Barcelona, a photo a day




…on a theme of Paganini. This is what he was playing, on a blue violon. By Rachmaninoff, originally for piano and orchestra. He gave it his own twist, a difficult task, more Jean Luc Ponty than music school style. It was cool, he was cool. The beach-addicts in Sitges just threw him a passing glance.



Watch out, here comes my bass solo!

More about the Sant Andreu Jazz Band here. They are very young and very good. You can find them on Youtube as well.




It’s magic, and it’s every weekend in Montjuic, in front of the National Art Museum of Catalunya, the MNAC

A day at the opera

During the European Opera Day

How do you didgeridoo?

They even had some antipodean stuff at the Earth Day festival! Crikey!
Hi to all our friends down under!

Uno, dos, tres…

Swing classes on Plaza Real, yesterday morning, with the young members of the Sant Andreu Jazz Band.

Excellent music, real good fun, fantastic weather!
And the press was here as well!

Drumming and jamming, with some soup

Some drummers jamming in Gracia last summer.

OK, about yesterday’s soup… I confess, I wouldn’t eat it either, but the photo is good. Now, here is what in my opinion is the best soup ever: the portuguese stone soup.


  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
  • 1 pound linguiça or kielbasa sausage or Spanish chorizo,* diced
  • 1 15 1/4-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced ready-cut tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium head savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled, diced
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soup is thick, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Stone soup… And here is the legend behind it.

Two traveling men, were carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. They walked to a village. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup”, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.
Photo taken from the Portuguese Wikipedia

The Spotshines, post 1300

More musicians, today the Spotshines: Frankie Walker (guitar and voice), Juan Oliva (piano) and Rodrigo Sommi (guitar and voice). They gave a splendid rendition of James Blunt.


You just can’t go anywhere in Barcelona without some musicians playing on the street. Even now, during this cold spell.

Street music

Street music in Barcelona, always and everywhere. And look at this guy’s smile!

Klezmer and HaTikva

Mr Schirosa and Mr Nikolic gave a small and intimate concert yesterday afternoon, during this year’s Raval Culture Festival. They played a very nice suite of klezmer music, israeli folklore, and music from the Balkans. Intriguing to be listening to HaTikva, the Israeli national anthem, in a predominantly Pakistani area. Intriguing and good. Some superb musicians!


… is everywhere!

The weekend is black and white!

The silhouetto of a man…

It is theme day again! The theme, you guessed it, is silhouette. Please click here to see other participants’ interpretations.

Update. I had posted a Queen video here, but it seemed to interfere, to create unwanted popups. It is not the first time it happens, beware of what people hide in Youtube! So, I removed it.
The video? Bohemian rhapsody, of course!

Naughty girls!

The Naughty Girls (and one guy) from Barceloneta, live concert yesterday afternoon on Plaza de Catalunya. Singing naughty things.
It is the Merce again, the festivities of Our Lady of Mercy, patron of Barcelona. Won’t see much of it this year, too busy, not enough energy.

Magic shower!

Been a while… It is so hot here than going to the Magic Fountain water, light and music show in the evening, up close, is a very very good idea! Due to the large amount of spray, it’s like a huge outdoor shower, and you can even sing while the music is playing!

Appropriate song of the day…

Peggy Sue’s American Diner

Discovered this new place nearby, Peggy Sue’s American Diner, with some fabulous burgers and dogs! Had a James Brown, and it was great! Now I just have to learn to be JB. And you know what? I feel good!
Oh, and the wall-boxes, they work! The hottest hits of the 60es!

Harley days Barcelona 2012: the parade

The most eagerly expected event during this year’s Harley days was the parade. Imagine 15.000 (no, no typing error: fifteen thousand) Harleys from 20 countries going on a stroll all around the town… The noise was quite incredible, sweet and strong (ok, I’m biased). Have a look…

The press was there as well, obviously. That’s how they did it……..

Guess this driver must have felt a bit daft… Well, just a job, innit?

That’s our world!

Elvis Catala

As everybody should know by now (check the movie Men in Black if you don’t believe me), the King is alive. And speaks fluent Catalan! He was the special guest of the Harley Days. Good voice!

Feel it!

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to the…

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain,
“Please bring me my wine”
He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine”
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! ”

Well, this one is in Barcelona, and you can leave whenever you want. I suppose. Our World Tuesday!

I was right behind you

Sunday ballads and dancing at the Cathedral.

