Cordoba International Film Music Festival 2013

Escrito por Gorka Oteiza, el 8 julio 2013 | Publicado en Apuntes, General

YOU CAN ALSO READ THIS EXTENSIVE ARTICLE IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: SPANISH!!

There is a saying, “All roads lead to Rome” … but when the end of June arrives, I think that it should be changed by a new saying: “All roads lead to Cordoba” because it is at this time when a large number of film music followers, prepare their bags and head south of the Iberian Peninsula, in order to enjoy a week of panels, concerts, and especially, to enjoy the company of people who share their same interests: film music!

Since last year, Córdoba is the new meeting point of a great family of film music, which began gathering seven editions ago in Ubeda, and that made ​​the jump to a new location in Cordoba last year, a place that is being consolidated with every new edition. This city has emerged as a great meeting point for veteran people and for new people, for people who organizes the festival and people enjoying it, and specially, for all those composers that want to make us accomplices of their music and their talent.

In this article, I want to share my experience of the festival this year, my humble vision of the “International Film Music Festival – Cordoba Province 2013″, and although I am sure there are as many possible stories as people attending the festival, I think you will feel identified with much of what I’m going to describe … so …. keep on reading … till the end!

WEDNESDAY – REUNION – HERE WE ARE!

Although concerts are already being performed since June 23rd all around Cordoba province, and although the “Composition Workshop for the audiovisual media”, begins on Monday 24th, where composers attending the festival give their master classes, for many of us, the festival begins on Wednesday with our arrival to Cordoba.

In my case, after picking up Vanessa, Felipe and Asier, and driving less than 4 hours to Madrid (where we changed Asier by Alf and welcome Peter and Krisztina traveling in a second car), we continue our way to the south, driving 4 more hours by road to Cordoba.

It has been nearly 8 hour drive in total and 800 kms (500 miles) from Bilbao to Cordoba (almost crossing Spain from end to end), having a climate of 14°C (52F) and rain in Bilbao, to find a climate of 38ºC (100F) and a hard sun in Cordoba… so getting used to it is difficult, but nothing that cannot be fixes with a caña (smalll beer) and some tapas (small food portions), or at least a sangria!

Therefore, on the first terrace, we meet with Oscar and Isra, as they were welcoming Josep (who we took as a new brother in our musical family from the beginning), and then we headed to the area of the mosque, settling Bar Casa Santos as an operation base, famous for its giant Spanish omelets. Up to 13 people gathered together there! (Who said 13 was an unlucky number? … Alf, Edu, Felipe, Oscar, Pedro, Asier, Krisztina, Borja, Vane, Isra, Josep, Isa and me, can ensure just the opposite!)

For us, the festival has officially started right now! And from this point, we begin to add people and experiences to our minds and souls, that will charge out musical battery for the rest of the year.

This non-official inauguration (that we wish could have become official by going to the “Jerry Goldsmith Awards Ceremony“, but transportation problems explained later, made ​​it impossible), was followed by a round of tapas and cañas in several bars downtown in the old city.

Due to the excitement of the reunion, and probably due to the desire to catch up and “recover the time we’ve lost” during the rest of the year, we are unable to leave to rest before midnight, despite we feel very very tired. But a toast for Córdoba and for the festival, are worth it!

THURSDAY – STARTING UP – WE BEGIN!!

This year, the place where the conferences are being held has been changed from the Andalusian Film Institute to the Manuel Orozco Conservatory of Music. Upon arrival at the new location, we find people waiting at the door, we begin to greet the first groups (Balearic group, people from Malaga, etc ….) and we’re headed inside, where we’re welcomed by the constant and tireless smiles of Inma and Rakel, that give us the accreditations and the concert tickets (the film music festival attendee pack).

