my song be as simple
as the waking in the morning,
as the dripping of dew from the leaves,
simple as the colours in the clouds
and showers of rain at midnight.»
In my wanderings through song and poetry over the last
ten years, I have come across stony paths, dusty trails,
paths strewn with flowers, pathways across land and
sea, and almost invisible trails, where it was very
easy to lose my way...
Bella Terra is the result of a long process of maturing
and research. It all began at home, singing and playing
with a group of friends, as I started out on a search
for sound and music, for the voice and the harp, for
freedom and rhythm; above all, it began with a passion
for the simple but essential little things of everyday
life. The Catalan poet Miquel Martí i Pol taught
me to appreciate the world around us, the world he describes
with such great love as well as pain, but, above all,
filled with a desire to live each moment, day by day,
to discover the secret of things both visible and invisible,
loving them whole-heartedly for what they are.
Bella Terra is a collection of various poems that I
have set to music over the years, and it is born out
of my hope for a world where there will be more light,
love and mystery, a more open and Mediterranean world.
It reflects all the different kinds of music I have
heard, as well as my years of musical training, weaving
harp and voice into a single instrument.
The twelve poems included in Bella Terra have a delicate
thread running through them, linking them to a single
common experience: living the present moment here and
now, the tenderness and passion of love, the almost
lost innocence of the child-adult, the strength and
evocative power of the sea and of dreams «in the
distant reaches of a deep and voiceless night»
(Salvador Espriu), which lead us to the brink of life’s
mystery and uncertainty.
A subtle mood of nostalgia pervades the song to love
and lovers and to life's eternal voyagers such as “El
mariner” (The sailor), “El viaje”
(The journey, dedicated to my father), and also the
song to the seeing eye and to the object of sight, “Els
ulls” (The eyes, dedicated to my mother); and
at the end of the journey, we are borne away by mysterious
night to a whirlpool where «there is life and
death, both immutable. The rest is mere words»
(Miquel Martí i Pol).
The tradition of singing and playing one's own accompaniment
on the harp, a tradition that lives on in Ireland and
some South American countries, has been lost elsewhere
in Europe, despite the fact that it was a highly popular
and widespread practice up until the Baroque period.
The present collection is a modest attempt on my part
(and I am not the first to have embarked on that endeavour)
to fulfil the dream of combining voice and harp, their
complementary yet contrasting sounds fusing to form
a single breath and a single expression. I am privileged
to have been joined on this quest by a group of long-standing
friends, all of them exceptionally fine and unstinting
musicians. Bella Terra (which is also the name of my
home village) looks forward in hope to a more balanced
world, in which men and women will realise that there
is «but one syllable from certainty to uncertainty:
savour this moment and prize it dearly, for all our
life is equal to this one moment» (Omar Jayyam).