Thanks to JM for the title!

Palau de la Musica, the bar

After a short interlude on the beach (really hot here), back to the Palau for a quick drink. Right in front of you, through the door…

That’s right, here it is. Enjoy your champagne!

Palau de la Musica: the stage

In a semicircle on the sides of the back of the stage are the figures of 18 young women popularly known as the muses (although there are only nine muses in Greek mythology). The monotone upper bodies of the women protrude from the wall and their lower bodies are depicted by colorful mosaics that form part of the wall. Each of the women is playing a different musical instrument, and each is wearing a different skirt, blouse, and headdress of elaborate design. In the early days of the Palau, many critics found these figures unsettling or even eerie, but today they are widely regarded as perhaps the best sculptural work in the concert hall. The upper bodies were sculpted by Eusebi Arnau, and the mosaic work of their lower bodies was created by Lluís Bru.

 The dominant theme in the sumptuous sculptural decor of the concert hall is choral music, something that might be expected in an auditorium commissioned by a choral society. A choir of young women surrounds the “sun” in the stained-glass skylight, and a bust of Anselm Clavé, a famous choir director who was instrumental in reviving Catalan folk songs, is situated on the left side of the stage, under a stone tree. Seated beneath this statue are sculpted girls singing the Catalan song Les Flors de Maig (The Flowers of May).

The Palau de la Musica: The Luis Millet Hall

The Lluís Millet hall is a salon located on the second floor of the Palau that is named after one of the founders of the Orfeó Català. The hall is a popular gathering place for concert-goers and also serves as a teaching area for visitors touring the building. From floor to ceiling the hall is two stories high and affords views of the intricate mosaics on the two rows of columns outside its windows that are much better than those available from the street.
It is ornated by several bronze busts of musicians related to the Palau: Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vives (Orfeó Català founders), Pau Casals, Eduard Toldrà (founder and first conductor of the Orquestra Municipal de Barcelona, Just Cabot (Orfeó Català president) and pianist Rosa Sabater.

The Palau de la Musica: the concert hall

The concert hall of the Palau, which seats about 2,200 people, is the only auditorium in Europe that is illuminated during daylight hours entirely by natural light. The walls on two sides consist primarily of stained-glass panes set in magnificent arches, and overhead is an enormous skylight of stained glass designed by Antoni Rigalt whose centerpiece is an inverted dome in shades of gold surrounded by blue that suggests the sun and the sky.

Our World Tuesday, right here.

World Heritage

The Palau de la Musica Catalana… So many things to say about this absolutely magnificent building, a must see, should you ever come to Barcelona.

The Palau de la Música Catalana , (English: Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth). It was inaugurated February 9, 1908.
The project was financed primarily by the society, but important financial contributions also were made by Barcelona’s wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie. The Palau won the architect an award from the Barcelona City Council in 1909, given to the best building built during the previous year. Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension under the direction of architects Oscar Tusquets and Carles Díaz. In 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Hospital de Sant Pau. Today, more than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).

And once a year, you can visit it for free… So get ready for a small series about this marvel!


Barcelona is a city full of music, at all times, street musicians, famous names, others not so famous… Amongst the better known in town this month, Madonna, the Cure, Norah Jones, Hugh Laurie (yes, he’s a musician as well as an actor), Love of Lesbian, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga… Shakira does not count: she lives here.
And hundreds of buskers, some of them really good. Don’t miss the guitar player in the afternoon at Clot metro station!


Playing music to the seagulls and the fishes. Cool!


 Nice glockenspiel spotted from the top of the cathedral.

Wordless Wednesday. Just listen to the music.

Wordless Wednesday


According to the press, we have here in town Europe’s only museum of Rock. Many interesting artifacts in there, this poster, for example. Mandy took the photo, but it brought back some nice memories to me, Rob.
I mean, get the picture a bit bigger, and read the names of the bands present! The best ever concert, ever,ever! No?
Should you want to go there, it is in the Arenas shopping mall on Plaza de Espana.

No photos!!!

The bar at the entrance of the Palau de la Musica. Nice, no? You might notice the ‘no filming’sign on the side. Well, no photos either, as we have been firmly told by one of the minders. We played the not-knowing tourists, of course… Well, we didn’t know, we noticed the beauty of the place, not the ugly little signs next to the trash cans.

