The Torrent des Pareis Concert

The annual concert at the most impressive Torrent des Pareis setting will be given tomorrow, July 1st, 2012, by Cap Pela, a young Mallorcan rock band singing a capella, with voices only and no instruments. Cap Pela are quite popular and have a sizable following. They have toured Germany recently, giving concerts in Leipzig, as well as Cannes in France. Tomorrow’s concert will be free, franc and gratis, as it is being sponsored by Sa Nostra, the Mallorcan savings bank. Moltes gràcies.

If you can’t make tomorrow’s event, you can also hear Cap Pela in Sa Màniga (Cala Millor) on July 6th, as well as on July 28th at the Claustre de Santo Domingo (Pollença), but then you will have to pay between 12 € and 25 €. Here’s a sample of a performance of theirs, courtesy of YouTube:

The images were borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of enunclickclack.blogspot.com.es (top) and cappela.es (centre). The video was borrowed from YouTube, courtesy of CapPelaOficial.

Thank you very much, and

muchas gracias.

The Torrent des Pareis Concert

Protests and Caceroladas

Over the last two to three months, a large number of protest activities have been staged all across Mallorca, in places such as Manacor, Alcúdia, Sa Pobla, Felanitx and Palma. The topic of contention was and still is public education or rather, the planned severe cut-backs in spending in the education sector. In all of Spain, budget cuts in education amount to 3,000,000,000 €; the figure given for the Balearic Islands is 30,000,000 €. Just to put things into perspective, may I remind you that the Spanish government has just bailed out Bankia (Spain’s third largest lending bank) to the tune of 4,000,000,000 €, after the conglomerate bank had already received 4,500,000,000 € from the Spanish government just over a year ago.

Yesterday, there were similar protests all over Palma. In the morning, 20 students occupied the office of the Conseller for the education sector, Rafael Bosch. In the afternoon, a few hundred protesters congregated outside the Conselleria de Educación, Cultura y Universidades and in the early hours of the evening, a few thousand protesters assembled in s’Escorxador (see photos). It is said that 100 schools all over Mallorca participated yesterday in protest demonstrations as well.

Often, political demonstrations in Spain and other Latin countries are accompanied by Caceroladas, where kitchen utensils are loudly banged to create a mind-numbing noise. The demonstration in s’Escorxador included such noisy beatings, as did a protest outside IES Ramon Llull in Palma, two weeks ago (see video below).

The photo (top) was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. The date: May 22nd, 2012. The time was 19:35:54. The photo (centre) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of diariodemallorca.es and the photographer, Bartolome Ramon. The video was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and Barrumbo.

Thank you very much, and

muchas gracias.

Protests and Caceroladas

The Morgan Plus 8

When I spotted this beautiful Morgan Plus 8 on Palma’s Via de Cintura last Thursday, the Rally Clásico Isla Mallorca had just commenced. Even though this Roadster is a vintage car design, it was probably not old enough to classify for participating in the Mallorca rally. The UK-built Morgan Plus 8 was built between 1968 and 2004. This particular one was probably built after 2000 and thus, did not qualify for participation.

This year’s Rally Clásico Isla Mallorca finished last Saturday; the overall winning team was Dominik an der Heiden/co-driver Ottenburger in a 1979 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Congratulations. The winner in the Female category was Bel Dezcallar in a Triumph TR3.

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 15th, 2012. The time was 19:57:46. The video was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and SO911ST, showing last year’s winning team, Stefan Oberdörster and his co-driver, Olaf Heupel, in a 1976 Porsche 911 ST, in this year’s rally.

The Morgan Plus 8

An Evening of Koto Music

We were out in Palma the night before last to attend a concert at the CaixaForum. One of the regular features at the CaixaForum in Palma is the annual event of a series of concerts of Musíc del Mon, music from the far corners of the world, such as from Egypt, Mali, Turkey, Iran, Cuba, Brazil, Japan, Scotland, the Basque country, Alaska or Pakistan, you name it.

About a month ago, there was a concert of traditional Persian music, given by the Mezrab Ensemble. Delightful. It was so absorbing, I went twice, on two successive nights. The night before yesterday, it was Japanese Koto music, performed by the formidable Mieko Miyazaki. The Koto is probably the most Japanese of all instruments, a 13-string zither-type long body, looking back at a 1300 years old ancestry. Surprisingly, that night the Koto was paired with an Erhu, an even more ancient Chinese violin-type instrument of two strings, masterfully played by Chinese musician, Guo Gan (see photo). There will be another concert of Armenian music, performed by Vardan Grigoryan Duduk Quartet, on April 17th. Admission is 4 €.

If you would like to hear Guo Gan play the Erhu and Mieko Miyazaki play the Koto, here’s a video snippet (the same piece was played at Palma’s rendition as well, the other night):

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 13th, 2012. The time was 21:13:27.

