With haste I am driving down the avenue toward NJPAC…. To cover another artist whose music was not familiar to so or me… I thought. Driving toward the parking garage…I can hear the melodic melody floating through the air…. And urging me to find its source. I hang a left into the garage…park my car, grab my equipment…. Like the pied piper the music leads me. I pick up my pace frantically…. Heels clicking as I walk up the incline from the garage…camera around my neck…pad and pen secure in my bag. I come up on the street, I see people everywhere…swaying, eyes transfixed toward the stage.
I plead with the traffic cop to stop traffic and allow me to cross…anxiously trying to reach the source of the music that has now wrapped its sound around my body…pulling me with the promise of something special. This musician was bringing the crowd to a frenzy with this song.
I politely squeeze through the crowd to reach the stage. The music was intense…as I break through the crowd…there is Chardavoine…as I get in position to take a shot….he sends me a smile of recognition. Yes recognition, you see I met this man two weeks before his performance.
Two weeks before tonight, I was running to cover another emerging artist at NJPAC…when a gentlemen to my right…noticed my camera hanging around my neck, and asked was I shooting the events tonight. Yes…I responded and that started our conversation. We covered a number of issues, but what struck me about this musician was his passion for not only his music but for musicians in general…truly a dying breed…the hardships of the music business and the use of technology to reproduce the sound of any instrument. His passion for his art blossomed out of him like the breaking dawn of a new day. He walked with me and we talked…and talked. I immediately liked his spirit and passion…a musician’s musician.
However, bringing you back to Chardavoine’s performance ..the selection has ended…you could feel the appreciation in the response of the crowd’s applause. He was truly humbled by their response as he wiped the sweat from his brow and bowed down to the crowd sweeping his arm toward his band. He cradled his guitar. Closing his eyes for a moment of man one with his instrument…his instrument the gift of God that his fingers can strum the strings and produce a sound that weaves a spell amongst the people whose ear is attuned to his message.
He tells the crowd he will play an old favorite. As he gently lays the guitar across his chest…a hush has settled around us…an inner peace is shared by the smile on his face…the crowd is waiting in suspense. The quiet hush grows louder as the sun sets as if on que….the 1st four beats of the base brings instant recognition of the song and the crowd is on their feet….shouting and applauding….wanting the togetherness in this time of war and unrest. Hauntingly the melody starts….”people make the world go round” he closes his eyes…the trees sway to the summer breeze that blows through the crowd causing them to pick up the rythm of the music. Memories of a better time…couples holding each other..children playing..enjoying the balm rubbed on the wounds from life…brought to them tonight through the muse….Chardavoine.
The fierce clarity of each string is crystal clear as it pulls the words from your memory and makes you sing the song of unity. The band in complete sync what a special moment in time as I look through the lens of my Minolta …I can see what he is feeling. I watch and snap intensely as Chardavoine infuses the crowd with his passion and promotes the feeling of togetherness. The look of wishing and wanting peace on the sea of faces of every color, age and gender. Like a tailor he is weaving the fabric of the comforter….that envelopes this crowd in a cloak of warmth and tranquility. As the dusk settles into the deep blue night…the stars twinkle above our heads…I can hear the soft hum of traffic…the spell is breaking…he brings the song to an end. The applause is thunderous. I am overwhelmed…. This man and his music have tonight touched many hearts.