The Stonecutter

Aad van der HeydeI've been listened to the recording of The Stonecutter, a fairy tale narrated by Moorea artist Aad van der Heyde against the background of Patrice Kraffe's New Age music. It's a story about a "poor but not very poor" stonecutter who receives seven magic sounds from a mysterious girl in white. The moral is, enjoy life and be happy with what you have. There's some fine Polynesian singing by the Matetonia Choir on the CD.

The Stonecutter is intended primarily for children, but for me it brought back the exotic atmosphere of Moorea's verdant mountains, emerald lagoons, and drifting clouds. This recording is not available on and about the only place you can be sure of finding a copy is at Galerie Aad van der Heyde, Cook's Bay, Moorea. Aad himself may be there when you visit and he's usually only too happy to chat with visitors about The Stonecutter and his three decades as an artist on Moorea. His gallery is almost a museum with Marquesas woodcarvings, black pearl jewelry, and dozens of Aad's paintings. When I dropped in last month, Aad told me that he was keeping cheap souvenirs out of the shop and only displaying high quality work. I recommend it, even if you have no intention of buying anything.

Aad also mentioned that a movie version of The Stonecutter, directed by Daniel Zirilli, would be released in theaters this fall. Zirelli filmed The Stonecutter on Moorea and Tetiaroa with a local cast and the participation of Fenua. If you get a chance, go see it. Otherwise, watch for the DVD, especially if you have kids.

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