It is at this moment when we really realize one of the biggest absences of the festival, Ruben, who was always pending around everybody, with his friendly attitude and his tireless willingness to help anyone who needed it, and always omni-present in the registration and attention to the delegates’ area. Unfortunately this year, Ruben could not come, and he hasn’t been the only one we’ve missed (Carlos, Braulio, Miguel, and many more …. are some of them …. too many casualties for such a close family….). But each and every one of these people, know they have been part of our conversations and our memories, and they know they have been remotely held together into the spirit of the festival (although sometimes, it was only via Facebook).

Once we enter the conference room, we realize that the change has been positive and the new place is perfect, since we are in a more central and better equipped location. Unfortunately, the first conference of the morning, Federico Jusid’s panel, has been suspended as he has gone urgently for job issues to Madrid, so we took the opportunity to walk around and eat some tapas, waiting for the next panel to begin.

Nani García arrives around noon, and gives a good panel, talking about some of his works and ending with a round of questions from the audience. Then comes Zacarias M. de la Riva with his panel, which in my opinion, is one of the most interesting panels (if not the most interesting) of the festival. I’ll talk about this in the final sections of the article.

Since we don’t have time nor strength to be everywhere, unfortunately, we have to skip a couple of panels (La-La Land Records’ Presentation and In Production – The Crow of F. Javier Gutierrez), to fully prepare and manage the interviews for Asturscore with some of the composers in the festival.

So, we go to eat and get some work done, and we return in the afternoon just in time for the Round Table - A woman’s touch in film music, which involved Miriam Cutler, Rachel Portman and Beth Krakower, moderated by Doreen Ringer.

We got a very pleasant surprise, as the 4 women who are on stage, offer a very entertaining and fun panel, due to the mix of personalities, and due to the different views that arise and that are well coordinated and linked by the moderator.

With this round table, we give an end to the first day, and go to the hotel to change our clothes and prepare for the night, that today has a double session.

First, we go to the concert “Best of the Best – The Best of The Guests” at Teatro Góngora, a place we already knew from last year, and where the Orquesta de Cordoba, with Brian Cole and Peter Bernstein as conductors, reach the public in very good way, with music from Peter Bernstein, Debbie Wiseman, Alfons Conde, Rachel Portman and Ilan Eshkeri. A good concert!

Once finished, we continued to Gran Café Góngora, where Joseph Trapanese in collaboration with “DJ Bicho Martinez”, offer us a music session of Tron Uprising, ideal for some drinks and dances with friends, leading to the first conversations with all the people in the festival. A very nice event that we hope it’s repeated for future editions, as we think it’s a great idea.

Tired but happy, and pushing the first day to the limit, we leave late for the hotel to have some rest.

FRIDAY – MIDWAY

Today is going to be a busy day, as we have 3 of the most anticipated events of the festival in the morning, Marco Beltrami and Rachel Portman’s panels, as well as the signing session of Rachel Portman (since she can’t be on Sunday at general signing session with the rest of the composers). Today, the place for all conferences is going to be the Auditorium of Edificio Cajasur, as the conservatory it’s not available this Friday.

Just before Rachel Portman’s panel, in Asturscore we have the opportunity to interview the composer, and although the interview has a very positive outcome, it doesn’t go exactly as planned, because of organizational problems that leave very little time for the interview, so we have to remove some questions, or even pass quickly over some important questions that deserve to be treated more in detail. Unfortunately, it was a rush interview. We want to point out that we are working on the interview now, and we hope we can offer it to you shortly in our website.

Next we have the opportunity to enjoy as audience at Rachel Portman’s panel, very educational and very complete, where we can see how she answers to some of the questions we just made her in our interview, and to some of the questions we had to remove due to time issues. As soon as the conference finishes, and ahead of schedule (11:15am) starts the signing session (which was scheduled for 11:30am to 12:30pm), and due to organizational and schedule problems, we’re told that it has to be reduced only to half an hour instead of an hour. Fortunately, Rachel repeatedly insisted that she did not want to leave anyone without a signature, and that she would be in the room all the time that was necessary, until all the people who were in line went through the table for their signature. Thank you very much Rachel! That’s the attitude!

