Knight-errant novels and other affronts

<<versión en español

As we said once before, Bodegas Qumrán is not a usual winery because of a lot of reasons. Among them, because its old books and incunabula collection that is so took care by its owner, Jesús Solís, which in turn is discovered so pleasantly by the visitants of the winery.

The picture is extracted from, perhaps one of the most interesting books of the library, El Caballero Zifar (The Zifar Knight). It is about a facsimile version of the first knight-errant novel in Spanish of the history. It was written in old Castilian, and it tells us about the adventures of a single man who had to leave his land in order to seek fortune escaping the misery, and after a while he returned as a wealthy man.

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Novelas de caballería y otros entuertos

<<English version

Como ya hemos comentado en alguna otra ocasión,  Bodegas Qumrán no es una bodega habitual por muchas razones. Entre otras, por su colección de libros antiguos e incunables, que con tanto cariño conserva su propietario, Jesús Solís, y que con tanto gusto descubren los visitantes de la bodega.

La fotografía está extraída de uno de los libros quizás más interesantes de la biblioteca, El Caballero Zifar. Se trata de una versión facsímil de la primera novela de caballería de la historia. Está escrita en castellano antiguo, y cuenta las aventuras de un hombre sencillo que tiene que dejar su tierra y buscar fortuna escapando de la miseria, y un tiempo después regresa convertido en un hombre rico.

Fotos oficiales – rodaje del documental DK qumran

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Ya están aquí las fotos oficiales del rodaje del documental del projecto DK <qumran>, realizado el pasado mes de septiembre en Bodegas Qumrán [ES]! Vaya nuestro público agradecimiento y un fuerte abrazo al gran fotógrafo vallisoletano Nacho Carretero, autor de las imágenes, por su buen hacer y por su humanidad, lo cual se refleja como podéis comprobar en sus fantásticas instantáneas y retratos. ¡Realmente captó la magia y la intensidad del momento!

Official photos – filming of the documentary DK qumran

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It just has been released the official photos of the filming of the documentary on DK<qumran> project, realized last September at Bodegas Qumrán [ES]. We would like to openly thank to the amazing photograph from Valladolid, the great Nacho Carretero, the images’ author, because of his high level of professionalism and humanity, which is perfectly expressed at his gorgeous still images and portraits. He really captured the magic and the intensity of such moments!

Disfrutando de los lugares

>> English version

La mañana empieza con un sol como unas pascuas, así que aprovechamos el primer descanso del ensayo con Raphaël para darnos un paseíto por Peñafiel, de paso descansar y conocer el pueblo un poquito. Visita obligada es la famosa Plaza del Coso -el castillo no dio tiempo-. Volvemos al teatro y Beatriz comienza a hacer sus pruebas más serias. Todo parece que fuera fluyendo con naturalidad.

Al final de la mañana vivimos un momento excitante, puesto que se incorpora al equipo la pareja de arquitectos, Sandra y Álvaro, recién llegados de Barcelona. Vamos sintiendo que esto va tomando un cariz cada vez mayor. Lo rematamos en el Restaurante María Eugenia con Jesús, donde comimos unos lechazos de Peñafiel con un excelente acompañamiento: Qumrán Roble de 2010.

Fuera del restaurante, sesión de trabajo acto seguido. Hicimos el primer pase a puerta cerrada -nada como ponerse en situación lo antes posible-, lo cual nos metió en la estructura del concierto, animándonos en la concepción del recital. Enseguida surgen conversaciones espontáneas que recogemos en vídeo para el documental.

Acabamos la sesión y toca transportar los instrumentos a la bodega para la filmación del día siguiente -¡hay que ver la de cosas que caben en el coche de César, hasta un bombo sinfónico… y más!-. Cuando llegamos, se mascaba lo inevitable: contemplación pura de los espacios con el consiguiente embelesamiento. Creo que los músicos se encantaron nada más llegar. Llegar por la noche a Bodegas Qumrán fue premonitorio, y sobre todo, catalizador; en aquel momento todo el mundo comprendió al mismo tiempo y tácitamente la verdadera dimensión del proyecto.

