Los ArcosPosted on June 16, 2010 with 4 comments
So I go to the cathedral an hour before mass when tourists are allowed to look around and take pictures. I start putting the legs on the harp and you can hear the squeaking throughout the church. Great acoustics! This brings the priest hurrying over to me to see what was up to. I asks to play for a bit and mention the cantigas and he says no.
Then he says that it would be fine after the mass. I thank him and since the harp is put together I stay. I'm glad I did. It was easy to sit in that building and just look.
The cathedral of Santa Maria de Los Arcos has been decorated for six hundred years. It is magnificent. While I was lost in contemplation of its wonders the priest returned and asked if I would play during communion and then after the benediction for the pilgrims. You know my reply. He then told me to go up to the choir loft where I would be better heard.
So the harp and I ended up high above the congregation and at eye level with the 14th century statue of Santa Maria. After playing during communion the priest announced me and thanked me and invited any in the congregation who would like to stay after and listen to a concert by Marta. After the blessing of the pilgrims the priest then gave me one of the best introductions I've ever had. He explained the cantigas and Alfonse el Sabio and then indicated to me and I was on.
Most of the parishioners stayed and in that huge space the harp carried like a dream. The applause sounded like thunder.
There was a moment earlier while I was waiting - not sure if the priest would even let me play – and I wondered what I was doing here and whether this whole thing was even a good idea…
After I came down from the loft I was mobbed by the locals and kissed on both cheeks and one after another thanked me and held my hands together in blessing.
I am reminded why I am here and it all feels worthwhile.
Quite a high. It will take a while to come back down to earth.
Not to worry the road shows no favorites.
On the way to Viana,