After a short break, comes Marco Beltrami, whose panel is full of details, productive and extensive, lasting the two hours that are planned for it (including his explanations, and the round of questions that are asked afterwards from the public, and despite of him being half sick, as he confesses when he arrives and people approach him for a picture or a signature).

The conference discusses many aspects of Marco Beltrami’s films, as well as his later works, some already on cinemas and some still to come (World War Z or The Wolverine for example). For these two movies, Marco had videos to show and reinforce what he was explaining, but they couldn’t be played because of computer problems, so he had to continue without them.

It’s time for lunch, so we make a break, and unfortunately, after having to skip the conferences planned for this afternoon (Round Table – The Music in the Documentaries, Press Conference and Creative Minds at the University of Berklee Valencia), we go to the hotel to arrange the interview we just performed in the morning, and to finish preparing the interviews for tomorrow morning.

Night is coming, and using mobiles and Whatsup, we send a surprise meeting invitation from Asturscore to a lot of people in our agendas… “Cider at 8pm, just in front of Hostal Almanzor for anyone who wants to come by” …. We gather up to 12 people, which help finishing 4 or 5 bottles of tasty and fresh Cider we open in the street. A tradition that started last year … and that we couldn’t let go!

Afterwards, we grab something to eat at one of the nearby bars, and take a taxi to Teatro Axerquía, a beautiful place to hold a great concert outdoors. The concert “The Elmer Bernstein Award – Gala Concert” featuring the participation of Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga and Coro Ziryab, consists of two parts, the first based on the work of Elmer Bernstein and directed with a great feeling and strength by his son Peter Bernstein, and a second part, based on the work of Marco Beltrami and superbly directed by Arturo Diez Boscovich. Both parts of the concert are spectacular, but if I had to choose one, I’d probably stick with the first one, because its beginning with “The 10 Commandments” and its ending with “The Magnificent 7″ followed by an encore with “The Great Escape “is something that gave me goosebumps!

After the second part of the concert, the Elmer Bernstein Award is given to Marco Beltrami in recognition of his career, and later, we have the opportunity to enjoy music in an outdoor bar, on the terrace of Ambigú Axerquía, just at the top of the theater. There we meet all those people who do not want to leave to their hotels yet, and among them, are some of the stars of the night as Arturo Diez Boscovich and composers such as Federico Jusid and Roque Baños.

And if all this wasn’t enough … on our way to the hotel, and gathering in a small group, we decide to “assault” the Pub Soho, just before retiring definitively to rest. Another great day ends there!

SATURDAY – APOTHEOSIS

Today we have a morning full of interviews for Asturscore, which unfortunately will make us lose the conferences of Joseph Trapanese, Manuel Sicilia and Sergio Moure, but … that’s the way it is!

We arrive early to the hotel where we are going to conduct the interviews, and there we find Beth Krakower who has arranged the interview with Peter Bernstein (thank you very much Beth!). It’s a good chat, full of anecdotes and details, that goes as planned, and that we hope we can offer to you soon.

Then, by surprise and almost without preparation, we have the opportunity to interview Elik Alvarez, Joel Douek and Freddy Sheinfeld, specialists in music for animated series and documentaries, performing a 4-way “interview / roundtable”, very pleasant and fun, that we all enjoy!

To celebrate that the morning has gone great, we open a bottle of fresh cider we brought, and we share it with Beth, Peter, Elik, Joel and Freddy, to toast for the festival and for the future of their promising careers.

We make a break for lunch, but we have to work in the afternoon, and that forces us again to miss some conferences (Round Table – The Future of Film Music, Peter Bernstein and Elmer Bernstein Tribute). We have scheduled an interview with Marco Beltrami, but unfortunately, due to an agenda conflict, at the end we can’t make it, and we have to turn back from his hotel empty handed, with the idea of trying to re-schedule the interview again for Sunday (although we know it can be difficult).

