Discussion in 'Landscape and Architecture' started by Brian Moore, Jun 21, 2018.
Olympus OM2n with Olympus 35/2.8 shift lens and Kodak Tri-X 400 processed in Rodinal.
Lovely B&W shot!
Nice shot, Brian. Looks like that wall climber is coming out of someone's living room. Love the patterned cobbles in the foreground. Where is Céret?
Thank you, Raza.
Thanks Rob. Céret is in the Catalan region of the south of France. It's just north of the border with Spain, and just west of the Mediterranean. It's about a two hour drive north of Barcelona.
Ah, I hitch-hiked around that area some 35 years ago, busking for my supper. Those were the days! Spent six months living rough, playing guitar, getting drunk, watching the girls. Where did it all go wrong?!
What music were you playing while busking then Rob?
I'd been teaching myself classical guitar while unemployed (thanks, Maggie!), and living in a cottage in Fife. I was away one weekend, and came home to find the whole cottage completely flooded, everything ruined. My guitar in its case came floating towards me on top of the water. At that moment the postie arrived with my social security cheque. Everything I had was ruined, life couldn't get worse (my parents had died when I was a teenager). So, I cashed the cheque, took my guitar, and hitchhiked to Barcelona, as you do! Of course, I had to get the ferry across the water. A couple of days later I was in Barcelona.
I used to busk outside the old cathedral, not Gaudi's new one. I was playing Catalan songs which someone had arranged for classical guitar, and old ladies used to give me some coins as they came out of the church. One day one of them made me a sign, in the Catalan language, which had been banned by Franco, saying I was playing old Catalan songs. Suddenly I started getting a lot more money! Not long after, other buskers cottoned on to what was happening, and they all started having signs made in Catalan! I started the revolution
So, I moved on, hitching south. Spend a couple of months in Granada, where I got a job playing in a restaurant up near the Alhambra. Then I went to Cordoba, where I saw my first and last bullfight - a hideous spectacle! Then to Malaga, and along the cost to the tourist spots.
I slept rough quite a lot, sometimes managing to book a cheap pensione, but eventually had enough money to fly to London, from where I hitch-hiked back to Dundee, to start life again. All seems like a dream now...
Great story, Rob. I didn't for a moment anticipate it was old Catalan songs your were busking. (I assumed acoustic rock or folk.) That old lady did you a big favor. I'm guessing the majority of passers-by wouldn't have known the old tunes. But how did you know the old Catalan songs? Is the old Catalan song book for guitar extensive or popular in among classical guitar players or was it a genre you had an interest in?
A Catalan guitarist called Miguel Llobet published a dozen or so arrangements in the 1920s and 30s. They are beautiful arrangements, and have been played by most of the top classical guitar players.
Here's one I recorded on my wife's beginner guitar, which cost about £100. I added good-quality gut strings, which transformed the instrument. It's a folk song, the story of which is that of a beautiful girl being locked in a tower by her father, to stop young rogues enticing her away...I always used to concentrate on the girl's pain, but these days I find myself more sympathetic to the father!! LOL.
Two pieces by the Catalan composer, Francisco Tárrega - very romantic:
One of my favourite Catalan pieces, The Thief's Song:
These arrangements are popular among classical guitar players, but I have a strong affinity with them, liking the genre more than the flashy Andalusian flamenco-inspired works. Being close to the French border, the Catalan pieces show some French harmonic influences, and are generally more delicate overall - just like me
I've just remembered finding myself in Lourdes, on the way to Spain. I'd been brought up a Roman Catholic, was even an alter boy and member of the choir...but then I drifted. I'm not in the slightest religious, but I couldn't pass up on visiting Lourdes when I was close by. What an insane place! I met such lovely people. At night there was a big torchlight procession, thousands of people, I'll never forget the wailing, crying, tears of pain and joy. But the worse thing, the really awful thing, was seeing all the cripples lined up to take the waters from a priest, hoping and praying a miracle would happen, and they could walk away. Of course, it never happened. Seeing them come out the other end, utterly shattered by the experience - well, I couldn't take it. With tears streaming for them I left, headed to Spain. I should write my biography some day...
Pity I wasn't into photography in those days!
The sunlight is complimenting the image very beautifully.
What a wonderful thing photography is and what a special place we have here to share it. Evocation is a word I often use and here is the perfect example. An image, a fine image, by Brian has evoked this memory from Rob who has generously shared it with here. And what is more,he has supplemented it with some gorgeous music. We are lucky indeed to experience this.
I'm looking forward to reading that biography, Rob (or maybe listening to the audio version with musical accompaniment).
There's an idea. Or see the film, with Robert de Nero playing me
I had Makenzie Crook in mind...
Ha, you might be on to something...
Rob your Catalan tunes are beautifully played and delightful to listen to. Thanks for posting them. (If you have a CD or download of the Catalan tunes I want to buy it. Let me know.) Lourdes: Sad.
Thank you Roshni.
Thanks, Brian. I never did get around to doing a proper recording of them. Thanks for the offer, though.
He's just trying to get a copy before the soundtrack of the film hits the charts!
Can I have a copy too?!
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