sarah Fraser, Owner and Music Director ....
....Nous sommes situés au sud-ouest de Montréal dans un paysage de vergers, de murs de pierre datant du début du 19e siècle et de fermes merveilleusement entretenues. La maison est en bois et entouréede beaux, grands érables. À un demi-kilomètre de la route 202 qui allonge Covey Hill, le ciel nocturne nous dévoile un panorama d’étoiles, et si le ciel est vide de nuage, on peut voir les lumières de Valleyfield et au loin, la douce lumière de Montréal. .. I took a walk around the farm this morning, and what a beautiful September morning it was.
There is a sort of poignancy to late summer days that slip into the fall calendar; they don’t quite belong and because any one could and most probably should be the last, they seem all the more precious. The sun was shining, the air was soft and clear, the dogs were running and playing, and the horses and two young goats were feasting on a new stretch of grass, clover, and wild flowers. The morning breathed contentment. How lucky I am. I don’t often take this kind of time off, but today is my birthday and since the task planned for this morning, sanding new keys for the piano, had to be cancelled, I decided to go on this walk. In just one month, I will be reflecting on the inaugural Salon Vert event past.
Exciting… scary… So although I am mostly consumed with all that remains to be done before October 16, this morning I was reminded of all that is here now, the beauty that needs no polishing. ....
....À propos de Sarah Fraser
Je suis née à Montréal. J’ai fait mes études au Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal et ensuite à Amsterdam aux Pays-Bas. Les études terminées, je suis restée en Europe encore 14 ans pour revenir à Montréal à l’aube du nouveau siècle. J’ai amené mon clavecin avec moi, et même si pour ce concert d’inauguration donné par le pianiste Philip Chiu le clavecin sera déménagé du Salon, le clavecin se fera entendre dans futurs concerts.
Il y a deux ans, mon fils Roman était invité par le peintre Marie-Hélène Beaudry à jouer de son violon lors d’un vernissage de ses œuvres en route vers une gallerie à New York. J’accompagnais mon fils au piano. Ce fut une révélation – non seulement de cette grande artiste qui habite si proche – sur la Montée Covey Hill – mais de la rencontre de gens qui sont venus de près et de loin pour partager ce bel après-midi. Les excellents fromages : de France? Non, non seulement de Québec, mais de la région! La semaine dernière, je suis allé visiter Marie-Hélène; nous sommes montés dans son merveilleux studio et elle m’a prêté quelques toiles - de la même série qui a été présentée au mois de juin il y a deux ans – et qui sont maintenant accrochées dans le Salon.
Concerts intimes. Musique de chambre. De l’art. Un espace vert : des valeurs vertes.
Les aliments d’origine locaux.
Voila tous les ingrédients pours des événements inoubliables…
The farm house
The farm is what could best be described as a hobby farm. There is a large field, lots of woods, a big old barn, a shed, and until last year, a slightly fallen down old clapboard farm house. Over the past three years we’ve cleared the field, and this summer got our first crop of hay which is now carefully stacked in the barn for the animals this winter – two horses, a very large Shire mare and a very fast grey Paint, and two headstrong goats. The goats think they are dogs, mostly because they hang out with the four dogs who also live here.
The house needed a lot of repairs. At a certain point, when the rotten parts had been removed, the middle of the house looked like a bomb had dropped on it. From that considerable debris, the concert space arose, and the rest of the house shuffled to accommodate it. This is a very long story, but not one to relate here.
The Salon Vert comes together
Le Salon Vert is a large room, about forty feet long, and from the stretch of windows looking west you can see past a couple of 200-year-old maple trees out to the field. The old fireplace is still standing at one end, so concerts on chilly afternoons will be accompanied by the odd crackle of logs burning in the grate. The ceiling is high, and made of wood, pine that has already softened in colour since we put it up a year ago. The old part of the house, the original square house from 1840, is accessible through a winding hallway. That is where the kitchen is now, the kitchen that I’m hoping will be adequate for the wonders that chef Sean Murray Smith is so able to concoct.
I first talked to Philip Chiu about the project of presenting concerts on an intimate scale with an accompanying meal a year and a half ago. He was enthusiastic and he has been a vital part of the project ever since. I can’t imagine the inaugural event without him. He is a wonderful pianist, a wonderful person, and you cannot help but be caught up in his enthusiasm for both music and food! Sean Murray Smith is both a fantastic chef and very good friend of Philip’s.
Sean and Nada are a team, and the programme the three of them have planned for October 16 is much more than a concert with a meal – it is a series of inspirations and impressions though taste and sound…
I’ve known Jean-Francois Major for a number of years - quietly intense, very intelligent, and meticulously thorough in all that he does – so when he was interested, curious and fascinated with the idea, it meant a great deal to me. He offered to put together this website, which was a wonderful offer. I am very grateful to him for all of his advice, and patience.
You just might have to overlook the odd pile of rocks or collection of overgrown plants – but the music, the food, the ambiance, and the company will transcend any such wrinkles. Just think, you’ll be able to notice all the changes the next time you come.
- Sarah Fraser ....