Saturday, 15 May 2010

Planeta de Madrid

It's San Isidro week and, like last year, this means a flurry of free events taking place across Madrid to celebrate their local saint. One of our favourite events of last year's fiesta had been the Planeta de Madrid, which was held again this year (though only for one night this year - I guess 'la crisis' has taken its toll) and despite, or perhaps in defiance of our experience mixing Rosie with world music at WOMAD, we went along.

The crazy weather we've been having meant black skies and cold winds, though we're not sure if it was this or the skronky jazz of the Chop Suey Quartet, who were playing as we entered the arena of the Matadero, that upset Rosie. Anyway, we retreated to the Fair Trade tent to give her a feed and pop her in the sling, which seemed to relax her a bit.
We had met up with our American friend Anne and Senegalese friend Aboboucar, who was there proudly wearing an laminate for the next act, his compatriots Jac et le Takeifa, a fun family band mixing traditional Senegalese rhythms with Western instrumentation. They were good, and we had fun dancing to them at the back - we felt we couldn't get too close with Rosie's unprotected ears!
However the undoubted star of the show was the interactive children's area, though the kids were nearly out-numbered by adults (us included), fascinated by the sound sculptures it contained. From percussive devices that were a mix of abacus and catherine wheel and massive xylophones to amazing organs that involved squeezing a wellie or rubber glove to force air through a recorder (some operated by a barrel-organ style handle to play a simple tune) these were great fun. All clearly made from salvaged or recycled materials, it was a wonderful play park for young and old alike. Such a shame it was temporary - a permanent area like this in a local park would definitely prove popular.

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