Barcelona is another home from home for me and it is always a pleasure to be in the company of Pau Gimeno, a genuinely beautiful soul and community builder extraordinaire.
I arrived around lunchtime on the Thursday and Pau was still at work so I headed to The Parque de la Ciutadella for some chill time before meeting him in the Placa de Catalunya and heading to his place to reconnect with the family and eat and sleep. Jet lag was still a factor.
Our plan was to facilitate a one day introduction to drum circle facilitation on the Saturday. Pau had arranged with some of the community to host me so that I was not just with him the whole time. On the Friday after a lazy morning I headed into Barcelona to meet with Oliver Solmat who would drive us to Vilanova where I would stay with him and his soon to be wife, Merce and their lovely children. I got to stroll around the town a bit and met this guy!!
Oliver and Merce are the driving force behind Music Training Lab and are at the forefront of co-facilitaion practices. Totally inspiring people to be around. We had the traditional late Catalan dinner, a dram and some sleep. In the morning Oliver drove us back to Barcelona for the one day program, stopping along the way to visit this beauty, known locally as El Gran Arbre (The Big Tree). Stunning.
We arrived at Boca Nord to set up the room and take the obligatory selfie.
The program was attended by about 18 people who were a mix of complete beginner and more experienced folk. The morning session was incredible. Everyone jumping fully into the process. Lunch was a longish affair ( Catalonia!!!!!) and then we returned to complete the day and host a family friendly community circle which went really well. Back to Pau’s for some much needed sleep and then up Sunday morning for the regular community drum circle in the city centre. This too was a lovely wee experience with some great grooves.
Sunday lunch followed ( from 2pm until 5pm!!!!!) with a small group of facilitators chatting about the Catalan/Spanish drum circle community. Fun times.
Sunday evening was to be spent hanging with Seve Velasco, a Music Therapist and good friend from my previous visits. Seve works alongside his drum partner Xavi at Sompercussio and manages Associació percussió social and is another very inspiring person to hang with. We had great chats about everything under the sun along with his partner Suzzane and wonderful food for dinner ( at 11.30pm) and of course a dram.
In the morning we strolled around the locality which was stunning but no shots as I left my camera and phone in the house. Some pictures are better as memories and the Old Holm Oak tree we visited was one of those. Incredible. Lunch with Seve and he dropped me in Barca to meet Pau and a colleague David for a drum session with a group of teenage males from immigrant families. The cultural mix was pretty much African and Arabic and we soon got to playing some wicked grooves. I was asked to teach a piece which I was so happy to do and the group did amazingly well with it. A great and inspiring session.
I sit now in Pau’s home writing this before I fly back to Scotland for a 10 day breather after which I will travel to Malaysia for the ARFC
I’m not sure I will head to Barcelona today and drag my suitcase around to kill time and take photos before the flight this evening (Probably just chill here and do some admin) so here are some of my fave shots from the last visit.
Barcelona a truly inspiring city which I have fallen in love with over my visits with an amazing group of community builders who I love dearly. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and passion is second to none and their grooves just fabulous. A great read Paul thanks for sharing.