Night falls, and we gather again for the concert “Goldspirits Awards – The Best of 2012/2013” at the Gran Teatro, performed by the Orquesta de Córdoba and Coro Ziryab. The place is amazing, even better than the Teatro Góngora (although this is also a great location).

Tonight, we have the opportunity to hear music with the best of 2012/2013, among which are included many pieces of our guests (Zacarias with Tadeo Jones, Elik-Joel-Freddy with Kingdom of the Plants, Miriam with Ethel, Marco with Woman in Black, Federico with Isabel, Arturo with Miserere, Roque with the spectacular Evil Dead or Joseph with Oblivion), that are alternated with the ceremony of the Goldspirits Awards.

We want to highlight the Evil Dead suite directed by Roque Baños, which is brilliantly performed by the Orquesta de Córdoba and the powerful Coro Ziryab, that gets the creeps to all attendees, filling the room with energy, so strongly, that almost it shakes the foundations of the theater, as if supernatural forces were to get out from under the seats! Masterpiece!!! Speechless!

After this concert and with our batteries charged, arrives what happens to be for me one the magical moments of the festival, the tapas-dinner at Bar La Fragua, a tiny bar located at the end of a long and narrow alley, which is close to the hotel where composers are staying.

Gathering together all the people here is a great success, and since all the hard work is already done, and most of the festival tasks are already channeled, a relaxed atmosphere is developed, where it doesn’t matter whether you’re a composer, part of the organization or an attendee…  everyone talks with everyone, resulting in photos, conversations, jokes, or even improvised interpretations of what we have heard in the concert tonight (that siren of Evil Dead ….) …. and this feeling, makes us remember the true spirit of this festival, which is a point of differentiation from the rest of festivals, proving once again that in an event of this magnitude, the key, is the people that make it happen (composers, organization and attendees in a close collaboration).

It’s simply one of those magical moments that can’t be planned, but when the appropriate background is provided…. they happen!!

SUNDAY – DON’T SAY GOODBYE… SAY “SEE YOU SOON”

Officially the last day should start at 12pm with the signing session… but in Asturscore we always try to give a little more … so we started the morning with an interview with Miriam Cutler at 11am at her hotel.

Interestingly, this interview was not foreseen or planned, but arose from a conversation with Miriam last night at La Fragua (that can be translated as “The Forge”). A curious Spanish name, for a place that helped to forge so many connections last night…

The interview, which extends along almost 45 minutes, is natural, funny, positive, optimistic, interesting, sincere, pleasant and many more adjectives, that could serve perfectly to define Miriam. A charming and very friendly person, with so many stories to tell, that we are confident we will hear again from her very soon. We would like to thank Miriam Cutler for the interview and Paul Chandler Poling for helping to make it possible. Shortly, we hope we can offer this interview in asturscore.com (and the rest of the interviews of the festival).

Just after the great interview, we head to the Palacio de la Merced for the Signing Session, and we arrive shortly before it starts. In an auditorium, having a large table on stage where the composers will seat, people walk by in a row to receive the signatures (we have to point out Miriam Cutler, that had a bunch of posters with covers from her documentaries, that she signed and gave to everyone who approached her).

The session lasts about 3 hours, and once it’s finished, people go to the Bandolero Restaurant for the Brotherhood Lunch. By now, there’re already some people who have had to leave (Cristina and Jordi for example), but the rest are coming slowly, and once the dining room is opened, they start sitting at round tables in groups 10 people.

A brotherhood lunch can’t be taken seriously without some Asturian and Basque cider to taste, so on behalf of Asturscore, and celebrating traditions, we opened a few bottles that we had previously cooled, and we started to pour cider for anyone who wanted to come and try (David Doncel, Federico Jusid, Marco Beltrami, Peter Bernstein, Elik Alvarez, Joseph Trapanese, Miriam Cutler, Ray Costa, Beth Krakower, Zacarias M De la Riva, Mikael Carlsson, Paul Chandler Poling, Freddy Sheinfeld, Michael Todd, Doreen Ringer, Antonio Pineda, David Saiz, Fernando Fernández, Sergio Rivas, Roque Baños, Rakel Vico, Agustín Pérez, Inma Garcia …. are some of the many people who dare to taste the fresh and delicious cider … with the shouting and cheering of “One Shot! “).

