Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Last fall while 8 months pregnant, I got a call from a friend who works with Woody Allen's editors. They were looking for French accordion music for his latest film, Midnight In Paris, and knew my friend had an accordionist friend in Paris....moi. So she put us in touch. When they asked me if I had any recorded music in this genre I promptly said "Totally. I have tons."
CUT TO: FRANTIC PHONE CALL TO FB
ME: Come home right now.
FB: Why? Is everything ok?
ME: Yeah yeah, the baby is fine. I just need you to lift my accordion onto me and set up my studio.
ME: BECAUSE I JUST TOLD WOODY ALLEN'S EDITORS THAT I HAVE TONS OF FRENCH ACCORDION MUSIC AND I NEED TO WRITE AND RECORD SOME RIGHT NOW, AS IN RIGHT NOW THIS VERY SECOND. I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I CAN PHYSICALLY PLAY THE ACCORDION ON MY BELLY SO I NEED YOU TO COME HOME RIGHT NOW. EMERGENCY.
FB: What? Woody Allen? How did that....
ME: I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR QUESTIONS! JUST. COME. HOME. Oh, and pick up some duct tape.
A few hours later teetering in a semi-reclined position with FB's help and some creativity duct taping a 50 lb. accordion onto me, I pulled myself together, went to my quiet place and said "YOU GOT THIS. YOU'RE GETTING IN THAT MOVIE. RIGHT NOW." To my unborn child I explained, "Look pal, I'm about to play accordion basically on your face soooo....I'm not sure if you'll like this or not but this is who I am and I gotta get this job and this is what trying harder means so you'll just have to sit tight in there and enjoy the new sounds....cause it's gonna be loud."
And with that, I spent the next weeks in a constant stream of hobbling in and out of my accordion, writing and sending songs, revising others, pitching new ones. Every time I played, the baby would kick like crazy inside, putting me in a constant state of burping. Play, kick, burp, play, kick, burp. In the end, Mr. Allen asked me to cover the French classic "Parlez Moi d'Amour". Three versions later, I got the email at midnight.....my piano and accordion version is in the final cut featured under the romantic scenes.
I stood up, one pregnant transplant New Yorker, went to my window, leaned out far enough to see the Eiffel Tower and just smiled and rubbed my belly. It seemed the perfect culmination of my time in Paris. Sometimes life makes a perfect sweet circle. Today I can say I am in the opening film at Cannes.