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This image may be of Gaspar Sanz: note the guitar- looks quite a bit like my archguitar!
Recording in the middle of the night for two nights here in Moratinos, Spain. You have to zoom way in on Google Maps to find Moratinos, (the name refers to the Moorish origin of the place), and I feel a bit ambivalent about telling folks how wonderful a little place it is, lest it become over-wrought with even more visitors than the Camino pilgrims who wander through it. It lies between Burgos and León on the Camino de Santiago, and the “big town” you go to for things is called Sahagún, (you’ve likely never heard of that place either!). Just prior to recording we’d eaten an excellent dinner at the grand opening of a restaurant placed in the converted bodegas (wine cellars) of a couple of local bachelor farmer brothers- totally modern architecture, in a setting so old, many details of the town’s history are simply impossible to know for certain. I love the new and old in Spain.
My friends Rebekah and Patrick run a lovely refuge for pilgrims (and themselves, and whoever is lucky enough to merit an invite), right in town, a place I’ve visited each time I’ve been here in Spain. A couple of years ago, the guitarist Adam Levin and violinist William Knuth recorded an album in the lovely, tiny church in Moratinos a couple of years ago, it sounds great, and since I’d played in that church myself as part of the same concerts series they were doing, I’d jonesd over those lovely acoustics. So this summer, I am producing a CD of solo archguitar music, soaking up the inspiration that oozes out of these walls that sit upon a foundation believed to be built as a mosque in the 10th century. Serious mojo in the light and acoustics.
- Set up and ready to record. Inspiration guaranteed.
The first night went perfectly, as much as a night of recording ever can go perfectly, the second night was to be either a very high quality CD of a little Spanish dog barking, or a bust. More work to do, but I shall persevere. Here in my Hostal room in Roncesvalles, after performing the first guitar concert ever done in the beautiful cathedral here, I’ve been editing the recording a bit. I offer a little taste of one part of the CD program, Spanish courtly guitar music from the late 17th century by the great Gaspar Sanz. The little pieces are basically lo-fi, intimate listening versions of the dance music lords and ladies danced to at festive occasions. The guitar versions were probably background music, played by the master, by the table as these same people played cards, read by the fire, or ate. As I’ve mentioned many times in concerts before, the lutenist/guitarist was even placed behind a curtain for accompaniment of more intimate entertainment. A job I have yet to be offered, despite my decades long attempts to capture every other veracity of spirit in this music!
Click below to listen, download:
Gaspar Sanz: Rujero, Peter Blanchette, archguitar
Enjoy a little listen, wherever you like.