During the lunch, an emotional ceremony takes place when Peter Bernstein, rises to say a few words, and gives a baton that belonged to his father to the organization, along with a score signed by his father and by him. In his speech, Peter appreciates the great surprise that this festival has meant for him, and for many other people, where despite what they already had heard in Hollywood, the welcome they have received, has exceeded their most optimistic expectations.

After this speech, and almost without waiting for the desserts, people is already leaving  their tables and taking pictures, saying goodbye, giving final hugs, and wishing each other farewell, accompanied by a red, tasty, and sweet Basque Patxaran digestive liquor.

And although we would like to continue in that limbo for much longer, the lunch has to end, so after returning to the hotel to pick our cameras, we go to Casas de La Juderia Hotel, to make the last interview of the festival for Asturscore: Marco Beltrami. We are all very tired, but despite that, we made a very nice and complete interview with Marco Beltrami, that was arranged with the help of Ray Costa.

The night has come, and we still have the last performance of the festival left, the finishing touch, the Cinematojazzía special concert at the Palacio de Viana, given by Nani Garcia’s Jazz Trio accompanied by a String Quartet from the Orquesta de Cordoba. The beautiful place, the cool night, and the music, live up this last evening, that even if it’s somewhat brief, it’s intense, and leads to the last goodbyes.

IN SUMMARY

Wraping up… I will end this article with 3 sections, where I’ll try to summarize the strong and the weak points of the festival.

Improvements made over last year’s edition

Concerts – I find it’s something spectacular to have 14 concerts related to film music in the province of Cordoba during the festival, and although unfortunately it is difficult to go to all of them, the fact that they are there for everyone (and many of them for free), represents an organizational effort worthy of applause.

Furthermore, the quantity and quality of the 4 concerts that make up the highlight of the festival (“Best of the Best – The Best of The Guests”, “The Elmer Bernstein Award – Gala Concert”, “Goldspirits Awards – The Best of 2012 / 2013 “,” and “Cinematojazzía”), is something to be pointed out and very appreciated!

The problem that arose last year with the celebration of a double concert at the Teatro Axerquía, that kept us there up to 3am!, has been solved this year by dividing the concert into two, and programming one on Friday and another on Saturday. Very good idea!

Translators – The work of the translators this year has been better than in the last edition, and they haven’t been intrusive at all. They have managed to leave the composers extended at will to explain the ideas they wanted to convey, and they have allowed attendees to ask full questions before starting the translation, thus demonstrating their ability and skill in this field, despite that many times, it was not an easy task.

Points to improve for next year’s edition

Speaking constructively and seeking to improve, I will contribute with my point of view, on various things that I feel need to be improved next year.

Translation Be careful with this point, as I’m going to speak about translation and not about the translators. We are in a festival that has the word “International” in its name, so all the events organized, without exception, should be accessible to everyone (especially for guests who do not speak Spanish). Although in conferences where the composer was speaking English, professional and official translators were there, in conferences where the composer spoke Spanish, sometimes there was no English translation, and sometimes the composer had to perform self-translation. We believe this should be avoided for the next edition, with official translation services at all times. Also, in one of the concerts (if I remember correctly, on Saturday night’s concert), the presentation of the pieces that were going to be played and the explanation of the awards that were going to be given, was made ​​exclusively in Spanish, when it should have been made in Spanish and English.

As a curiosity, note that the opposite situation occurred in the panel tribute to Elmer Bernstein, carried out by his son Peter, where videos of people working in the film industry were showed, talking about their experiences with Elmer. Those videos were nor subtitled, neither translated, so the audience didn’t know who was the person speaking, and also they didn’t understand what they were trying to explain.

