My story on the trail of the zanfona (Hurdy-Gurdy) in Spain, with interviews, concerts & great music
Well, for starters, it's not just from Spain–but more about that later. I'd like to tell you about my project, which has been important to me for years but has been 'parked' as a result of, well, life. But first: Who am I? What is this project about, and why might you be interested in helping out? And will you make a difference if you give to my crowdfunding campaign?
I'm a musician, first and foremost–a singer (tenor), and I love studying about music history, delving into manuscripts: I'm a music nerd for sure. I love medieval music, and I do a lot of it, but I studied voice performance at university, with all that it entails: solo vocal repertoire, chamber music, choral works, opera, you name it. But I also have loved traditional music my whole life, and through Galician trad I found about this incredible instrument, called zanfona. In English, it's called hurdy-gurdy.
In 2005 I applied for and received a Fulbright Fellowship to go to Spain and study the zanfona in Spain's history and culture (the was the official title of my project, anyhow). I had a great time, but unfortunately there were a few snafus in my collaborations. Most moments were stellar, and so many people along the way were incredibly helpful. However, an idea that I had—to write a book about the zanfona's history—never panned out. Still, I continued speaking to people, who opened their doors and hearts to me about an instrument and music they loved. They were a passionate group, these hurdygurdyists, and excited about the instrument's present-day renaissance in Spain. I shot some film here and there, took field notes and photos, recorded interviews. When I came up short for book material, I decided that video would be the way to go. So the following year, I made plans and started saving up for a short video documentary on the zanfona.
I had a great team, and we shot wonderful footage through central and northern Spain. To this archive, I added festival footage and interviews shot by collaborators who I hired in the years following. But I got so busy with the higher priorities of school and family life, that I had to leave the footage to one side, unedited and lonely...but with your help all of this will change!
NOTE: Stay tuned for "Take 2: Sinfonia" Crowdfunding Coming very soon on IndieGoGo!The original campaign ended on February 14th and fell a bit short (!) so I'm soon going to try again. Thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support!SEE UPDATE (15 Nov.2016)