8 Sep 2014

Pirenostrum: Luthiers in the XXI century

Every other year, when July reaches its equator, my hometown abandones its usual drowsiness and, for three long days, it becomes alive and full of art and music. What normally are silent, narrow streets, touched by the rays of light roughly a few hours every day, suddenly wake up full of color, voices, steps, and music. The stone houses, centuries-old and locked all year round to keep either the summer heat or the winter frost outside its thick walls, forget they shyness during these three days and open their doors unashamedly for everyone to enter its indoor patios, and discover its secrets. As a Rafflesia flower, that blooms only for a very short period of time before dying, the old houses of Boltaña become an open museum briefly before closing their doors again for two more years.

Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Casa Velillas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Casa Casabón, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
However, not only stones and wood are to be found inside these patios, for this is a luthiers festival, after all, and all revolves around music: traditional music that has long lived in these and other, faraway lands, preserved throughout the ages by dedicated and passionate artists and luthiers. The history of these ancient instruments built by newer hands, showed and shared openly not at a vanguardist museum or at an art gallery, but inside equally aged houses, where descendants from yesteryears still dwell, eat and play, where echoes of times long gone can still be heard in the walls and through the chimneys.

Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Violines, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Nychelharpa, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Organistrum, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Salterios, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Panderetas y cuernos, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Panderetas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
The whole village becomes an uncovered museum, doors are always open and music permeates every corner and every alleyway, every little house and every staircase; walking along the stoned-paved roads is a journey through different sounds and traditions, where it doesn't matter the origin or idiom, for all music speaks out loud the same, universal language.

Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Flautas I, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Flautas II, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Flautas III, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Gaitas y panderetas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Gaitas en la ventana I, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Gaitas en la ventana II, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
But the beautiful instruments are only half of the equation, since there is no music without someone blowing, caressing, sliding its heart and soul to create art through sound. Luthiers, like wizards, create magic out of thin air, they make other musician's dreams become possible by crafting incredible pieces of craftwork; ultimately, they are the invisible face behind Music, and their importance is not commended enough, for a pianist wouldn't have that name without a piano, and music would have no voice without them.

Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Zanfona, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Demostración con zanfona, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Ocarinas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Gaitas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Exposición de panderetas, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Music as a gift, as a relic, as a task, but, most importantly, music as a legacy, as a lifestyle, as a celebration; music as a bridge between people and cultures, as a communion of disparate traditions and thoughts. Music as a party, as a dear friend, as an experience with the power to communicate the deepest feelings with the simplest of gestures, such as a soft blow of air.

Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Luthier sin instrumento, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Nueva generación, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Rondando en la calle, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Música en la calle, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
Escenario improvisado, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Pirenostrum, Boltaña
El poder de la música, GM1 + Panasonic Leica 15mm

4 comments:

  1. Such beautiful and unusual instruments.... would love to hear them played.

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    1. That's te joy of this festival, that all these instruments displayed in every house are not just lying down in their cases to be seen, rather they are touched, and played, and heard

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  2. That also implies centuries of skill in crafting musical instruments, and endless generations of gifted musicians -- for the two go hand in hand.
    The camaraderie that music engenders can also be glimpsed, opening a small window into the incredible history of Espana ! For me, a history and post grad (1970), the names of several Spanish kings, warriors and heroes drift through my mind as I read this post ... for which I am deeply grateful.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely! Sensibility is something that cannot be taught but can be however be transferred through art, such a wonderful contradiction! I'm glad to have brought evocative images to your mind, imagination is our strongest weapon!

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