The cross-cultural group visited many historical sites, including this bridge that was reconstructed on the base of a bridge built by the Romans in Cordoba, Spain.
Students capture and broadcast the sounds of Spain
The audio postcard takes listeners through a tour of the guitar workshop of Antonio Marin, a well-known craftsman in Granada who continues to build guitars in an old world style, one at a time. “These shops have instruments in different stages of construction, so you get to see inside the guitar and behind the top and the bracing,” says Yunez. The recording features the sounds of guitar sanding and wood sawing, as well as flamenco guitar music played by Zwally. “The thing that caught my ear was how it sang, how the pitches sustained more than any other instrument I have played. It was like hugging Pavarotti while he sang,” he says with a laugh.
The lively and colorful music of Spain is woven through all of the recordings, ranging from the band at the bull fight to the sounds of street performers to the celebration of Corpus Christi, a festival in observance of the religious holiday. At the festival the group observed the procession of the church treasures along streets covered in romero, or rosemary, as well as the traditional liturgical dance. “You learn a lot about a culture by witnessing its festivals,” says Zwally.
In addition to experiencing Spain through its music, entertainment, and festivals, students were also given a unique taste of the culture by staying with Spanish families in Seville, taking side trips to the Roman ruins in Cordoba, and spending a week in Granada. The quick adaptation of each of the students to the Spanish way of life impressed both Zwally and Yunez. “It’s an amazing thing, the adjustment process,” says Yunez. “They actually start to see themselves being able to stay in that culture.”
At the conclusion of the trip, the students each completed a project involving visual images, writings, and— for Hart and Grant— recorded sounds. “It was very interesting because it made them think about the cross-cultural trip in a different way,” says Zwally. Thanks to careful observations of the student reporters and the support of WITF, listeners can experience a taste of the colorful culture and vibrant sounds of Spain without leaving home.
—Melissa Paolangeli ’09
The recordings were first broadcast in September and will continue to be replayed throughout the fall season on WITF-FM. Listen to the Weekend America recording online by using the player below (file courtesy of WITF-FM).
For more information about the 2010 cross cultural trip to Spain, please visit: http://www.messiah.edu/departments/music/_guitar_studies/Observing%20Guitar%20Building.htm
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