Audiovisual equipment at the conference rooms – Last year’s mistake has been repeated again in some cases, and the equipment wasn’t ready for the conference, so that the audiovisual material used by the composers couldn’t be shown correctly (for example, the videos of Marco Beltrami’s panel, could not be seen, or had de-synchronized audio when played). This issue, reduced the strength of some of the explanations that were given, and it’s something to be avoided, preparing beforehand all technical resources that are going to be needed.

Jerry Goldsmith Awards Ceremony - Most of the attendees who arrived on Wednesday, tightening and adjusting their schedules and agendas, with the intention to be at the Jerry Goldsmith Awards Ceremony, could not do so, as this ceremony wasn’t celebrated in Cordoba but in Puente Genil (80 km – 50 miles away), being a difficult place to go and come back unless you did it by car. I think the organization should charter buses for everybody (either free or either paying a symbolic small amount of money), so that the people interested in attending the ceremony, could go, making these awards more popular and participatory.

Accommodation – While in last year’s edition this issue was properly solved, this year, the information arrived late (there wasn’t a public list of hotels to manage reservations, and it was necessary to contact the organization few weeks before the festival to do so). This meant that most people had already made ​​hotel reservations on their own before the festival, to avoid missing a room later, even without knowing where the conferences or concerts were going to be held. I think the right thing would have been to do this as last year, and have a list of arranged accommodations for the festival at least 2 months before.

Change of conference venues – I was told that the change of location on Friday, from the Music Conservatory to the Cajasur building, was a necessity due to the unavailability of the conservatory that day. Although the auditorium of the Cajasur building was not a bad location, it was clearly inferior to the conservatory in most ways (equipment, location, access to the site ….), so that in the next edition, we suggest to keep the same location for all the conferences.

Cinematojazzía – The great concert offered as a closure of the festival on the last Sunday, by Nani García with his jazz trio and a string quartet, was too short, less than an hour. At the end of it, no themes were replayed, and everything was quick and brief, because an hour later, the Spanish Selection football match was to begin. Once again, sports and culture showed they are dangerous lovers.

Composers that couldn’t come – I leave the most important point for the end of this section of improvements. I understand that this is something that can escape the management possibilities of the organization … but this year it wasn’t one or two absences… but four!! (William Ross, Mychael Danna, Debbie Wiseman and Ilan Eshkeri), and I think it is something that should be analyzed seriously, so it doesn’t happen again.

Obviously I don’t have the solution (no magic wands here!), and I doubt that some ideas I’ve heard, like signing a contract or making a different selection of composers, could solve this point. Anyway, I think that the festival can’t afford such number of absences, and I think that this issue has to be analyzed, to give a solution or at least to mitigate its effects.

What I do believe that is in the hands of the organization, is the ability to report to the attendees quickly and directly when these things happen (something that was done in some cases, but that was not done for example in the case of Eshkeri… there were rumors of his absence during Wednesday and Thursday, which were confirmed non-officially first, to be officially validated later at the festival).

Concerts – As a suggestion, I think it would be better to change the order of the first and last concerts, so that “Goldspirits Awards – The Best of 2012/2013″ had been first and then “Best of the Best – The Best of our Guests”, because in this way, once you’ve had more contact with the guests, and once you’ve been to their panels, you can appreciate their music and its meaning in a better way.

Of course, in any case, I consider that a concert (or at least a part of a concert), dedicated to recovering and performing music from classical film music composers, is a must. This year, the section dedicated to Elmer Bernstein in Teatro Axerquía on Friday, was in my opinion, the best of the entire festival.

Points to highlight and to maintain for next year’s edition

Teatro Axerquía – I think Teatro Axerquía is a special place, because it’s where the only outdoor concert is performed (of the main concerts programmed in the festival), a place to keep for future editions because of its privileged location (which reminds me of the Hollywood Bowl somehow, doesn’t it? But in a tiny scale…). I’ve heard a rumor that being an open place, the acoustics are difficult to adjust, and even doing so, it doesn’t sound as it should, but I think that we have greatly enjoyed the concert held there, and I recommend keeping the location for the next edition.

