Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Castellers in Valparaiso

CASTELLERS DE VILAFRANCA (Catalonia) & Santiago (Lo Prado & Cerro Navia) will perform this traditional catalonian human castle along with folk music brought by the catalonian castellers at Parque Italia square next thursday 17th. More info at:

An update (01/18/2008): I exchanged the photo at the top by one by the castellers at the square in Valparaiso yesterday. Also, I had never been that close to a casteller's group, and this time, thanks to one of their musicians I even played a few notes on a grall, the keyed folk oboe used by them to mark the moments in the built up of the human castle they call coya. There were 3 grallers (oboe players) plus a tenor drummer. Two of them did play a main melody with the third doing some variation on it from time to time with a second voice. The traditional tune didn't last more than a couple of minutes, the same time it takes to the castellers to go up and down in the built up. The chilean casteller groups from Santiago, mostly school kids do this part of their build up along with recorded music.

In summary, it was an extraordinary performance, and certainly the first time in this town where many passerby, tourists and local people from the port helped to the 150 catalonians to support the base of the castle, and felt and saw with emotion over them how at the end a small boy or girl crowned the communitary effort of so many.