My friend Gil

Listen to Gil’s music!

And yet, it’s not just “whatever.” It’s nothing like when a child sits down and pounds on the piano keys, causing dissonant noises that often end up being irritating.

On the contrary, Gil’s music comes from a place of maturity and generosity, and has depth.

Many of the people who come to eat lunch at the Dépanneur Sylvestre have noticed this. No one ever complains about Gil making music at the piano. On the contrary, people mention how much they enjoy the softness of the musical background, and feel free to continue their conversations.

Patrick Duquette, the journalist from Le Droit newspaper who wrote the article about Gil, was also quite surprised, and asked if he always plays the same thing. There is nothing memorized or repeated in Gil’s music! There is no plan, no reference to anything in particular, simply a pure musical presence that arises in the moment, just like wind blowing though leaves, or a little stream of water that springs out from a mountainside!

Gil joyfully transcends the limitations of knowledge or of unawareness in playing music.

Certainly, there are what we call “false notes,” according to the musical education we have received. But if you let yourself be carried along by the swell without resistance, you’ll quickly realize that Gil’s music moves us towards a different kind of presence, more subtle; beyond the usual appreciation of a musical performance.

He is living proof that “You don’t need to be a virtuoso… to dare to put your hands on a piano!”

Mon Ami Gil - 5 - Playing Piano from L'Arche Canada on Vimeo.

Subscribe to Gil’s list of friends to receive all information on the series.
http://crm.larche.ca/my-friend-gil

Gil loves music…

We are looking for recordings of simple, joyful music, royalty free, played on one or two acoustic instruments, to accompany the upcoming clips in the web series My Friend Gil. Please send your suggestions to gil.monami@gmail.com.

 

Project initiator: Gil Frois
Filming: Voices and Colors New Media
Production: Jean Vanier Association
Web series adaptation: L’Arche Canada
Filming and dissemination partners: L’Arche Agapè and Association des Arches du Québec


Sometimes it takes a long time to truly listen to people who express themselves differently, who don’t fulfill roles in society from which they can be heard.
Most documentaries are inspired by exceptional subjects or unusual situations. In this film, the camera follows Gil as he goes about his everyday tasks. He completes each job with the same tireless enthusiasm, never giving up.
These days, everyone is rushing everywhere, always seeking more, never feeling enough. Yet, you seem to be content being just where you are, present to people and the moment, and open to wonder.
I did not know Aurèle, but I was sad when I heard that he died. I was sad for him and his family and friends, for his friend Gil, their housemates and their L’Arche community.
Do you have an intellectual disability and dream of being a model? Gil invites you to step onto the stage and participate in our ExpressYourself Contest by posing in front of the camera!
One of Gil’s greatest gifts is his capacity for mutuality in friendships where each helps the other to grow, each brings out the best in the other. When he was young, Gil was fortunate to be accompanied by an extraordinary special educator, François Villemaire, who at the time worked for the “Pavillon du parc”, an establishment that is part of the network of health and social services in Gatineau, Quebec.
Many thanks to everyone who answered our invitation and shared their smile for World Down Syndrome Day. We are now launching a new invitation… to share the stage with Gil. Do you know anyone with an intellectual disability who, perhaps inspired by Gil, would like to be in the spotlight? Write to us at gil.monami@gmail.com.
Why does my heart melt when I see a picture of Gil Frois in my Facebook feed or on larche.ca? I’m either rushing or exhausted, but I jump online to make sure I’m not missing yet another thing… there he is smiling at the camera, or captured at work, or making music. His photo makes me pause and catch my breath.