El barrio del Retiro Obrero
I invite you to walk through El barrio del Retiro Obrero, (El Retiro Obrero neighborhood), a simple neighborhood in Seville. It is a very special ride (although I will tell you about that a little below).
As in every piece, I propose a special way of listening to this music: in this case, I want you to listen to the music with headphones, and with your eyes closed. Part of what you are going to hear is created with surround sound in Ambisonics format (what is usually known as 8D sound, but which is actually 3-dimensional): a way to immerse yourself within the sound and musical space of the piece.
I’m also going to ask you to try listening to it in a quiet moment, in a place and time when you can disconnect from everything. I know that with the pace of life that we lead, it is a lot to ask, but I guarantee that the experience is worth it and that when you finish listening to the piece you will feel very good.
Oh, and tell me in the comments how you have felt, please!
(If you don’t have Spotify, you can find El barrio del Retiro Obrero on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Youtube Music and any digital music distribution platform)
As with the rest of the Relatos Cortos, El barrio del Retiro Obrero has a history and a special connection with me.
It is the neighborhood where my father lived in his childhood, and where my aunt Pepi and my grandmother Pepa lived. I spent many moments of my childhood in his house and in that neighborhood. When my parents were on tour with Pepe Moreno’s Andalusian Ballet, I stayed with them, and there are many memories that have remained recorded from that time: how my aunt prepared and drank her coffee every day, accompany my grandmother to the market to do the shopping, and stop on the way back at the comic shop, go up to the roof of their house to hang the clothes and listen to the bells of the churches of Seville …
Years later, when I started composing for film, I was commissioned to create the soundtrack for a movie that was set in that neighborhood. The movie hadn’t started shooting, but I wanted to introduce the director to some musical ideas (a habit that I recommend whenever possible). I took my home video camera and went to that neighborhood to record takes of the streets, of the people, of different places. I made a small montage and started to improvise on those images, based on what they generated for me. The entire first half of El barrio del Retiro Obrero is the pure result of that improvisation, as it came out at that time, without changing a single note.
In the end, that movie project did not come out, but the music remained, and one day I decided that I wanted to continue expressing what those feelings had generated in me, and from there I developed the rest of the song. Music that always brings me the memory of that neighborhood, of that house, of that feeling of closeness, of the small but simple things, of the family. Hope you enjoyed this ride.
The experience of this walk through El barrio del Retiro Obrero has been enriched and multiplied by two exceptional creations: a beautiful text, full of memories and much affection, by the hand of that versatile writer who is Fernando Iwasaki, and the recipes for a Gastronomic menu loaded with flavor, simplicity and a lot of affection, prepared for the occasion by my wife, Mª Ángeles. We have also had the pairings of Juan Carlos and Cafeteate (don’t miss the drawing that Patri made while she was listening to the music). Thank you all for making this walk through El barrio del Retiro Obrero something totally different. Here you have the links to all those contributions.
El barrio del Retiro Obrero, by Bar Juan Carlos
Relatos Cortos En esta ocasión Álex, del Bar Juan Carlos, nos hace una recomendación para "El barrio del Retiro Obrero" que me resulta muy familiar y cercana: "Para este tema hemos pensado en Dougall’s Raquera. Cerveza artesana del pueblo cántabro. Raqueros es el...
El barrio del Retiro Obrero, by Patricia, de Cafeteate
Relatos Cortos Al comienzo de Relatos Cortos os presenté a Patricia, una artista de la pintura, y del café. Para cada tema de este proyecto nos ha propuesto un café o una infusión que degustar mientras escuchamos la música. En el caso de El barrio del Retiro Obrero,...
El barrio del Retiro Obrero, by Mª Ángeles Gómez Cid
Relatos Cortos Como os he contado en entradas anteriores, El barrio del Retiro Obrero me conecta con mi familia. En mi casa, como en muchas, las reuniones familiares siempre han estado en torno a la cocina, entre peroles y ollas, compartiendo ese cocinar a fuego lento...
El barrio del Retiro Obrero, by Fernando Iwasaki
Relatos Cortos El barrio del Retiro Obrero recoge a través de la música muchos recuerdos de mi niñez, de muchos momentos que pasé en compañía de mi tía Pepi y mi abuela Pepa, de mi vida en ese barrio de Sevilla. Es una alegría enorme compartir con vosotros los...