Barcelona Room at Montjuïc Castle. July 2, 2020.
The concert cycle Barcelona Room was inaugurated on Thursday in the courtyard of the Castle of Montjuïc with the performance of pianist Clara Peya and a feeling of liberation. “Doing concerts in streaming it has been a disastrous experience, “the pianist said, and the audience reacted with a standing ovation. Someone had to say it. Now that live music is trying to be live music again, concerts in streaming they are associated with a confinement that no one wants to repeat. There is a desire for skin, not wifi. Clara Peya expressed a feeling surely shared by the 400 people who sold out and were scattered around the castle’s courtyard as islets of an unreal archipelago as real as it is: everyone sitting in chairs, much of it around of tables and having a drink and a snack on a not at all hot night. “It’s very hard to see you so apart. I understand, but it doesn’t represent me,” Peya lamented, again capturing the mood of distension. Such are the concerts these days, a mixture of joy and repressed gestures.
For now, let’s look at the glass half full: on Thursday you could enjoy an extraordinary show, good choice to open the cycle organized by the City of Barcelona and the Association of Concert Halls of Catalonia (Asacc), which tries to do less dramatic desert crossing of concert halls. “If we lose the small rooms, we lose a very important part of the live music. That the rooms do not stay in the way because of the covid,” asked the manager of the Asacc, Carmen Zapata, before the start of a performance that implied at least three pieces of news: it was Peya’s first concert with a band since the beginning of the pandemic, it was also the last dedicated to the album’s repertoire Stomach (2018) in Barcelona, and also served to premiere a piece of Larval state, the solo piano disc he recorded during confinement.
So, Peya was accompanied by the gala team: singer Magalí Sare, bassist and producer Vic Moliner and percussionists Dídak Fernández and Andreu Moreno. The subject Plastic stomach set in motion a generous artistic and political mechanism in expressive colors and full of nuances. Sare can be evil when she sings the cathartic Scars and quite the opposite when he makes the futuristic lied Nothing is everything. Peya as soon as she takes refuge in the serenity of the piano as she explodes to rap against romantic love, and in general the band walks with that security that gives mutual understanding and absolute confidence. As usual in the concerts of Clara Peya, also in the Castle of Montjuïc yielded the stage to silenced voices, in this case two representatives of the Anti-racist Care Network, a support network that emerged during confinement.
After interpreting Beat the pulse with that visceral expressiveness, Peya nailed it again wishing “that we live real life, that we take care of ourselves, that we look each other in the eyes.” For now, we’re celebrating the return of live music, despite everything.