Festa Major de Gracia 2011

This week, like every year, the highlight of the summer: the Festa Major de Gracia, or the big street festival in the hip Gracia area. 15 or 20 streets, decorated with mostly recycled stuff, music,theater, food, drinks… It’s just wonderful! More in the next days.
Click on the picture to see it better!

Let’s celebrate!

Let’s celebrate this 800th post with some sweet music!

Doorway to Valhalla

Valhalla, Hall of the Slain, in Norse mythology is the hall presided over by Odin. This vast hall has five hundred and forty doors. The rafters are spears, the hall is roofed with shields and breast-plates litter the benches. A wolf guards the western door and an eagle hovers over it. It is here that the Valkyries, Odin’s messengers and spirits of war, bring half of the heroes that died on the battle fields (the rest go to Freya’s hall Folkvang). These heroes, the Einherjar, are prepared in Valhalla for the oncoming battle of Ragnarok. When the battle commences, eight hundred warriors will march shoulder to shoulder out of each door.

Nowadays, a rock club in Barcelona. The wolf is doing the bins in the Raval, and the eagle flies free…

Took a photo of this entrance to this most glorious hall for Louis la Vache’s new(ish) meme, Monday Doorways. Have a look! Have a look a bit later, as it is still Sunday in Frisco.

Meanwhile, have a look at the Barcelona Gay Pride 2011!

The Harley girl

Busy texting, busy listening to music… We will never know. Everybody seems to have the latest gizmo, be it some phone which also makes coffee, or some music device with the latest pirated music… Pickpockets in the metro are obviously very happy about it! Furthermore as they are usually not arrested if caught, just held for a few hours, listed somewhere and then released. Read in the local paper yesterday about one of them being held 37 times by the police, for theft, often only hours after the last time… Visitors, be safe! Common sense will help you, more than anything else!

And hasn’t she got a nice bike!!!

Palau de la Musica

We passed the Palau de la Musica yesterday, and I just can’t resist showing you the facade.

This is for My world Tuesday. Click here to see more.

I am having a very busy week, barely any time to browse your blogs. Will be back asap.

La Mercè 2010, the cavalcade

Yesterday was a holiday here, the feast of our Lady of Mercy, la Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan, the big annual Barcelona holiday. 3 days of music, fireworks, giants, firebeasts, cultural activities… And a one hour long cavalcade. And oh joy, it started in our very street. Giants walking down the streets, with many drummers, pipers, flute players, etc. Here are some of the musicians. Much more to show you in the next few days!

Holy cow! Even moo’ jazz!

So Vache. The perfect jazz band for the perfect cup of coffee! You don’t have coffee??? What a shame! But good old Daddy Rob has the solution for you: just click on the frog in the sidebar!

Map picture

Jinx Jazz Band

Spotted this excellend dixieland and jazz band this morning, during a leisurely stroll through town. The Jinx Jazz Band. Please click here to listen to them: they’re really good.

Tomorrow, I hope I can post a special photo, specially for Brattcat, and Mister Brattcat!

The violinist

Sitges, last sunday, on the seafront. We spotted this excellent violinist playing to 2-3 people, on his fancy electric violin. Hope he got some rewards for his music!

And don’t forget: The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
William Shakespeare

Map picture

Mosaic music

Underneath the Parque Guell’s main square, underneath the serpent bench, Gaudi built a very special kind of music room. Supported by 86 doric columns, the vaulted ceiling reverberates the sounds, and it is a good place for buskers and other musicians. The 2 photos above show some of the decorations on the ceiling.

2 more views of the columns themselves.

La salle de musique de la colonie Guell. Gaudi avait une excellente comprehension des regles de l’accoustique. Le plafond alveole et les 86 colonnes doriques forment une tres bonne caisse de resonance.

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Let there be jazz!
It is cold, and getting colder every day, we might even get snow in Barcelona, how nice would that be!
Anyway, it was hot last summer, so we went to a few concerts, mainly jazz. Don’t remember the singer’s name, but she was good!

My adventures in XTML land… Struggling, but getting there slowly.

Palau de la Musica Catalana 2

Further derails of the Palau.


Reflections on the Palau de la Musica Catalana, the Palace of Catalan Music. It is a very interesting building, modernist but with a lovely touch of art nouveau. Covered with glass…
There is much more to say about the institution, as it is unfortunately in the centre of the biggest scandal to shake Barcelona in the last 10 or 15 years. Apparently the management of the Palau used many millions of euros for their own… needs, travels, cars, houses, etc. Are they in jail? No, they just had to surrender their passports… As I said, BIG scandal. And a big loss for the wonderful Catalan culture.

