Thursday, March 01, 2007

 

Remembering Simon Boily

It is with deep sadness that I write this note about Simon. I’m still in shock at learning of his death in Bolivia. My heart goes out to his family and his many, many friends.
I got to make music with Simon last summer when on tour on the North Coast of Quebec. He replaced a mutual friend and percussionist at the VERY last minute and proved to be an invaluable asset as a musician, playing the didgeridoo and percussion instruments, and human being. We became fast friends. He was like a little brother who traveled with my family: Jean-François, my daughters, Iara and Cori, and I. We performed together in Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles, among other places, and got to discover a beautiful region of our country. He was a well of information and a great traveler, even in the adversity of, egad! car trouble… Oh, the joys of life on the road!
Along the many kilometers, while sipping a highly potent mate infusion, he regaled us with stories of time spent in the woods working on different science projects or searching for rare mushrooms (he had a degree in biology)… He even braved swamp mosquitoes and black flies just so that we could taste the delicious, but rare chicoutai berry, in the Sept-Îles region. He also took great pride in his home region of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and in the work of its small artisans with big hearts. Thanks to him, we discovered delicious cheese and other local products. We also got a firsthand appreciation of the beer that he brewed with his brother, hmmm... He told us about some of the activities that he loved to do with his family, such as raspberry picking for his dad’s super raspberry wine.
We also shared some terrific moments with his family who came out to see two performances. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the magical setting of the Café de la poste in Ste-Rose-du-Nord, one of Quebec’s most beautiful villages, with the warmth and laughter of his parents, aunt, uncle and cousin taking the chill off a cool Saguenay evening, a memorable moment.
Simon Boily was a true citizen of the world who dreamed of traveling to South America to imbibe himself in the culture and share his love for music, specifically the flute, before coming home to study medicine. He had what I consider to be some of the wonderful characteristics of a great musician: openness, curiosity, playfulness, generosity and inspiring courage. It is because of kindred spirits such as his that I love to do what I do.
I will remember him always and am grateful that our paths crossed, if only briefly.
Simon, your heart may have stopped, but the beat of your drum will keep my feet dancing along the path of my life.
Love,
Joanne

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