What are they doing now? Speech is given to the alumni of CIRFA/ IFF Europe.
"My wife always says she would never have married me before CIRFA."
Pierre Laloux attended the OPEN training course in 1990. That was thirty years ago ! At the time, the IFF Europe was called CIRFA and was based on the Côte d'Azur. Meeting with this former member who invites us on a journey back in time.
What led you to continue your training at CIRFA?
After seven years of very dense musical training and two years of specialisation, I had the impression that I was entering a dead-end street. I needed to find meaning in everything I did. Following a presentation by CIRFA in July 1989, I decided to join this school in Biot, near Antibes, and I stayed there for two years.
It was then the very beginning of CIRFA...
Yes, at that time, the proposed course was changed from one year to the next. CIRFA was being built year after year.
What struck you at the time?
Two things were decisive for me: community life where we told each other the truth, and a human training session (PRH organisation) where I received a reading grid to get to know myself. It was there that I was able to put words to the reality of my inner being, my inner "temple". This learning is still a support today. At that time, the artistic dimension at CIRFA was important; I, who had received a very classical musical training, learned to open myself to other music and to live it more as a body-soul-mind unit; in a less cerebral way.
Did your time at CIRFA transform you?
Without a doubt. My wife always tells me that she would never have married me before CIRFA... CIRFA helped me to take steps to move inwards and to open up more.
What is your best memory of your time at CIRFA?
Not one but several!For example, in both graduating classes, we were of several nationalities, a richness that allowed me to discover new songs in different languages, and what an atmosphere! I also remember having animated and supervised about twenty young people for a show of songs and dances, Life and light style, in front of an audience of almost 1000 people. And how could I not evoke those moments when I used up all my stock of tears during personal accompaniment... A real "cleansing" possible thanks to the kindness and competence of the accompanist.
After CIRFA, what did you do?
I followed a singing training course in the United States for a month. It was beneficial for me because when I returned home I found a job as a singer, organist and choir director in a parish, a job I am currently pursuing. I have been a singing trainer for leaders of open-air centres, I have given recorder lessons, I have given music lessons in classes for dyslexic and dysphasic children. For fifteen years I have been working part-time at Fondacio Belgium where I am particularly involved in singing and spiritual animation. I animate times of training in liturgical singing and participate in the recording of spiritual songs.
What advice do you have for current IFF Europe students?
Learn to listen to your intuition, your little inner voice. Don't hesitate to make various professional experiences, but without forcing them. Be curious about everything and above all don't forget to marvel!