Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Mich Gerber: Celebrating the Blue Hour. A Concert on the River Aare

By Luphil

The wisdom teachings describe dawn and dusk as very favourable times to practice meditation and to work with sound. There are Indian Ragas (melodies) specially composed to be played ad dawn or dusk.
The French call the time of dusk “l’heure bleu”, the blue hour, since there is a particular quality of the light around sunset. In our latitudes this time is much longer than in the tropics, where darkness sets in quite fast.

Yesterday evening I was at a live performance by Mich Gerber on the River Aare, in our village. For three evenings he was giving free concerts on a little ferryboat of the Bodenacher-Fähre. He is playing electric double-bass, generating the background music with his own tunes repeated by a computer program.

When I arrived at the river around a quarter past 8 pm there were already many people sitting on both sides of the river. A few minutes later the ferryboat set out to the middle of the river and Mich started playing. The background was a tampura-sound, and he played a melody like an Indian raga.


The atmosphere was full of magic – the light of the setting sun in the background, the sound of the flowing water and the amplified vibrations of the strings of the double-bass. Other songs followed, reminding of Arabian tunes, classical songs from Europe or Jazz improvisations.


People around me took out their mobiles and started making videos. I, too, tried to do a little video with my camera, but it wasn’t good. However, the camera generated a magic picture of the “blue hour”:


While it was getting dark it started raining, adding to the mystical ambiance with the lampions on the boat and along the board of the river, made by simply putting candles into white paper bags.

People were moving to the sounds – a young father besides me was rocking his baby-son. Mich played for an hour, and I felt very happy that I had decided on a short notice to see this beautiful concert.

On his website he says about these concerts:

“Mich Gerber celebrates ‘L’heure bleue’, the blue hour. Concerts on magic locations during the blue hour, when the sky turns blue after sunset.

The blue hour comes from the French expression ‘l’heure bleue’, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day.

The blue hour is the gift of the day to the night. Different cultures celebrate the blue hour in their own special way. For many of us, it’s the most beautiful hour of the day as it slowly draws its curtain and the evening begins.

It is the hour of transition when the indirect light of the evening colours the night sky. Nature’s wonderful play of light is displayed. Every evening anew.

This is the spectacle that Mich Gerber interprets during his series of L’heure bleue’ concerts. They have been taking place since a few years on special places on the water in summer time.”

Here are some videos of previous concerts on the River Aare  (YouTube-videos): A WaltzA silent tune, A tune with an English text, Music and Swiss German interviews, another song. And here a video uploaded in his name:

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