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

A bit more of Valencia, a picture that combines both my love for music and my love for science fiction. Just behind what I showed yesterday is this building, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (Queen Sofia’s Arts Palace). An opera and concert hall looking like some stranded space ship.

Will go tosee Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in January. It will be a GREAT evening!


Some more musicians, artists, this time from the north of Catalunya, doing, if I remember well, some excellent gypsy swing.

Following a suggestion, I changed my header photo today to show something much more Catalan than the sevillan dresses that were there before: gegants, giants. I’ll bring you more about them when I know more, probably around the 22nd of this month, la Merce, a very important day here.

This blog is 4 months old today. 125 days, 125 posts, 128 followers, probably getting to 5000 visitors later tonight. Thanks for all your support, comments, friendship!

I’m inviting you today to visit and discover a rather gorgeous new blog, made in Melbourne by Blossomflowergirl. Great photos of a really cool town. Just have a look at the header! I love it!

Festa Major de Gracia, under the sea

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’ garden in the shade

I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’ garden with me
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus’ garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around
because we know we can’t be found
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they’re happy and they’re safe
(Happy and they’re safe)

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden with you.

Before I get into trouble: no, the lyrics are from the Beatles, not from me!!!

Salsa cubana!

We do have many many free concerts here all along the year. This is a Cuban band, playing some excellent salsa just outside the Farinera del Clot civic center, 3 minutes from home.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

One more detail of the fantastic Palau de la Musica Catalana, from inside the building.
They were in the news recently: some of their personnel were caught by the Economic Police, embezzlement.

Heaven and Hell?

Today, exceptionally, 2 pictures.
Walking through the Raval part of Barcelona, I saw this building. Interesting, a metal bar, with a curious name. I’ve read somewhere that there are several Hell’s Angels gangs in Barcelona. Maybe this is one of their places.

What makes it a bit more interesting is this next photo. Same street, maybe 10 meters away.

I wonder what they think of each other? Maybe the hard rockers think the Church is Hell, and the bar is heaven, and vice versa. The Church goers might think the name of the bar is very appropriate. Who knows.
And yes, the Nestle sign is weird… I can’t really see them rockers drinking milk… But why not.


I’m afraid I’ve never been a huge fan of Michael Jackson, although I remember having a Jackson 5 poster in my bedroom in my early teens. And I actually quite like his older songs.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I came upon some 50 people doing the moonwalk on the Ramblas. They were all wearing a single white glove, and a Tshirt saying, in English: one small step for Jacko, one big step for mankind.
Was quite funny to watch. The press people were there as well, almost as many as the actual moon walkers.

And on the side, there was this guy, with pictures of MJ tattooed on his back and both his calves. He definitely is a fan!

So, that’s my posting for today. Tomorrow, I promise you heaven and hell! Stay tuned, friends!

Let the music play!

Welcome back to Barcelona, with some more music! Plenty of music everywhere, every day! There isn’t a day without some free concerts in parks, classic, jazz, world music, etc. I lived in many places around the world, but Barcelona is without a doubt the most musical one.
Buskers in every street in the old town, in metro stations, trains, buses, on the beaches… Here is one I really liked, he really is an accordion virtuoso, despite of the statue’s bored face. He was playing next to the Santa Maria del Pi Church, famous place for choirs, fantastic acoustics.
Here is some more information about the guy in the back, Àngel Guimerà

Orfeo Catala

The Catalan Orpheon, aka the Palau de la Musica Catalana, one of Barcelona’s 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, celebrated today el Dia de la Musica, World Music Day, by opening it’s doors for free. The Palau was inaugurated in 1908, and is a wonderful example of Catalan Modernist style. If you want to know more about it, please go here.
I don’t know if the World Music Day is celebrated worldwide… It started in France in 1982, when Jack Lang, Minister of Culture, decided to celebrate summer by a big party. Basically, everybody started making music in the street, free concerts everywhere… It is now celebrated in many countries, even in Bahrain, so I heard today. Is it celebrated in your country?
Here is what Wiki has to say about it.


Lots of Andalous “immigrants” here in northern Spain, mainly for economic reasons. Therefore, you can learn the flamenco pretty much everywhere, and I love it!