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Mobile repairer, Camille puts breathless accordions back on track
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Mobile repairer, Camille puts breathless accordions back on track
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“It’s the work-study tool par excellence. When you press right, it blows left, and when you press left, it whistles right. And inside, it’s windy! “. The great Raymond Devos is not the only one to find airs of resemblance between the small political music and that of the piano with straps.

accordion tuner

Holder of a Master’s degree in Franco-German cooperation, obtained at the Institute of Political Studies in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), Camille Hamm quit her job as a European university project manager in 2014 to become… an itinerant repairer of accordions!

Mobile workshops are already done for other instruments, but for the accordion, I think I’m the only one in France

Like grinders going from town to village, Camille sharpens the blades of breathless wind instruments as she walks.? “Mobile workshops are already done for other instruments, but for the accordion, I think I’m the only one in France”, modestly slips in the just forty-something, trained in 2015 at the European Technological Institute for Trades music (Item), in Le Mans (Sarthe), where she obtained her CAP. “There were about ten of us in the promotion, of which less than half are still active. There is a market, but not everywhere”, underlines the tuner, who left her native Alsace to come and practice her new profession in Sarthe, for five years, before heading even further west.

Individuals, musicians, music schools

“I followed my companion, who found work in Rennes. There were already a few accordion repairers in Brittany, but no one in the northeast sector. The offer needed to be supplemented, especially for the inhabitants of the coast, ”explains Camille, who puts down her toolbox in Dol-de-Bretagne (35), in October 2020.

In Brittany, everyone knows someone who plays the accordion

A little over a year after its sedentary installation, the Les mains sur les reeds workshop has regained its cruising speed. “Individuals, music schools, occasional or experienced musicians… From Saint-Brieuc (22) to Avranches (50), I have at least forty customers who come to the workshop, to which are added a hundred customers from mobile workshops”, smiles the music-loving mechanic, with a keychain ranging from the treble clef to the twelve clef.

A jack-of-all-trades repairer, Camille Hamm takes care of all ranges of small accordion sores and also performs heavy open chord operations (Le Télégramme/Corentin Le Doujet)

The taste of mechanics

?“I discovered the diatonic accordion in Nanterre (92), a dozen years ago. I found it friendlier and less formal than the piano, which I practiced before. Less cumbersome too, and in Paris, that counts… And then the accordionist Bernard Loffet gave me a taste for mechanics, by opening an accordion in front of me”, remembers Camille. ?A snapping button, a threadbare strap, a bellows that grows louder… The jack-of-all-trades repairer now takes care of all ranges of minor sores and also handles heavy open chord operations. A job that does not roam the streets but that shows the country. “I will be stopping in Dinan (22) all day, this Saturday, January 22?, invited by the Muzik Anao store”, breathes the one who is about to hit the road again, passion slung over her shoulder.

Young people are still interested in this instrument

The tour of the Bouèze tow truck (Gallo name for the diatonic accordion, in Ille-et-Vilaine) will also pass through Redon (35), Le Mans and Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), among others, but there is no question of leaving sustainably Brittany and its tribes of accordionists. “In Brittany, everyone knows someone who plays the accordion, and young people are always interested in this instrument, which is not the case in other regions”, explains the repairer in nomadic mode .

All cases contacts

In other words, the Bretons would all be contacts of people with accordionphilia, a very contagious virus, whether it is the diatonic or chromatic variant. First symptoms to watch out for: fans of the thrill box often have lots of pimples at their fingertips…

Camille Hamm’s traveling workshop is stopping at the Muzik Anao store, rue Sainte-Claire, in Dinan (22), Saturday January 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact:

Mobile repairer, Camille puts breathless accordions back on track
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