Like love, or Republican foreign policy, great music can create a sense of exceptionalism: a feeling that nowhere else in the world is anyone else so attuned to the glories of the present moment.
Globe-trotting cellist Helen Gillet makes this feeling of blissful grandiosity accessible by pulling together bits of traditional French songs, New Orleans rhythms and electronic loops to create a musical environment that heightens the best aspects of the here and now.
Gillet performed solo in the Bacchanal courtyard on Monday and will hold down the Monday slot into early November, sometimes solo, sometimes with a band.
The two-set show on Oct. 8 started off with the quiet, delicate instrumental “Waking Milo,” from her second CD, “Running of the Bells,” which segued into “Le Petit Royaume” from her first, “Newton Circus.”
“Running of the Bells” is a trio recording, with Doug Garrison and Tim Green, and “Newton Circus” was created with the Wazozo band, including violin, guitar, harp, French horn and accordion.
Other songs from “Newton Circus” included “Mon Amant De Saint Jean“; “Sympatique”, which featured harmonies created by singing along with looped vocals; and “J’ai Rendez-Vous avec Vous” by George Brassens, also the author of “La Non-Demande en Mariage.”
Gillet also performed some of her own compositions, including “Atchafalaya” and “Julien” from her most recent CD, “Helen Gillet.”Also in English was her version of Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You.”
Gillet performances in the next few weeks include:
- Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m., at Yuki Isakaya, 525 Frenchmen St.
- Sunday, Oct. 14, at Euclid Records, 3401 Chartres St.
- Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 .m. at Bacchanal, 600 Poland Ave.
- Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. with Simon Berz and Michelle Ettlin 10x10x11 at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Art Gallery, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
- Monday, Oct. 22, at Bacchanal
- Thursday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. at Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter St.
- Monday, Oct. 29, at Bacchanal.