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Enjoying the places

>> Versión en español

As the morning began with a burning sun, we took the opportunity to stop for a while to take a stroll through Peñafiel, rest and do some sight-seeing. The famous Plaza del Coso (Bullring Square) was of course a must-see. There was not time enough to see the castle, though. We came back to the theater, where Beatriz started to perform serious video tests. All seemed to flow naturally.

At the end of the morning we lived an exciting moment: the architects, Sandra and Álvaro, just arrived from Barcelona, joined the team. We felt that things were going really big. We end up in the Restaurant María Eugenia with Jesús, where we enjoyed some traditional “lechazos” (lambs) with an excelent accompaniment: several bottles of Qumrán Roble of 2010.

Once outside the restaurant, we headed towards a new work session. We made a first closed-door performance which helped us step into the concert´s structure and gave us a perspective on the recital´s concept. Some spontaneous conversations arised, we registered them in video for the documental.

Later on, we transported the instruments to the winery for the shooting on the next morning – it´s incredible how many things can get into Cesar´s car, even a symphonic bassdrum… and much more!-. When we arrived, we enjoyed the spaces and got absolutely fascinated by the architecture. I believe the musicians got captivated from the very first moment. It was then when everybody started to perceived at the same time the project´s real dimensions.

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Raphaël

>> Versión en español

Raphaël Simon is a sensational guy. We met via Internet about a year ago, and few weeks later, late July, we met in person in Paris. He told me that he likes my music very much, particularly my piece Punto Intenso contra Remisso,and that it would be great if I could find some time to write something similar for percussion set and electronics. I had been thinking about undertaking my second project about music and architecture for some time already, so this was a natural step. By the end of August, we agreed the compositional stages for the piece, with the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, which would take place in Amsterdam in April 2011, as our goal.

Qumran B is dedicated to Raphaël, and is the third and last piece of theDK<qumran> series; however, it was the first one to be completed, middle of march this year. You see, I like to put the cart before the horses. The reason of this is a series of practical circumstances (a long story) from which we extracted some interesting aesthetic and creative conclusions.

We rehearsed Qumran B several days before Raphaël´s participation in this competition, in the BEA6 study of the Instituut voor Sonologie of The Hague. Working with Raphaël was a highly gratifying experience, and I learned a lot:

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The day of the rehearsal was great. Our morning started with the transportation of a lot of heavy stuff into the Insituut – you wouldn´t believe the amount of things that can fit inside Raphaël´s car! – From time to time, the concierges sneaked a look at us, and when the time came to move the set of paella dishes, they could not help bursting into laughs… They thought they had seen everything!

As an anecdote, I can tell I had to start Qumran B twice before I started to write the definitive version, which I finished by the end of February, beginning of March. I had been thinking about the possibility of incorporating several levels of notation based on the Gregorian neumes. The first version was literally swallowed by Raphaël at first sight reading, so he wrote me an e-mail asking me -very prudently- if I might write something more suitable to the level of difficulty expected in an interpreters competition. I replied that this first version was written with the aim of creating an accessible writing etc, but nevertheless I granted his request. I restructured the piece from top to bottom, from the notation style to the materials´ essence, until the point of developing a complexity which we could describe as “notably different” as to the previous version. Raphaël congratulated me with a very enthusiastic and very big “bravo”, and we did not speak about this until our next meeting in The Hague, some days before the competition. It is then when I realized my friend´s great musical potential: he was able to prepare the piece – including electronics- in just one rehearsal.  Qumran B is a quite demanding and difficult piece, if we take into account the several representativity layers mentioned above, the amount of polyrythmics hidden in every note, and also that the piece is very gymnastic as to gestures, or the simultaneous vocal interpretation of fragmented verses, all of it combined with an electronic track lacking any chronometric reference whatsoever. At the end of this extremely intensive working session, he confesses us that his first exclamation when he studied the finished score for the first time was: “But what kind of madness has this guy written?”. Raphaël is able to play the piece at this level of madness, so we´re really delighted.