Sunday, March 20, 2011

Musiques Disperses Festival in Spain- the last performance under the Tree People name

Stephen Cohen (with hat and scarf) just after arriving in LLeida, Spain via train from Portland to Seattle, airplane from Seattle to Amsterdam to Barcelona, and high speed train (Rich Hinrichsen and Stephen in high speed train in photo above) from Barcelona to Lleida, Spain, finally meets Musiques Disperses Festival director and Guessen Records executive Antoni Gorgues in person, after years of corresponding by e-mail and phone and releases of 3 Tree People albums by Guerssen Records.

Antoni works tirelessly to promote the music he loves through the festival and his record company. It was a highlight of the trip to meet him.

This photo was taken in front of the festival site, Cafe del Teatre.
 all photos on this post by photographer Ben Sussman. Thanks Ben, for joining us on our great adventure in Spain, and documenting it all with your wonderful photographs! 

Stephen Cohen and Rich Hinrichsen, happy to be in Spain, happy to be performing later that evening!
noon rehearsal at the festival site, Cafe del Teatre, on the day of the concert
   from left to right: Hector Beberide Farrus, Stephen Cohen, Rich Hinrichsen and Jordi Gallen
We had corresponded by e-mail weeks in advance of the concert with Spanish musicians Hector and Jordi, sending music, mp3s, and talking about musical arrangements. Now we were rehearsing in person. Hector and Jordi are fantastic musicians. One observer said it sounded like we had been playing together for years.                                                                                
Hector and Stephen in rehearsal
Hector, Stephen and Rich in rehearsal
Stephen, Rich and Jordi in rehearsal
Stephen, Rich and Jordi in rehearsal

After the noon rehearsal, an afternoon break, and a sound check, Antoni 
took all of us, including Douglas (of Yoga Records, visiting from Los Angeles), Alex of Guerssen Records, the sound man, all the musicians (and our photographer) to dinner. The food was delicious, the conversation lively. We then made the short walk to the festival site, Cafe del Teatre, ready to play music. 
Performance time! Stephen and Rich enjoying the moment.

4 musicians in the spotlight 

Hector, Stephen, Rich and Jordi get into it!

Here we are performing "Hearing Test", with Hector on wooden flute, Stephen on acoustic guitar and panpipes, Rich on double bass and Jordi on cello. It was a real thrill to play in Spain, where the language of music was understood by all. 

     The best thing about it all was meeting people in a far away land, playing with one great musician from the United States and two great musicians from Spain, and sharing the language of music with a wonderful Spanish audience.We did two curtain calls and signed many autographs after the concert. A wonderful experience!

Here are the songs, in order, that we performed at the Musique Disperses Festival:

It’s My Story, Sliding, Pot of Gold, Let’s All Root for the Home Team, Thomas, Melody for 4, Living with the Animals, Hearing Test, No More School, More Than Yoko, The Change in Kate, Grandfather, Walking Willow Tree, Legends of the Tree People                                            
 curtain call:            Rain, Rain, Rain, Space Heater
 2nd  curtain call:    Goodnight, goodnight 

Rich, Mary and Stephen
Our friend Mary, originally from the United States, but living in Barcelona for years, was a real angel to us, helping us get to the train to LLeida from Barcelona, translating for us along the way, sharing her knowledge of  Barcelona and the customs to be aware of in Spain, and having us over to her alley apartment in Barcelona for dinner.  

Stopping at the Placa de Sant Joan on the walk back to the train the day after our performance in LLeida,
Rich and Stephen stop to rest, Stephen plays a song on his guitar, and some children stop to look and listen.

Stephen and Rich in alley courtyard in LLeida on the way to the train. Rich has his double bass bow in a case. The festival provided a vintage double bass for Rich to play, since, or course,  his own double bass would not fit on the plane.

Below: Bigott at the Musiques Disperses Festival:

The Musiques Disperses Festival is not a one day affair, but rather a series of concerts that takes place on weekends over a period of 3 or 4 weeks. The night before we performed, we were able to see and hear Bigott (which loosely translated, means "mustache"), a band from southern Spain. They are a lot of fun, featuring guitars, keyboards, two drummers and a lead singer who breaks into hippie style dances during performances. I had a chance to meet them at the hotel brunch Saturday morning and they were a very nice group of people. We exchanged albums.
One of the highlights of touring for me is seeing and meeting other musicians from all over the world.

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