Panels with the composers – Although I was unable to attend all the conferences I wanted, of those that I’ve seen, I would highlight the following:

Zacarias M de la Riva – It was a different conference, in which the composer handed a dossier to each of the participants, where you could see information about the process that takes place during the composition … from the opening notes taken in the first meetings with the director, to the first themes composed for the characters or situations of the film, to the organization of all the work needed to create the different cuts, to the recording of the pieces, getting to the final result in the film including the score. In summary, an excellent conference, highly didactic, and that made us put ourselves in the shoes of a composer, at least for over an hour!

Roundtable – A woman’s touch in film music – The roundtable format, where 4 women provided different points of views about the world of film music, was a very nice initiative.

Doreen Ringer, taking the role of an orchestra conductor, was responsible for coordinating and seamlessly linking the questions and the answers the three guests gave, guests who had different profiles, sometimes conflicting but complementary: Composer Miriam Cutler specialized in composing music for documentaries (energetic, dynamic and optimistic), composer Rachel Portman (methodical, organized and exquisitely British) and producer Beth Krakower (realistic, practical and with a fine, ironic sense of humor). I think I’m right when I say that we thoroughly enjoyed this conference, both in the stalls and on stage.

About the other panels, which unfortunately I could not attend (if I could, I would have been to all of them), I was told that Joseph Trapanese’s panel was enjoyed by the people, as well as Manuel Sicilia’s (despite the absence of the composer Ilan Eshkeri)

Theatres – Both locations get very good grade, Teatro Góngora that we knew from last year, as well as Gran Teatro, incorporated in this edition. They are places with a lot of projection, good acoustics, and have given the grandeur they deserve to concerts held in them (and placing a Photocall at the entrance of both of them was a good idea).

Post-concert events – At this point I can only say bravo, bravo and bravo! Beginning with the session of Tron Uprising on Thursday, or music after the concert on the Terrace of the Axerquía on Friday, or the great Saturday night at La Fragua, I think it is essential to create these meeting places outside the strictly professional moments (panels and concerts), that help to develop special ties among all the people who participated in one way or another in the festival.

Also, I think that the mistake of creating “VIP” zones must be avoided, something that happened in the first two events, separating composers from the rest of the attendees (although in the end, in both cases, these VIP areas diluted as the night progressed, and people mixed naturally, as it should to be).

Brotherhood lunch – Once again, I can only have positive words for this event, which is to me unique to this festival, and part of its label and its identity.

On Sunday, and after the signing session, all the people who have been living together intensely the last 4-5 days, sit together at the table, and take the opportunity to say goodbye (or see you soon) to each other, enjoying a brotherhood lunch.

Actually I think the food we eat is not important, and what really matters is to squeeze those final moments in a relaxed atmosphere, where composers, attendees and people from the organization, get together under one roof, and talk about how wonderful have been these days together, and exchange experiences, as the sad but inevitable goodbyes begin.

As a suggestion, I would point out that while the place was great and the food was pretty good for its price (at least for my taste), it would be convenient for next year that the room where the lunch is held, was clear and without columns, since those columns made it difficult for the tables to see each other, unless you got up from your chair and moved around, somehow limiting your “experiences” to your own table or to the one next to you.

CONCLUSION

Well … if you have kept reading the entire article, and have arrived to this point… congratulations! :-)

I hope you enjoyed this article and felt identified somehow in all or part of it, and I hope that like me, you’ve had a tremendous absence when you came back home from the festival to your daily routine and saw you’re missing a lot of people around, and I hope that like me, you’re marking your calendar pages, and counting the days till we all can meet again….

The 2014 festival, which also involves the celebration of its 10th anniversary, is underway!

Free your agenda, and make no plans for this date next year… or even better…. make plans, but let those plans be in Cordoba!!

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Con mis amigos de Basauri descubrí bandas sonoras como The Omen, Dune, Total Recall o Robocop.