An Evening of Koto Music

Blood Wedding

Here in Mallorca, we are lucky to have an enthusiastic audience of theatre goers. There are eight stages in Palma alone, ranging from the Teatre Principal to the Auditorium and from the Teatre Sanç to the Teatre del Mar. In the Part Forana, the hinterland, I know of not a single pueblo that does not have their own theatre or auditorium, from Inca to Pollença, from Santanyí to Andratx and from Manacor to Calvià. Tell me if I am wrong.

I’d like to share with you a magnificent night out at the theatre, last night in Palma. Eight Roma (gypsy) women were performing Federico García Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba. I had the pleasure of being invited to enjoy the all-female cast of real people without any professional background in theatre, some of them even without the ability to read or write, performing the last play that Federico García Lorca wrote in 1936, two months before he was brutally murdered during the Spanish Civil War. You probably know the plot involving Señora Alba ruling over her five daughters with domineering control. Inevitably, romance, love and death colluded to an ultimately fatal environment where people are not permitted to pursue their desires and passions.

Unfortunately, the performance by the Centro de Teatro TNT group from El Vacie near Sevilla was a one night only event. The house was packed, and rightly so.

In case you missed the occasion, here is a ten minutes snippet of the play, recorded in April 2011, with the same cast as last night’s performance.

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 29th, 2011. The time was 22:00:29.

Blood Wedding

Nit Sant and the Sibil·la Chant

Last night, Mallorca celebrated Nit Sant (Christmas Eve). A special church service is held on the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) called Matines de Nadal. These masses are probably the most important ones of the year here in Spain with the possible exception of the Easter liturgy.

There were three separate church services last night in Felanitx. I went to two of them because I had a reason. The attraction about the Matines de Nadal is the Cant de la Sibil·la (Chant of the Sybil), and I am attracted by this ancient chant with all its archaic and prophetic connotations. Why there were three separate Sibil·la performances last night in Felanitx I cannot say. I am not sure that there ever have been three concurrent ones in the past. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity and pleasure of being able to listen to two of them even though it was a bit of a rush. There were a few dozen Sibil·la performances all over Mallorca last night, from Palma to Inca, from Andratx to Pollença, from Binnissalem to Manacor. Perhaps you were eager enough yourself to go and take one in. Even though I have to say that I saw no foreigners attending any of the two services that I went to last night which surprised me quite a bit. It also made me a bit sad, really.

Let me remind you that the Cant de la Sibil·la was chosen by UNESCO in 2010 to be included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with an emphasis to the Need of Urgent Safeguarding. I think the Mallorcan Chant of the Sybil is a treasure to behold and an absolute treat to the eye and the ear, not to speak of the soul. In case you missed hearing one last night, try and earmark the occasion for this time next year.

The young woman in the photo and the video as well (2009) is Xisca from Cas Concos des Cavallers. She chanted at the Església de Sant Miquel, the Felanitx parish church, for the ninth year this year. She performed the Chant of the Sybil with an absolutely beautiful voice. It almost made me weep.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 24th, 2011. The time was 20:16:09. The video was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and guingaia.

Thank you, and

moltes gràcies.

Nit Sant and the Sibil·la Chant

The XII Festival Internacional d’Orgue a la Seu

We are privileged on this island with regard to organ music. There must be a few dozen historic organs in Palma and the pueblos, and some of them are of astounding class and impeccable pedigree. I guess there are some 50 or more of the magnificent instruments in Mallorcan churches, and probably ten of them can compete with the world’s best. I wish I knew how to play this instrument. Well, perhaps in my next life I’ll see to it.

Last night saw the first of four concerts given during this year’s XII Festival Internacional d’Orgue a la Seu, at Palma’s Cathedral. The concert was given by Wim Does (Netherland). Sadly, I could not attend.

There will be three more concerts, later in the month. Giampaolo di Rosa (Italy) will perform next Friday, October 9th, at 19h45, Susana G. Lastra (Spain) will entice us on Friday, October 16, and Hans Leitner (Germany) will complete the organ cycle on Friday, October 23rd, all at the same time. The concerts are given admission free. I hope I’ll be able to attend at least one of the three remaining events.

The organ at Palma’s Cathedral is one of the most remarkable on the island. It was last tuned and restored in 1993. Its sound is truly magnificent, or is the sound simply great thanks to the splendid acoustics of the Cathedral? You can judge for yourself by going to the Cathedral during one of the next three Fridays’ concerts, or by listening to the Video clip (below). Enjoy, whichever.

The photo (top) was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 1st, 2011. The time was 10:32:16. The video was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and eliufus.

Muchas gracias.

The XII Festival Internacional d’Orgue a la Seu