A bit of history

It was the summer of 2007 when Blanca Altable and Javier Ortega got together in Madrid, talking about cultural and vital thoughts; that year, Blanca was attending Alasdair Fraser’s fiddlecamp in the Isle of Skye (Scotland). Javier had the chance to know the musician years before in a spectacular concert of Skyedance, in Burgos. An idea arose: to propose Alasdair Fraser to make a fiddlecamp in Spain, extending the tradition initiated in his birth land, Scotland, and continued in California, land of adoption of this talented fiddler.

Blanca came back home with surprising news: Alasdair loved the idea; and so everything started. We looked for a place to start such a special adventure; a quiet place where Nature and water were very present, and able to hold a big group of people keen to learn and play music for a week. And so we found the hostel Foratata, in Sallent de Gállego (Huesca), that hold the celebration of the first CRISOL DE CUERDA TRADICIONAL, between 13th and 18th July of 2008. This way, an unprecedented experience in Spain was born.

In further editions we have celebrated our fiddlecamp in the Albergue of Arija (2009 and 2010) and in the Granja Escuela de Arlanzón (from 2011 onwards), always seeking the complicity and support of the their managers, so important for the project.

Along this intense adventure we have been discovering great values that, together with its musical essence, we believe they make CRISOL something beyond a fiddlecamp. They turn it into a remarkable vital experience, continuously enriched by the generosity of its participants. Students, teachers, organisers, youngsters and adults, they all give away their energy to keep the passion’s flame alive for all the week, and many times, beyond the week.

This way, Crisol has been growing up, extending its Spirit, and, we hope, extending also a model of teaching and learning, sharing and understanding the music. Some students have turned into masters (Riobó and Arkaitz); musicians have recorded albums (Blanca/Chuchi, Juan/Arkaitz, Vegetal Jam), and have added their musical talents to collaborate in each other’s work (Alasdair and Natalie in Juan and Arkaitz’s album; Diego and Natalie in Blanca and Chuchi’s album); and many participants are already usual attendees, being part of this big family, whose effort and enthusiasm contributes to make this whole adventure possible, through the years.

Together with the director, Alasdair Fraser, and his inseparable artistic partner Natalie Haas, there are many music masters who have accompanied us through these years: Juan Arriola, Carlos Beceiro, Xabi Sansebastian, Dimitri Psonis, Diego Galaz, Gema Rizo, Jaime Muñoz, Begoña Riobó, Xosé Liz, Arkaitz Miner, Quico Comesaña, Jani Lang, Maria José Llorente, Vanesa Muela, Dennys Stetsenko, Eva Parmenter, Casey Driesen, Anna Lindblad, “Chuchi”, Blanca Altable, Suso Cancelas, Martín Meléndez, Marta Roma, Hanneke Cassel, Basile Brèmaud, Xosé Rocha, David Aznar, Saúl Jiménez, Ana Rossi, Clara Rodriguez, …, giving away their music and knowledge, helping us shape a creative and free project, that keeps evolving.